Editorial Conventions

Insert a single space only between words and after a full stop. Never insert a space before punctuation. Do not indent paragraphs. Ensure your spell-checker is set to the proper language, that is, UK English.

ABBREVIATIONS should be avoided where possible unless the use is normal practice, e.g. GWR. Abbreviations such as Esq., e.g., et seq., etc. have full stops but contractions such as Mr, Dr, St, yd, ft, lb, 1st, 2nd etc. do not.

Apostrophes indicate the possessive. The exception is 'its'. [It's is short for 'it is'.] Whilst it is also used for contractions such as 'can't', 'didn't', etc. we would prefer not to use these.

CAPITALS should be kept to a minimum and reserved generally for proper names.

Always 15 December 1992, except in tabulation when 15.12.1992 is used. Periods such as the 1920s do not have an apostrophe. The 'nineteenth century' not 'C19' or '19th-century'. 1940s not '40s, but forties is acceptable.

FOREIGN WORDS (including Latin and Cornish) will be in italics.

GRID REFERENCES as OS usage, viz. SW 123456

INITIALS in proper names should be followed by full stops and separated by spaces, e.g. J. B. Smith. Company abbreviations, such as railways and canals, have neither full stops nor spaces, viz. GWR, WC&PR, RNLI.

Predecimalisation express in the form £1,066 17s 6d, £1,066 17s, 17s 6d, 10d. Decimal as £1,066.85, £0.85, 85p. Decimal conversion is unnecessary.

Numbers up to ten should be written in words, except in a sequence, and 11 and upwards are figures, unless approximate or part of a phrase. Use commas in large numbers, but not in years.

Single quotation marks are to be used, double quotations only for quotations within quotations.

Old style units should be written out in full in running text. In tables, etc. use the accepted abbreviation without space between the number and abbreviation. lb, oz, cm, cwt, ft, in are always singular but hrs, fms, yds, tons may be expressed in the plural when appropriate. Metric conversion is unnecessary.
Cornish engines, which are described by the cylinder diameter, may be referred to as, for example, 50-inch.

Use the least number of figures possible, except for the range 10 to 19 in each hundred. E.g. 1900-1, 1909-13, 250-1, 217-18. 'From 500 to 600' is better than '500-600', never 'from 500-600'.

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