Re: creating a department style guide

Subject: Re: creating a department style guide
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2001 15:38:10 -0700

One suggestion that I'd make is to minimize the hard and fast rules as much as
possible. Probably, there are some elements that need to be firm, such as the
use of the company logo, or some preferred spellings. However, the more rules
you provide, the more difficult they will be to follow - and, in the end, the
more likely they'll be ignored and your effort wasted.

Instead, whenever possible give the users of a style guide another source to
follow. Better yet, give them some guiding principals that will allow them to
deduce what the standard is without looking it up. For instance, instead of
providing a list of compound nouns that use a hyphen between them, establish
that all compound nouns (or none) use a hyphen. Or, better yet again, decide
what level of consistency is required, and at what point writers are simply
expected to be consistent within the current document.

This type of style guide is much harder to write than one full of rules.
However, if you take the time to try this approach, the resulting style guide is
much more likely to be used and followed.

Bruce Byfield bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com 604.421.7177

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Re: creating a department style guide: From: Nancy Mignone

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