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I've been updating our company's version of a writing manual. What
I use most in it are things like correct terminology, e-mail/email, or
FAQ/faq, that sort of thing. Preferred spellings, cancelled/canceled.
I put in a section of our trademarks along with commonly used
marks of products we use (SM service marks, TM trademarks, R
registered, etc.). I also added a chapter about trademark use from
our legal dept.
I also added some technical abbreviations, nm, Kb, bps, etc. There
are also examples of customer facing e-mail and letter formats.
Because most other writers in our group aren't very experienced, I
also added some typographic stuff; curly/straight quotes, keyboard
equivalents for Word and FrameMaker.
As strange as it might seem, what I make most use of is the list of
words. I have problems remembering stuff like is it dropdown or
In the long run, what I tried to do (and I haven't written it, just revised
an existing one) was to have examples of things that can be done in
more than one way -- be done in one way only for continuity. I don't
really care whether it's cancelled or canceled, as long as it is always
one or the other.
> I am designing a style manual for our department. It is not to be an
> elaborate document. Questions of grammar and styles, such as footnotes and
> cross references will be referred to the Chicago Manual of Style. Computer
> terms will be referred to the Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical
> How would you design this manual? What elements would you include?
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