I can be a very for­get­ful per­son. Case in point, I tend to for­get my per­sonal rules and guide­lines for my writ­ing. Hence, here’s a writ­ten guide for me to ref­er­ence when I need it.

Personality and Tone #

Articles and com­men­tary on links writ­ten by me, should sound like me. My per­son­al­ity and tone is:

  • Happy
  • Friendly
  • Opinionated
  • Sarcastic (at times)

When writ­ing, I use proper gram­mar and lan­guage, but I ain’t afraid of no slang when ap­pro­pri­ate. I don’t use swear words.

Spelling #

I spell out num­bers up to 100 (e.g. ninety-six), as well as large round num­bers (e.g. two thou­sand). Numbers in post ti­tles or head­ings should­n’t be spelled out.

For per­cent­ages, I use nu­mer­als and spell out percent” (e.g. 20 per­cent).

This site al­ways uses the American spelling (e.g. fa­vorite, color, etc.). Non-English words fol­low the re­spec­tive lan­guage spelling rules (e.g. niño, café, etc.).

Titles #

Titles, head­ings, and sub­head­ings, use title case,” which means:

  • Capitalizing all words ex­cept co­or­di­nate con­junc­tions (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so), ar­ti­cles, and prepo­si­tions
  • First and last word cap­i­tal­ized, no mat­ter their parts of speech

When ti­tles, head­ings, and sub­head­ings have file­names or other types of code, they don’t use the <code> tag.

Titles of movies, TV shows, pe­ri­od­i­cals, news­pa­pers, books, and other pub­li­ca­tions are ital­i­cized. The ar­ti­cle is only ital­i­cized if it’s part of the name of the pub­li­ca­tion (e.g. the Wirecutter, The Brooks Review).

Poems, songs, and TV episodes take quo­ta­tion marks.

Punctuation #

Quotation marks should:

  • Follow pe­ri­ods and com­mas (“x.” and x,”)
  • Precede colons and semi­colons (“x”: and “x”;)
  • Precede ques­tion marks and ex­cla­ma­tion marks, un­less those marks are part of the quoted ma­te­r­ial

I be­lieve in the se­r­ial comma (e.g. bread, peanut but­ter, and jelly). The comma al­ways goes be­fore the con­junc­tion in a se­ries.

A pe­riod is fol­lowed by a sin­gle space. I use reg­u­lar dashes (-) for hy­phen­ated com­pound words (e.g. long-term, mother-in-law). En dashes (–) are used for ranges (e.g. 2013–2017). Em dashes (—) are most com­mon as more ag­gres­sive paren­the­ses.

Other Writing Stuff #

Blockquotes are used for quotes that are longer than one sen­tence. I hardly use semi-colons (mostly be­cause I don’t un­der­stand them all the time). Paragraphs should be no longer than 6–7 sen­tences. I like para­graphs to look a cer­tain way, and for the most part I loathe back-to-back sin­gle-sen­tence para­graphs.

Footnotes are gen­er­ally avoided un­less the tan­gent pro­vides con­text to the rest of the piece.1 Links should­n’t have punc­tu­a­tion un­less the cir­cum­stance calls for it (e.g RubyGems.org).

Commands (e.g. bundle install), file­names (e.g. index.html), and parts that be­long to a lan­guage syn­tax (e.g. :not() or minmax()) should use <code>.

  1. This for ex­am­ple would­n’t qual­ify. This does­n’t add any­thing to the writ­ing style guide. These are just words that mean noth­ing. UGH!! ↩︎