PJV Style Guide by Amir Shoam

Updates should either appear at the beginning of the article, or integrated into the article. Outdated information should not appear before the notice that it is outdated.

Bios and Notes such as where a reprinted article was first published should appear at the bottom of the article. Only notes related to the article’s content should appear at the beginning.

Job Titles only get capital letters when they are both the person’s official title and either appear directly before the name, with no punctuation in between, or used instead of the person’s name. Punctuation should be used to avoid a string of words with capital letters.

Numbers between one and nine are usually spelled out. (See AP guide.) A sentence never starts with a numeral.

The letters “st,” “nd,” “rd” and “th” should be written on the same line as the number they follow.

Approximate Numbers are written as “about X,” “more than X,” “between X and Y,” etc. Do not use “around X,” “over X,” “X-Y,” etc.

Fractions: Both numbers are written on the same line, e.g. 1/2, 2/3, 1/4.

Percentages use the % sign.

Degrees Fahrenheit are written using the code ° followed by the letter F (no spaces).

Abbreviations of months, states and job titles are only used when space is limited, or for long words such as “representative.” State postal codes are an acceptable replacement for AP’s state abbreviations.

Titles should not assume the reader has seen any other part of the article. All contractions and shorts are acceptable, but non-famous names should be avoided. The article itself should not refer to the title, which might be changed after publication. Every word with more than three letters (e.g. “from,” “about,” “with”) and every verb (including “is,” etc.) and pronoun (e.g. “it,” “us”) gets a capital letter. (See AP guide.)

Excerpts should assume the reader has seen the title and the byline, and avoid repeating them. An excerpt should be made of complete sentences, but does not have to be a quote from the article and should not include links. If the title changes, the excerpt might need to be changed accordingly. The article should not assume the reader has seen the excerpt.

Tags should not include category names, a regular writer’s name or duplicates, such as both ISIL and ISIS. Last names and initials can be used as long as they are not shared with an unrelated person or organization.

Photo Captions should clearly identify any person or object seen in them and relevant to the article. When crediting a person, it needs to be clear whether they are credited for the photo or for the object seen in it. The caption should end with a period regardless of whether the last sentence in it is complete.

Required Image Sizes are 150×150 pixels for the front page, and 348×180 for the top widget. The front-page image may or may not be included in the article itself.

Bylines for non-regular writers are italicized and start with a dash followed by the word “by” (lowercase).

Dashes are written using the code — and get spaces before and after (unlike hyphens).

The right Tense for writing about specific events is the past tense, except for titles (not excerpts), subheads and fictional events.

Dr. is only used for medical doctors.

Mr. and Mrs. are only used when writing about a married couple.

Initials, except for those more famous than the full name, should be used in parentheses following the organization’s full name on first mention. After the first mention, initials are enough.

First Names are only used when mentioning a person for the first time; in excerpts, photo captions and tables; and when writing about two people with the same last name.

Pronouns should not be used as a person’s first mention in a paragraph or an excerpt. A person’s last name or job title needs to be used in every paragraph that mentions them.

There is X” is not as good as “X is” (“There are some X that are” => “Some X are”), or even “X is there.”

Periods and Commas are put inside the quote marks even when they are not part of the quote.

The text after a Colon or inside Parentheses starts with a capital letter whenever it is a complete sentence.

Bold Text is only for subheads.

Italics are only for foreign words (not including names), and for sentences that are not an integral part of the article.

Foreign Phrases should only be used when no equally understandable phrase exists in English. They should be followed by a translation.

Capital Letters are only for names, titles and subheads.

Underlines are never used.

Names of books, movies, plays and events get quote marks, or a link when first mentioned. Names of newspapers and magazines only get capital letters (not italics).

Linking several times to the same page should be avoided. Linking names alone should be avoided, unless linking to an “about” page, a Wikipedia page, etc. Naked URLs should be avoided as well. It is better to set out-of-site links to open in a new tab. (Linking within the site is preferred.)

Subheads use capital letters and shorts the same way titles do. They should not assume the reader has read any part of the article and should not follow each other directly — do not use “sub-subheads.”

Lists can be either made of complete sentences or not, but must be consistent. In the former case, the sentence before the list should also be complete. Lists should be numbered only when the order of items matters. List items only start with capital letters when they are sentences or proper names.

Quote Blocks should follow a complete sentence.

Ellipsis is only used in the middle of a quote, and when it is otherwise suggested that the quote is complete. It should be made of three periods rather than the single ellipsis mark and directly follow the word before it.

Brackets should not be used extensively. Paraphrases and partial quotes are better.

Self-References should only be used when mentioning something that does not usually happen to the author – not “I think,” “I asked,” etc.

Reader References should be as inclusive as possible about our readership, which is intended to include a Jewish community in a wide geographic area with a wide range of ages, educations, interests, and political and religious beliefs. Expressions like “as you have heard” or “our candidate” will needlessly exclude readers.

References to the Article should not state the obvious: Phrases like “here is,” and especially “click here,” should be avoided.

The Philadelphia Jewish Voice is the right name — not “Philadelphia Jewish Voice” or “PJVoice.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu‘s English name is Benjamin — not “Bibi” or “Binyamin,” except in quotes.

ISIL, not ISIS or IS, is the form used, for consistency.

LGBT is the tag used even when the article itself uses a longer acronym.