Style Guides

➲  Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2011 18:15:11 +0200; Tags: [typography].

At least, one thing is clear: there is no International English, and, like in computer science, ‘Dual standard’ is mostly equivalent to ‘No Standard’.
Nevertheless, for a given piece of publication, one should at least try to stick to one set of rules. There are actually many more-or-less-official institutions around the world which edit quite a few incompatible style guides. However, as most of these books are actually printed (and expensive) books, I have been trying to find content freely available on-line …
For American English, the most famous style guide is ‘The Chicago Manual of Style’. It is actually on-line but it is free only during a 30 days trial period. You may find particular style guides actually based on it like the one provided by the American Anthropological Association.
One nice set of guides for British English has been made freely available by the European Union. The Interinstitutional style guide is a mix of general rules and EU-specific formatting guidelines. Better, their Translation and drafting resources give access to their valuable English style guide (PDF) and their ‘How To Write Clearly’ publication (PDF too).
Finally, free as in Free Speech, there is Wikipedia's Manual of Style. It tries to accommodate with both American and British Englishes and with many legacy usages. It is very detailed though, and it links to many interesting specialised guides.
I look forward to get any other interesting link on the matter … especially on American English.

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Sebastien Mondet


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