Welcome to our live New Earth Almanac Style Guide!
A style guide is a document that outlines the rules and references that a publication follows for their writing. Our style guide has sections to explain which dictionary and style books we reference, the tone of our publication, common grammar rules that appear in writing, and rules that are unique to the Almanac.
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The style guide is a tool for both our contributors and our editors to help in the process of writing and editing each article we publish. Please feel free to check out the page and learn more about the process of bringing every Almanac article to life!
- Style Guide:
- Most commonly, we reference the rules of the Associated Press (AP) Stylebook.
- Occasionally we reference the rules of the Chicago Manual of Style.
- We refer to the Dictionary by Merriam-Webster for all matters of usage, spelling, and hyphenation.
We take a conversational tone with our readers and use easy-to-understand language. We want our articles to be accessible to adult readers of all educational backgrounds.
Common Rules to Reference
- In general, spell out one through nine. Use figures for 10 or above or whenever preceding a unit of measure or referring to ages of people, animals, events or things. Also in all tabular matter, and in statistical and sequential forms.
- Use figures for: ages; centuries; dates, years and decades; decimals, percentages and fractions with numbers larger than 1; dimensions; distances; mathematical usage; millions, billions, trillions; monetary units; odds, proportions and ratios; rank; school grades; sequential designations; recipes; speeds; temperatures; times, etc.
- Spell out: at the start of a sentence; in indefinite and casual uses; proper names; formal language and figures of speech, etc.
For further reference, refer to the AP Stylebook’s numerals page.
2. Italics vs. Quotation Marks for Titles
- The choice of italics or quotation marks for a title of a work cited in text or notes is determined by the type of work. Titles of books and periodicals are italicized; titles of articles, chapters, and other shorter works are enclosed in quotation marks.
- Types of works that are italicized: books, periodicals, plays, pamphlets, reports, movies, movie series, television programs, radio programs, podcast programs, video games, operas, oratorios, paintings, drawings, photographs, statues, and other works of art.
- Types of works that are in quotation marks: articles, chapters, features, short stories, essays, poems, folktales, fables, fairy tales, nursery rhymes, episodes of television programs, episodes of radio programs, episodes of podcast programs, titled sections and pages of websites, and songs.
- For further reference, refer to the Chicago Manual of Style’s italics versus quotation marks for titles page.
3. Em Dashes
- The em dash, often simply called the dash (–), is the most commonly used and most versatile of the dashes. Em dashes are used to set off an amplifying or explanatory element and in that sense can function as an alternative to parentheses, commas, or a colon—especially when an abrupt break in thought is called for.
- Spaces surrounding the em dash should be closed (like the example after "colon" above).
- For further reference, refer to the Chicago Manual of Style’s em dashes instead of commas, parentheses, or colons page.
- When a month is used with a specific date, abbreviate only Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. Spell out when using alone, or with a year alone.
- When a phrase lists only a month and a year, do not separate the year with commas. When a phrase refers to a month, day and year, set off the year with commas.
- Ex. January 2016 was a cold month. Jan. 2 was the coldest day of the month. Feb. 14, 2013, was the target date. She testified that it was Friday, Dec. 3, when the crash occurred.
- For further reference, refer to the AP Stylebook’s months page.
5. Punctuating Cities and States
- Place one comma between the city and the state name, and another comma after the state name, unless ending a sentence.
- Ex. He was traveling from Nashville, Tennessee, to Austin, Texas, en route to his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
- For further reference, refer to the AP Stylebook’s state names page.
6. It’s vs. Its
- It’s is a contraction for it is or it has.
- Ex. It’s the best online digital magazine. It’s been a very hot summer.
- Its is the possessive form of the pronoun.
- Ex. The magazine has its own Audio Almanac.
- For further reference, refer to the AP Stylebook’s it’s, its page.
Plural nouns not ending in s:
- Add: ’s
- Ex. the alumni’s contributions, women’s rights.
Plural nouns ending in s:
- Add only an apostrophe
- Ex. the churches’ needs, the girls’ toys.
Nouns plural in form, singular in meaning:
- Add only an apostrophe
- Ex. mathematics’ rules, measles’ effects.
Nouns the same in singular and plural:
- Treat them the same as plurals, even if the meaning is singular
- Ex. one corps’ location, the two deer’s tracks.
Singular nouns not ending in s:
- Add: ’s
- Ex. the church’s needs, the girl’s toys.
Singular common nouns ending in s:
- Add ’s
- Ex. the virus’s reach, the virus’s spread.
Singular proper names ending in s:
- Use only an apostrophe
- Ex. Achilles’ heel, Descartes’ theories, Jesus’ life.
For further reference, refer to the AP Stylebook’s possessives page.
Compliment vs. Complement
- Compliment - an expression of esteem, respect, affection, or admiration; an admiring remark
Ex. Marci accepted the compliment about her new hair cut graciously.
- Complement - something that fills up, completes, or makes better or perfect
Ex. The green dress is a perfect complement to her fiery red hair.
For further reference, refer to Dictionary by Merriam-Webster’s “Complement vs. Compliment” page.
- Use a single space after a period at the end of a sentence.
For further reference, refer to AP Stylebook’s periods page.
1. AP vs. CMOS
- Other than the common rules cited above which were referring to the Chicago Manual of Style, the New Earth Almanac will refer to the AP Stylebook for all other style choices.
- The choice to use two style guides for reference is reflective of the unique content that this publication provides. Magazines are journalism by nature, but the tone and style of some articles in our journal can take a style more similar to novels and longer forms of writing. A blend of the two style guides is reflective of the New Earth Almanac’s blend of writing styles.
2. Treatment of New Earth Concepts
The following New Earth concepts (including the phrase New Earth) will be capitalized when referenced:
- Moon Phases, Chakras, Soul Signs, Crystals, Tarot Cards, and Astrological Signs.
- Ex. Full Strawberry Moon, Heart Chakra, Gladiator, Rose Quartz, Three of Cups, Libra, etc.
- Paragraphs are not indented because of our stylistic preferences.
- We use 12 pt. font and 1.2 line spacing for the body text of all articles.
Alphabetized List of Capitalized Words
- Abred, Akashic Records, Amazonite, Amber, Amethyst, Angel Aura Rose Quartz, Angelite, Aquamarine, Aquarius, Aries, Aventurine
- Balsamic Moon, Beryl, Black Onyx, Black Tourmaline, Blood Moon, Bloodstone, Blue Chalcedony, Blue Ethers, Blue John Fluorite, Blue Lace Agate
- Cancer, Capricorn, Carnelian, Celestite, Ceugant, Chariot, Citrine, Clear Quartz, Cold Path of Death, Copper, Crescent Moon, Crown Chakra, Cuprite, The Cups
- Dark Moon, Death card, Desert Rose Selenite, The Devil, Diamond, Disseminating Moon, the Divine, Druid
- Earth, Eight of Swords, Emerald, The Emperor
- Fifth Ether, First Quarter Moon, Four of Cups, Full Moon, Full Beaver Moon, Full Buck Supermoon
- Garnet, Gemini, Gibbous Moon, Golden Labradorite, Golden Sheen Obsidian, Green Moonstone, Green Tourmaline, Gwynvyd
- Heart Chakra, Hematite, The Hierophant
- Kambo, Kunzite, Kyanite
- Labradorite, Lapis Lazuli, Larimar, Larvakite, Last Quarter Moon, Leo, Lepidolite, Libra
- The Magician, Malachite, Mookaite Jasper, Malachite, The Moon, Moonstone, Mother Earth
- Nephrite Jade, New Moon, Nine of Cups, Nine of Pentacles
- Obsidian, Opal, Orange Calcite
- Paraiba Tourmaline, Peacock Ore, The Pentacles, Pink Opal, Pisces, Prasiolite, Purple Jade, Pyrite
- Queen of Pentacles
- Sacral Chakra, Sagittarius, Sapphire, Scorpio, Shakti, Selenite, Shungite, Six of Cups, Six of Swords, Six of Wands, Smokey Quartz, Snow Moon, Solar Plexus Chakra, Spectrolite, Sunstone, Supermoon, The Swords
- Rainbow Obsidian, Red Jasper, Rhodochrosite, Root Chakra, Rose Quartz, Ruby
- Tanzanite, Tarot, Taurus, Ten of Wands, Third Eye Chakra, Three of Cups, Throat Chakra, Tiger’s Eye, Topaz, Tree Agate, Treskele, Turquoise, Two of Swords
- The Wands, Warm Path of Death
- Yellow Aventurine, Yellow Jasper