Punctuation and Grammar
Punctuation and Grammar can start many wars, therefore this page attempts to stop such conflict arising before it starts by setting one simple precept for anyone using this site:
This page is right, even when it's wrong!
In other words, for the sake of uniformity, this page aims to set out a general style for the site, which can be referred to for odd details of grammar and punctuation. It does not intend to be all-encompassing, rather it seeks to offer guidance for consistency, where personal or national custom may cause variation.
As the site is UK based, UK-English spelling is used for the general text. Be aware though, that much of the site functionality is international, therefore programming and formatting commands can be expected to be US-English. The usual hazards here are centre and colour, which must be used in the forms of center and color, important to remember if using any of the advanced editing features available within this site.
Avoid using many short sentences, which quickly become disjointed. Similarly, if a sentence is becoming a paragraph, consider breaking it into smaller and more easily digested parts.
Full stop spacing
Spacing between the full stop at the end of a sentence and the beginning of the next sentences is single. That is the convention on this site. If you use, or are used to using two spaces, expect them to be converted to a single space when the page is reviewed, either automatically or manually.
- Full dates
- Should be stated formally and unambiguously, using words rather than numbers and abbreviations, to avoid ambiguity
The precision should be appropriate for the event being described:
Saturday, August 10, 1805,
August 10, 1805,
- Date ranges
- (August 10, 1805 - January 05, 1955)
Specifics such as 1965 to 1966, and 1965 or 1966, are preferable to the ambiguous 1965/6 or 1965/66.
- Year numbers
- Should appear in full, such as 1805 or 1905, to avoid confusion and the need to make assumptions, as in cases such as '05.
- Should be stated without an apostrophe, such as 1870s.
- Should be stated in full, such as October.
- Should be stated in full, such as Wednesday.
Circa, meaning around or about, is abbreviated to c. followed by a space separating it from its subject, as shown in the preceding date example.
With regard to punctuation, UK conventions will generally be followed where available. Unfortunately, this has become rather ambiguous in recent years.
To simplify the rules, unless not using a full stop results in confusion, then full stops are not used on this site.
When used, in order to ensure all readers understand their meaning, and that the correct meaning is assigned, acronyms should be stated in full the first time they appear on a page, and followed by their shortened version in parentheses. This should always be done, since one writer's understanding of a common term may differ from another.
For example: When the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) took over.
Capitalisation of acronyms is not used used on this site, such as Nato rather than NATO. This is to maintain some consistency with references to older, historic records, created when this convention was not used.
Single letter names
A number of subjects have names, or codenames, which comprise of a single letter, such as X-Craft, Y-Station and Z-Berth.
The convention in this site is to capitalise and hyphenate these as shown in the preceding examples, to make the meaning clear and avoid confusion.
There does not seem to be a correct means of expressing these terms, and even consulting MoD documentation for original references produces numerous variations on the theme.
Jargon and buzzwords
Generally unacceptable, unless illustrating or expanding an article.
The site is intended to be helpful and informative, and present its content in Plain English. Inappropriate use of terms intended to "Dazzle and Impress" the reader will be mercilessly edited in favour of simple and plain language.