The Importance of Following a Style Guide

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The Importance of Following a Style Guide


If you’re involved in any sort of business, you’re bound to create written material that will in some way, shape or form communicate what you’re doing with the rest of the world. To ensure your quality of writing is consistent (especially if you’re dealing with multiple writers and contributors), you need to develop and follow a style guide. If all contributing parties follow the same guide, you avoid sloppiness and irregularity. And no one needs that to distract from the main message you’re trying to convey. With the amount of discrepancies and exceptions within the English language, we need to select the ones that make the most sense to us. And then stick to them.

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A Breakdown of the Different Types of Editing

2349632625_4eba371b56_zWhen you ask someone to edit a document for you, you need to specify exactly what you want done. Editing takes on several forms that involve varying degrees of time, effort and attention to detail. So, here’s a rundown of the main types of editing so you know exactly what to tell your editor:


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The Elusive English Language and its Lack of Phonetics

16617603_sThe English language is known for having an exception to every rule in the book. Thus, not making any sense whatsoever. Words like Colonel, Wednesday, February, sherbet, scissors, laugh, poignant and yacht have been giving native and non-native English speakers a headache for as long as they’ve been around. They aren’t written at all the way they’re pronounced. And there’s no rule to learn to make sense of any of them. You just have to learn to pronounce them as they are. Sorry.

Phonology is a branch of linguistics that deals with systems of sounds pertaining to the relationships between the sounds of language. This is what makes pronouncing words easier. If they’re written the logical way, it makes it easier for us to read them.

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Commonly Confused Words

commonly-confused-wordsThe following examples are words that are very similar to each other, stemming from the same root and often the cause of confusion as a result. Don’t worry — confusing these words is very common and doesn’t make you horribly wrong because differences are subtle. Thankfully, we’re here to put things into the right context. So from now on, you’ll know the right time to use the right ones.

Continual vs. Continuous

Something that is continual involves a start and stop. Like weather, for example. It will always rain, snow, etc., but it happens here and there. Also things like having a cold, arguing with someone or having to go for jury duty — all of these are continual.

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