This style guide offers an overview of the rules Love Is Moving follows on abbreviations, capitalization, hyphenation, italics, numbers, and more.
Writers who wish to know rates of pay and types of pieces we are looking for should see our writer guidelines.
The Canadian Press Stylebook (17th ed.); Caps and Spelling (17th ed.) and the Canadian Oxford Dictionary (2nd ed.)
- Use Oxford comma
- Em dash closed spacing (e.g. a—a)
- En dashes used in year ranges (e.g., 1977–1998)
- No space on either side of ellipses
- Generally, hyphenate after prefixes that end in the same letter as the word begins with (e.g. re-evaluate); use a hyphen when adding a prefix creates an unfamiliar word (e.g. multi-layer)
- Punctuation is usually placed within quotation marks, e.g. “It was a thrill when she sang ‘Rhapsody in Red,’ ” says Nelson. (Note the space between single and double quotes)
- Plurals for words ending in s: usually add the extra s, e.g. Lewis’s. But no extra s in words where a “z” sound precedes (e.g. Jesus’ and Moses’)
- Use sentence case for magazine and website headings and subheadings (capitalize only first word of title, first word after a colon, and any proper nouns)
- Lowercase pronouns referring to God. Exception: don’t alter Bible passages
- Capitalize Great Commission
- Capitalize “Church” in the broadest sense (e.g. Canadian Church; global Church)
- Evangelical when noun, evangelical when word used as a modifier; lowercase evangelicalism
- Lowercase gospel (except for the Gospels when referring to Matthew, Mark, etc.; the Gospel of Luke, etc.)
- Lowercase biblical; uppercase Bible
- Lowercase most job titles, except heads of state and government titles
- Lowercase “scriptures” when referring to Bible verses; capitalize “Scripture” and “the Scriptures” when referring to the whole Bible
- Lowercase non-proper noun descriptors for ethnic groups (brown, white, black) when used as adjectives. “Black” should be capitalized when referring to an ethnic group (such as people of colour within the diaspora)
- Capitalize Aboriginal Peoples and Indigenous Peoples when referring to First Nations, Métis and Inuit people in Canada. Where reasonable, prefer the actual name of the community—Cree, Mohawk, Ojibwa—to a generality.
- Define acronym on first reference, followed by acronym in brackets. When possible avoid acronyms entirely
- Spell out books for the Bible, no abbreviations
- No periods for all-capital abbreviations (e.g. YMCA)
- Periods are used for geographical abbreviations (e.g. B.C., P.E.I.), or if they refer to a person (C.S. Lewis)
- Use longer abbreviation forms for provinces after the name of the community (e.g. Red Deer, Alta.). No name for the province at all after major cities such as provincial capitals (e.g. Edmonton, not Edmonton, Alta.):
- Avoid institutional acronyms; rephrase when possible
- Names of countries are not abbreviated (e.g. United States, not U.S.)
- Use italics for emphasis, sparingly; can also be used to set off an unfamiliar or foreign expression
- Italicize the names of television shows, films, magazines, newspapers, books, pamphlets, reports, plays, paintings, and long poems. Also the names of vehicles such as boats. Also legal statutes and court cases (e.g., the Charter of Rights and Freedoms when the title is mentioned in full, but the shortform “the Charter” is not italicized)
- Titles of stories, songs, articles, episodes in a TV series and shorter poems are put within quotes, not italics, to signify they are part of a larger whole
- Names are listed as first name, last name, and can be referred to by first name on second reference, unless repeating full name is needed for clarity
- In general, use “says” or “said” for all attributions. Exception: when citing a poll or study, “suggests” or “indicates” are more appropriate. We prefer present tense with attribution (she says, not she said)
Sources (title of work and author) should be worked narratively into the story, as opposed to providing citations with page numbers. For example, “As Christina Crook writes in her book, Good Burdens: How to Live Joyfully in the Digital Age…”
When submitting drafts to a Love Is Moving editor, please also list sources (including URLs if referencing a web article) at the end of the article. They do not need to be formatted in a particular way, they are simply for reference, to ensure sources are cited accurately within the published article.
- Don’t let paragraphs go longer than five lines in most cases
- In general, replace “is” with the more conversational apostrophe s; there’s, not there is, etc.
- Avoid amongst and amidst. Among and amid are better.
- Use “Indigenous Peoples” as an umbrella term that includes all First Nations, Métis and Inuit people in Canada. “First Nations” usually refers to people on-reserve only. Avoid the common construction “Canada’s Indigenous Peoples.” To many, it evokes a sense of possession and colonialism. Use “Indigenous Peoples in Canada” instead. Avoid “native.” The word “tribe” in its original sense was reserved for primitive peoples. Some First Nations use it casually and it need not be entirely avoided. But community, people, nation, band, language group are alternatives.
Numbers and per cents
- Spell out one to ten; use digits for 11 and above; spell out “ one hundred,” “two million,” etc.
- Currency amounts always shown with a numeral (e.g. $50, not $50.00)
- For round amounts of one hundred and above, write out “hundred,” etc., and hyphenate when used as an adjective (e.g., $4 million; $4-million mark)
- Use Arabic numerals for books of the Bible, not Roman numerals such as I and II (e.g., 1 Timothy). Don’t print chapter and verse references unless quoting a few words of the text.
- Per cent, not percent. Avoid % symbol, except in charts or sidebars or paragraphs with so many percentages that spelling out feels cumbersome.
Dates and time
- 2 p.m.; 2:30 a.m. PST (often Pacific Time is better so no one needs worry about the difference between Daylight Time and Standard Time)
- May 4 and June 21, not May 4th or June 21st
- Abbreviate Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. when used with specific date. Spell out standing alone or with year alone.
- For plural decades, no apostrophe between year and “s” (e.g., 1970s)
- 18th century (not 18th Century)
- For telephone numbers, 905-479-5885 (no parentheses around area code)
- apostle; the Twelve Apostles; the Apostle Paul
- fund raising (adj. fund-raising)
- full-time (adj.)
- health care
- practise when verb, practice when noun
- Ten Commandments
- world view
© The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada. Updated October 2023. By Ilana Reimer, with original contributions from Bill Fledderus.