|Topic||Standards||Notes & Examples|
|Numbers zero through nine||As a general rule, the numbers zero through nine are spelled out. The same goes for the ordinal versions where first through ninth are spelled out.|
|Numbers 10 and above||As a general rule, numbers 10 and above are presented in digit form. The same goes for the ordinal versions where 10th and above are in digit form.|
As an exception, numbers 10 and above are spelled out when beginning a sentence.
As an exception to the exception, years are always given in digit form even when beginning a sentence.
Commas are used after every third digit from the left of the decimal starting with 1,000—except for calendar years which never take commas.
Figures over 1 million are presented as the digit total in millions, billions, etc.
|Ex. 1: Colocation America has three data centers in New York.|
Ex. 2: With 22 data centers all over the country....
Ex. 3: 2016 will be an interesting year for the data center industry.
Ex. 4: Google has over 5,000,000 sq. feet of data center space.
Ex. 5: Apple raked in over $46.3 billion dollars in 2015.
|Numbers in headlines||All cardinal and ordinal numbers in headlines are given in digit form. The rule also applies to numbers under 10 and numbers beginning a headline.||Ex. 1: The 5 Best Data Centers in the Country|
Ex. 2: 5 Ways the Colocation Market Changed in 2015
|Monetary sums||Figures are presented in digits and with dollar signs ($).||Ex. 1: Disney acquired Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion.|
|Percentages||"Percent" is always spelled out except when presented as part of a statistic or headline, in which instance the symbol (%) is acceptable to save space.|
Numbers describing percents and percentages are always presented in digits.
Percent-related constructions are NOT hyphenated in adjectival usage ("100 percent effort").
An increase of 10 percent to 15 percent is a 50 percent increase or an increase of 5 percentage points—not a 5 percent increase.
|Ex. 1: "HostingCon tickets will undergo a 3 percent increase in 2015."|
|Headline style||Headlines <h1> & <h2> follow Chicago Manual of Style rules:|
1. Capitalize the first and the last word.
2. Capitalize nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, and subordinate conjunctions.
3. Lowercase articles (a, an, the), coordinating conjunctions, and prepositions.
4. Lowercase the "to" in an infinitive (I want to play guitar).
Taken from titlecapitalization.com, paraphrased from The Chicago Manual of Style: 16 ed.
Never use ALL CAPS.
Headlines must be 65 characters or less.
Colons—not hyphens or dashes—should be used to separate different parts of the headline.
Use single quotes (') instead of double quotes (") in headlines. Also use single quotes where italics or quotations marks would apply.
|Ex. 1: How to Understand a Colocation Data Center in 2016|
Ex. 2: How to Write a Headline—Not Like This
Ex. 3: How to Write a Headline: This Is More Like It
Tip. Just use titlecapitalization.com and check the 3rd radical "Do not capitalize words based on length (Chicago Manual of Style).
|Block Quotes and Tweets||All quotes from third-party sources (i.e. NOT from quotes obtained through firsthand interviews) that comprise three or more lines of text—or five sentences—should be introduced with a hyperlinked reference to the original source, including the quotee's name (if it differs).|
Note that Colocation America's "Block Quote" publishing feature adds quotation marks automatically, therefore quotations surrounding the Block Quote are redundant. Only use quotation marks if there's a quote-within-a-quote situation.
Note that all embedded Tweets do require the same introduction as a block quote without the need for a hyperlink.
|All attribution should be provided at the lead in of the block quote. Therefore the block quote should only be compromised in the voice of the quotee, with any attributive elements stripped out.|
There's no need to edit the Block Quote for style, but any typographical issues should be corrected and/or acknowledged with "[sic]."
Twitter and other social media hashtags can be written with the preceding "#," but should be hyperlinked to the search term on the appropriate social-media outlet.
|Hyperlinking External Material||Hyperlinks should be attached to specific words in the body of an article. To not interrupt the flow of the text, be judicious in choosing where to apply the link—opting for keywords over entire sentences.|
Always hyperlink and never place an entire URL inside the text.
|Introductory phrases like "according to Tim Cook of Apple" should be hyperlinked when linking to something said by Tim Cook of Apple. It's more than 5 words, but they're all directly attributive.|
|Italics||Colocation America adheres to conventional rules for italicizing words and phrases. Any phrases that would be italicized in scholarly papers (newspaper and magazine titles, books, albums, movies, TV shows, radio shows/podcasts, video games, etc.) are italicized in Colocation America Blogs. |
Note that the apostrophe and S are not italicized when dealing with the possessive form. Only the actual title of the published work should be in italics.
Titles of articles, book chapters, songs or TV episodes are not italicized and are instead surrounded by quotation marks. Titles of TV or radio stations are to be treated like companies (or publishing houses) and not italicized or surrounded by quotation marks.
Titles of blogs and websites are not italicized and are presented un-quoted and in colloquial rather than URL form (e.g. Colocation America, not ColocationAmerica.com). An exception is when .com—or something similar—would add clarity (e.g. TechTV (R.I.P.) & TechTV.com).
If a media outlet has a website and a print version that are generally referred to in the same way (e.g. CyberTrend), italicize under the thinking that the website is an extension of the print outlet.
|When determining whether a cited work was originally published online or in print, you should look for the official attribution on the hosted page (e.g. in the byline or footer of an online article (think Wikipedia).|
|Obscenities, Profanities, and Other Potentially Offensive Material||Colocation America bloggers should take a fully professional approach to their writing and refrain from swearing and otherwise obscene language in their own prose. Colocation America will not venture into determining what's inappropriate ot not—writers should use their best judgment.|
If a relevant quotation contains a profane or otherwise offensive word or phrase, it may still be used as long as it comes in the form of quoted material and is appropriate to the story and any profane word is censored by replacing all but the first and last letters of the offending "root swear" with hyphens.
|"Mother f----r," "s--t," "ass---e," f--k,"ass"|
*List is not comprehensive—use your best judgement.
Do not include images of nudity or gore.
If an audio clip or video contains questionable language, include a warning label with NSFW ("not safe for work," though that does not need to be spelled out).
|Taglines and Self-Promotional Guidelines||Authors should aim to keep an article-ending tagline to 140 characters or fewer. |
- taglines should be italicized
- words that would be italicized are unitalicized within the italicized text
- an extra line-break should appear between the final line of text and the tagline
Writers are permitted to insert a link to their personal/company website, but please remember that if it's not relevant to Colocation America's niche, then it can and will be no-followed. This is especially true for a sales-oriented site.
Ending a submission with links to previous articles on Colocation America is not allowed unless part of the same series with the article in question
|The tagline blurb may include the writer's title, social media handle, and/or any credentials or access relevant to the article.|
|Comma Lists||Please use the serial, or Oxford, comma. It just makes sense and avoids any and all confusion.||Ex. My heroes are my parents, Superman, and Wonder Woman.|
Not: My heroes are my parents, Superman and Wonder Woman.
Unless your parents actually happen to be Superman and Wonder Woman, in which case why are you writing a blog for us?
|Dashes||The em-dash (the longest dash) is used in Colocation America blogs to set off separate thoughts in a sentence or in any other place where two hyphens ('--") might be used as separation. No spaces should appear on either side of this dash.|
En-dashes, hypens, and double-hyphens should never be used in place of em-dashes. (Note that hypens should be used in accordance to the "Hyphens" entry below).
On the Windows operating system you can create an em-dash by holding down the ALT key while pressing 0151 on the numeric keypad.
On the Macintosh operating system you can create an em-dash by holding down SHIFT and OPTION, then pressing the dash/hyphen key.
Here's one for the lazy: —
|This—is correct. |
This-is not. Neither is--this. Note the difference in length between the em-dash and hyphen: — vs. -
Remember — no spaces on either side.
|Ellipses||Ellipses (...) are used to mark omitted material or to represent a pause.|
When an ellipsis occurs in the middle of a sentence representing a pause, it's not preceded or followed by a space.
For omitted material, the ellipsis should feature a space on either side "( ... )."
For a single sentence quote, no ellipsis is necessary to denote that the speaker said anything before or after the that sentence, as that is obvious. An ellipsis is helpful, though, if presenting things someone said consecutively that were not said consecutively.
Finishing a sentence with an ellipsis requires four periods....
|While necessary occasionally (and especially in first-hand interviews), try to avoid using ellipsis in prose.|
|Hyphens||Hyphens should be used to clarify compund modifiers (e.g. "twenty-first-century data center") and to unite two words that express a single idea in a clearer way (e.g. "low-budget").|
Unless otherwise noted, compound nouns ending in a two-syllable "-er" word (e.g. "difference-maker") merit a hyphen as a joiner.
Compound nouns are tricky. Actually, hyphens in general are tricky. Try to adhere by the AP Style Guide if you get confused.
|All questions about hyphenation should be directed to email@example.com.|
|Parentheses and Brackets||If parentheses occur within a sentence but adjacent to some form of punctuation (including a comma or period), the punctuation mark should always be placed after the closing parenthesis (like this).|
If the parentheses stands alone outside of a sentence, the punctuation mark goes inside the closing parenthesis. (Like this.)
|It is never correct to place a comma directly before a parenthetical expression.|
|Quotation Marks||Double quotation marks ("...") are the standard form in all Colocation America blogs. |
Single quotation marks should only be used in headlines or to set off a quote within a quote.
Commas and periods always go "inside," and not "outside", the "quotation marks."
If the sentence is a question ending with a quoted term, the question mark goes after the final quotation mark. (Does that "make sense"?) Most of the time, the punctuation is part of the larger sentence and should not go inside (again, with the exception of periods and commas).
If the quoted term is itself a question, the question mark goes inside the final quotation mark. (Do we really have to ask, "Got it?")
|A regular quote within a block quote should be treated as a regular quote with double quotation marks because the block quote may be presented as it appears in source materials.|