Punctuation

Apostrophe (’)

Avoid in plurals, example: CDs, URLs, FAQs, etc.

Bullets

Maintain consistency in the type of bullet used. A small round dot (•) is preferred.

To insert a bullet, press these keys on your keyboard: Option + 8

Capitalization

Avoid all caps, except for emphasis. It gives the impression of YELLING. Exceptions for our website address.

Colon (:)

The most frequent use of a colon is at the end of a sentence to introduce lists, tabulations, texts, etc.

Serial Commas (,)

To prevent confusion, in lists of three items or more, include the comma before and/or. (Chav wins and Lyssa is dying a little inside)

Example: He went to the store, post office, and dry cleaner.

En Dash (–) Use an en dash to indicate a duration. (June - July) Use only one space before and after an en dash.
To insert an en dash, press these keys on your keyboard: Option + -

Em Dash (—) Use an em dash to denote an abrupt change in a sentence—no space before or after an em dash.

To insert an em dash, press these keys on your keyboard: Shift + Option + - (hyphen on numeric key pad)

Dashes

Exclamations (!)

Do not overuse!!!!!!! One is fine! (This rule does not apply to JMo)

Hyphens (-)

Make every effort to not hyphenate words. Add hard return if necessary to avoid hyphenated words. Never hyphenate website addresses.

Numbers

Spell out numbers one through nine. Use numbers for 10 and above.

Example: one, two, three (not 1, 2, 3) or 10, 11, 12 (not ten, eleven, twelve)
Example: six-week series (not six week, or 6 week or 6-week)

Periods (.)

Use only one space after periods at the end of sentences. Omit periods in bulleted lists with incomplete sentences.

Quotes (“”)

Use genuine quote marks, aka Smart or curly quotation marks, (“ and ”), not inch marks, aka dumb quotation marks (“).

Semicolon (;)

Use to separate elements of a series when individual segments contain material that also must be set off by commas.

Example: He leaves a son, John Smith of Chicago; three daughters, Jane Smith of Wichita, Kansas, Mary Smith of Denver, Colorado, and Susan Kingsbury of Boston, Massachusetts; and a sister, Martha Warren, of Omaha, Nebraska.


Grammar

Abbreviations

Spell out abbreviated words on first mention in text.

Ages & Grade Levels

When referring to a specific age or grade level, use the number of the age followed by “-year-old” or “Grade” followed by the number of the grade.

Example: 9-year-olds or Grade 5

When referring to a range of ages or grade levels, write “ages” followed by the numbers of the ages or “grades” followed by the number of the grades. Separate the age or grade spans with a space, en dash, space.

To insert an en dash, press these keys on your keyboard: Option + - (hyphen)

Example: Ages 6 – 9 or Grades 1 – 5 (not 1st - 5th grades)

Capitalization

All caps are hard to read—use them sparingly. Use italics for emphasis on important words.

Dates

When the date stands alone in the text:
Drop reference to year when appropriate. Don’t abbreviate.

Example: Tuesday, December 9 (not Tues., Dec. 9 2009 nor December 9th)

When listing multiple dates:
Dates should use periods. Dates should include the year.

Example: 03.09.20

Email

Do not underline email addresses.

Message and Series Titles

Message and series titles should be in italics.

Example: The Story. Not The Story or “The Story”

Paragraphs

Paragraphs should be left aligned and single-spaced. Do not indent the first line of a paragraph. There should be one blank line after each paragraph.

Phone Numbers

Phone numbers should be separated with periods instead of dashes.

Example: 317.852.2255, x123 (not 317-852-2221, ext. 123)

Religious References

DEITIES:
Capitalize the proper names of monotheistic deities: God, the Father, the Son, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Redeemer, the Holy Spirit, and the pronouns He or His when referring to God.
Lowercase gods in referring to the deities of polytheistic religions. Lowercase words such as godlike, godliness, and godsend.

RITES:
Capitalize proper names for rites that commemorate the Last Supper: the Lord’s Supper. Lowercase the names of other sacraments such as: baptism, matrimony.

OTHER WORDS:
Capitalize Scripture, Hades, Satan, and Westside Family.
Lowercase heaven, hell, devil, satanic, angel, cherub, etc.

Sentences

Choose active voice versus passive voice writing. Passive voice lowers the readability and clarity.

Example: Bill decided (not “it was decided”).

Scripture

Italicize Scripture with the version reference in parenthesis. Follow the verse with chapter and verse.

Example: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1 (NIV)

Text Alignment

Always use tabs and indents to align text. Do not use the space bar.

Times

Times should be written consistently. WFC style:

• Remove “:00”

Example: 7 – 8:30p

• Use small caps A and P when possible, otherwise a and p.

Example: 10p (not 10 P.M. nor PM)

• Separate time spans with a space, en dash, space. Do not use a hyphen.

To insert an en dash, press these keys on your keyboard: Option + - (hyphen)

Example: 7 – 8:30p (not 7-8:30p)

Titles

All publication titles are to be in italics for easier readability (rather than underlined or with “quotes”).

Example: Randy Frazee’s Making Room for Life

URLs

URL extensions should always be lowercase. Never hyphenate a URL for line breaks. Be careful about using a period at the end of a URL when ending a sentence. It can be confusing and potentially cause broken links.

Example: Visit westsidefamily.church/giving to learn more.