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Dave the Cook

Society Style Guide

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The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters Style Guide

The following style guidelines are mandatory for all Society editorial contributors, such as Daily Gullet contributors and eGullet Culinary Institute instructors, and strongly advised for all Society staff. Members are not required to adhere to the style guide, however given our international audience many of these guidelines (such as date conventions) will aid in clarity. We may therefore edit topic titles and other content to conform to the style guide.

The Society name

The formal name of the entity is The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The name must be treated with respect at all times, and reproduced in accordance with these guidelines.

  • The name, and the approved abbreviations, should be reproduced exactly as shown, including capitalization and the ampersand (no italics necessary).
  • When writing a formal or legal document, the first mention should be the full name: The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters.
  • After the initial use of the name, you may abbreviate it throughout the rest of the document. Select one of the approved abbreviations and put it in parentheses after the full name: The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters (the Society). From then on, you can use simply Society or the Society, as appropriate.
  • Approved abbreviations are: Society or (the) Society.
  • Do not use the possessive when referring the the Society (i.e., never write “the Society’s”). Reword if necessary, but often you can drop the apostrophe along with the preceding “the” without changing meaning (the Society’s members vs. Society members).
  • There is no entity known as eGullet or eGullet.org. eGullet is an adjective.
  • When typing out the site URL or Society e-mail addresses, capitalize the “G”: www.eGullet.org; sshaw@eGullet.org.
  • Never capitalize the intial “e” in “eGullet,” even when starting a sentence.

Our services and people

When referring to the different areas of the Society webspace, use the following names exactly as typed, including capitalization (do not use italics):

  • The forums are eG Forums or the forums. No other variant is acceptable.
  • The eGullet Culinary Institute may also be referred to as eGCI, after initial mention of the full name.
  • The online magazine is the Daily Gullet. Do not abbreviate this as TDG or tDG.
  • RecipeGullet, ImageGullet, eG Radio, eG Spotlight. No abbreviations, including eGRA.
  • When referring to a specific person’s title, do not capitalize it unless it begins a sentence (e.g., Joe Smith, host; Jane Jones, manager).
  • People who have cleared the membership process are not users, eGulleters or eGulleteers, they are members. Collectively, they are the membership or Society members.

General

  • Don’t Over–Capitalize. Article titles aside, only people/product names and other proper nouns need to be capitalized.
  • Remember your audience. Society members and readers come from all over the world. Do not assume that everybody reading an article, post or topic title is in California, even when posting in the California forum. A topic title such as “Pre-theater recommendations” should be rewritten as “Pre-theater recommendations in London.” Be mindful of the international audience when writing addresses, dates, phone numbers, weights, measures and monetary values.
  • Do not use ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. It is difficult to read, and looks as if you are yelling at the recipient. Only legal requirements should supersede this guideline.

Common abbreviations

  • US, UK, EU, Alabama, New York City (but use postal codes in addresses)
  • IBM, YMCA
  • B.A., Dr., Ph.D.
  • aka (no quotes) not a.k.a.
  • ampersand (&), only when part of an official name

Internet terms

  • internet (no capital I)
  • email, but e-zine and e-learning
  • website, webspace, webzine, weblog (or blog) and webmaster, but web page and web server (no capital Ws)
  • web-based

Non-English terms

  • No italics for commonly used non-English terms. (For culinary terms, if a moderately traveled gourmet would know what the term means, it is not italicized): carpaccio, moo goo gai pan, foie gras, e.g., i.e., et al.
  • Italicize (and define on first mention) non-English terms not in common usage: ichimi (Japanese chile).

Numbers

  • One, two, three . . . twelve (but in recipes and technical instances use 1, 2, 3, 9; ages also get numerals). Above twelve, use numerals -- but spell it out if a sentence begins with a number.
  • 1,000
  • 1 million, 2 billion, 3 trillion
  • Always specify currency type: $1 million (US), $145 (CDN), €60,000, £35 (for other currencies use standard three-letter codes; see (http://www.xe.com/ucc/)
  • 1%, 2 grams (or 2 g), 3 inches (or 3 in)
  • Note spacing: 4" x 5", 1 + 1 = 2 (4" space x space 5", 1 space + space 1 space = space 2)
  • Specify the time zone if relevant: 8:30pm EST is acceptable, though 20:30 EST is preferable.
  • For North American phone numbers include the country code (1) and punctuate with periods, e.g., 1.212.555.1234; for phone numbers elsewhere it is acceptable to use the prevailing local country and city code designation and punctuate the rest of the number with periods, e.g., for UK phone numbers both 44.20.1234.5678 and +44 (20) 1234.5678 would be acceptable.
  • The convention for dates is: day date month year. The day of the week is optional. The month should always be spelled out (e.g., Monday 4 December 2004, not 4/12/04), or abbreviated thus: Mon 4 Dec 04.

Punctuation

  • The convention for en and em dashes is: en dash = space hyphen space: word - word
    an em dash is space hyphen hyphen space: word -- word
  • Directions or geographical notations are lower case (southeast, northwest), except when discussing a region as a culinary archetype (“the South,” “the Piemonte”).
  • Plurals: don't use an apostrophe: 1980s not 1980's, M.D.s not M.D.'s, "ABC"s not "ABC"'s
  • No serial comma: (red, white and blue), unless necessary for clarity (red and white, white and blue, and green and flamingo)
  • Use semicolons to avoid ambiguity (7 August 1989; 15 May 1990; and 4 January 1991)
  • To make an ellipsis, separate periods with spaces: . . . not ...
    - Use three periods to indicate omission mid-sentence
    - Use four periods to indicate whole sentence omissions or omissions at the beginning or end of a sentence
    - Use five periods on a separate line to indicate paragraph omissions in a block quote
  • Periods and commas inside "quotation marks," (but outside parentheses).
  • Question marks and other punctuation inside when part of the quote, outside when not.
  • No quotation marks around block quotes (approximately 50 or more words); indent instead.
  • Punctuation adjacent to italicized content should not be italicized: (eGullet), not (eGullet).

Spelling

In general, avoid accent diacritical marks: cafe, not café, even when it’s the proper name, as in Café Gray (which should be Cafe Gray, in the Society vernacular). This, and the following, will improve search engine results:

  • American spelling: flavor not flavour, color not colour
  • Avoid dipthongs if possible: encyclopedia not encyclopaedia (Caesar Salad excepted)
  • Saute, not sauté or sautee (past tense is sauteed, however)
  • Filet, not fillet, unless it's something you're doing to a fish

Titles

  • Names of publications spelled out and italicized on first mention: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal; but the Times and the Journal thereafter, where not ambiguous.
  • Book titles and periodical names in italics; chapter and article titles in quotes.
  • Proper names in full on first mention (Steven A. Shaw); subsequently last name only (Shaw).
  • Refer to forums by their full names, e.g., the Vancouver, British Columbia and Western Canada forum, not the Vancouver forum.

Gender

  • "He or she" or "she or he" (and variants) are acceptable, as is "he" to mean "he or she." No "s/he." No "she" to mean "he or she." No "they" unless it is grammatically correct. Indeed, no nothing unless it is grammatically correct.

Food and place names

  • Wine or grape varietals or types are lower case (e.g., cabernet sauvignon; meritage) unless it is part of the wine’s name (e.g., Boone’s Farm Scuppernong ’03). Place names associated with varietals are capitalized as appropriate to proper nouns (southern Burgundy mourvedre)
  • The same rule applies to other foods: parmesan cheese, but Parmigiano Reggiano; Kobe beef; Hudson Valley foie gras. Be careful and respectful of trademarks.

This guide was last updated on 12 Feb 2012 and is subject to change.


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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