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Reference Materials

Chicago Manual of Style

When in doubt, turn to the Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) to know when to use a semicolon, where to place an apostrophe, how to capitalize and format a book title or the name of a song, etc. Any deviations from this book will be listed in the "SFTT House Style" section below, along with any issues that might benefit from additional clarification.

Merriam-Webster

This is our go-to dictionary and thesaurus. Use it if you're trying to choose between "duffle bag" and "duffel bag" (the latter) or if you need to know whether or not we would hyphenate "reread" (we would not).

 

SFTT House Style

Hyphenating Ages

Follow the Grammar Girl guidelines for this. Here are some examples:

  • I took my three-year-old son to the store with me.
  • The three-year-old was on his best behavior at the store.
  • My son is three years old.

Spacing between Sentences

Please only allow one space between sentences—not two, not three, not seven. For bonus points, please remove any additional spaces at the end of paragraphs; authors who move sentences around in a text editor while they write often leave trailing spaces.

 
 

Serial Comma

Whether you call it the serial comma, the Oxford comma, or the obnoxiously pretentious comma, please use this comma in all lists. Otherwise, Hitler wins.

Ellipses

We abide by the CMOS styling of ellipses, which means putting a single space between each period.

  • So . . . how are you?
  • I wasn't quite sure how to answer . . .
 
 

Spelling Out Numbers

As a rule of thumb, please spell out the following numbers as words (rather than using numerals):

  • Whole numbers from one through one hundred
  • Round numbers
  • Any number beginning a sentence

"Who" vs. "That"

Use "who" when referring to a person and "that" when referring to an object, an animal, or a group.

  • She is an editor who enjoys drinking coffee.
  • She has a coffee mug collection that never fully fits in her cupboard.
 
 

Recent Misspellings

The following words have been corrected in recent stories, so please make note for future edits:

  • coworker (should not be hyphenated)
  • miniskirt (one word)
  • breakup (one word)
  • letdown (one word)
  • eyesight (one word)