Here in the United States, we use US customary units of measurement, such as pounds, feet, and inches, for most of our daily activities. However, we are also accustomed to seeing—and sometimes using—the metric system adopted by most other countries. So, should we use metric or US customary units of measurement in our writing? Before answering that question, let’s take a … [Read more...] about Should You Use Metric or US Customary Units of Measurement in Your Writing?
Do you know what percentage of style guides agree on when to use the percent sign in a sentence? Zero! To understand when to use the percent sign instead of the word percent, we need to look at the recommendations provided by all four of our primary style guides: The Chicago Manual of Style (Chicago style) The Associated Press Stylebook (AP style) Publication Manual of … [Read more...] about When to Use the Percent Sign in a Sentence (The Ultimate Guide)
Most titles and headings are formatted with headline-style capitalization, which means that the first and last words and all the main words in between are capitalized (as demonstrated in the title of this blog post). But how should you capitalize hyphenated words in titles and headings using headline-style capitalization? The general guideline is to capitalize all the main … [Read more...] about How to Capitalize Hyphenated Words in Titles and Headings
Headline-style capitalization, also called title case, means that the main words are capitalized and the “less important” words are lowercased in titles and headings. Headline-style capitalization is the format you see in most books and magazines. This blog features headline-style capitalization for all titles and most headings. Here are several examples: Should You Use … [Read more...] about What Is Headline-Style Capitalization?
This post shares guidelines for how to write university and college names as full names and as abbreviations in sentences. We’ll also look at when to capitalize the word the in university and college names and when to lowercase words such as university and college. Note that these guidelines are for general writing. If you are writing on behalf of a university or college, … [Read more...] about How to Write University and College Names in Sentences
Have you ever wondered if you should use singular or plural pronouns for a company? The general guideline is to use the singular personal pronoun it to refer to a company or similar organization. This post explains the reasoning behind this guideline—and then shares two situations when you may want to use plural first-person pronouns (we, us, our, ourselves) or plural … [Read more...] about Should You Use Singular or Plural Pronouns for a Company?
Do you follow American-English writing standards? If so, today’s post is for you because it explains two instances when you should use single quotation marks followed by two instances when you may want to use them. Please note that single quotation marks are used more frequently in British English and, therefore, have more applications than the four instances shown … [Read more...] about When to Use Single Quotation Marks
Ships and boats hold a special place in the human experience. Our ancestors marked this importance by giving thoughtful names to their watercraft just as we do today.1 In fact, we even have guidelines for how to write the names of ships and boats to set them apart from less adventurous modes of travel, like minivans. We’ll begin by looking at the guidelines for writing ship … [Read more...] about How to Write the Names of Ships and Boats
Suspended hyphens sound like troublemakers, don’t they? Before we accuse them of cutting class or being chronically late for work, let’s look at their less than nefarious definition. We’ll follow up with five guidelines for how to use them in your writing (without getting into mischief). What Are Suspended Hyphens? Suspended hyphens, also called suspensive hyphens, replace … [Read more...] about How to Use Suspended Hyphens
Do you have a minute? The following three guidelines explain when to hyphenate numbers with units of time such as hours, days, months, years, and centuries. Before we begin, here are a couple of brief words on multi-word descriptions: multi-word descriptions, such as three-hour, that come before nouns are called compound adjectives, compound modifiers, and phrasal … [Read more...] about When to Hyphenate Numbers with Units of Time