This is very much a “working” style guide, and it will regularly be updated and expanded.
At The Record, our style is open to many usage preferences, and we frequently accept usage that other publications would not. (Our adoption of “their” as a third-person singular pronoun is one example.) We use American English spellings, punctuation, and conventions; however, because many of our readers and contributors use British English and common regionalisms, we don’t make a fuss over the occasional “football pitch” or “preponement.”
Transliterated words are an especially tricky area for us. If you have a strong case for why a word should be spelled a particular way in English, we’re happy to consider it.
For style issues not included in our guide, please refer to The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition. For preferred spellings and punctuation, please refer to Merriam-Webster’s 11th Collegiate Dictionary.
Write out on first mention.
In general, sentences must begin with a capital letter. We’ll make an exception if you are using a proper noun that is written with lower case letters—say, the name bell hooks, or iPhone. However, for the sake of readers, wherever possible, rewrite the sentence.
Professional titles and designations
Make professional titles lowercase when they do not immediately precede a name. (During her time as chief district officer . . . ; The Supreme Court is headed by Chief Justice Karki.)
Letters of the alphabet
When referring to a letter of the alphabet, italicize it and write it in lowercase script. When pluralizing, add “ ’s”. (I loved the way her w’s sometimes sounded like v’s.)
In general, italicize a non-English word or transliterated word on first use. Thereafter, do not italicize.
Italicize titles of books, films, television shows, plays, and names of media organizations. (The Vanishing Act, Kalo Pothi, The Kathmandu Post)
Spell out numbers from one to ten; use numerals from 11 onward. (Five women; 65 houses)
Write out currency figures up to and including one hundred (five dollars; 1,500 rupees), except in scientific use (or in, say, an article on the economy with many figures), in which case use the international currency code (USD 500; NPR 2,000).
Month Day, Year. (June 1, 1900)
Abbreviate Bikram Sambat as “BS.” (2067 BS)
Do not use an apostrophe with decades, except when the decade is abbreviated. (1920s; the ’60s)
Spell-out fractions. (One-third, twenty-three-and-a-half)
Write weight in numerical form. (30 kilos)
Spell out times of day in even, half, and quarter hours. When emphasis on exact time is needed, use number and “p.m.” or “a.m.” (The court adjourned promptly at five p.m.)
Use a serial comma. (The community is planting rice, millet, and wheat.)
To hyphenate or not to hyphenate? It’s endlessly confusing. Here’s a quick guide (adapted from Bill Walsh’s Lapsing into a Comma):
- Compound nouns: Sometimes these are one word, sometimes hyphenated, sometimes two words. Look in our style guide, and if not there look in the dictionary.
– They made a backroom deal in the office’s back room.
- Verb + preposition compound nouns: One word or hyphenated.
- Compound verbs: Hyphenated.
- Compound adjective: Usually hyphenated, but when in doubt, look-up.
– rice-planting season
– high school student
All punctuation goes inside quotation marks, with the exception of colons and semicolons. (“The new building is an embarrassment,” the report said. The authors claimed it had “no sense of proportion”; “poor ventilation,” which will make the rooms “stuffy and hot” and “lead to walls caked in mold”; and an exterior color that “must have been on sale.”)
May be used to mean either “it is to be hoped that” or “while full of hope.”
“Might” is the past tense of “may.” (They might not have been aware of existing law.)
Use “might” to express that an event is unlikely to occur. (Sure, load shedding might be solved by the end of the year. But we may not want to hold our breath.)
May be used as a gender-neutral third-person singular pronoun.
Words (accepted spellings, punctuation, and capitalization)
Bachelor of Arts, BA
Bikram Sambat (BS)
Central Development Region
chief district officer (CDO)
district: capitalize when used as a proper noun (Dang District)
district development committee (DDC)
dollars (see “Currency”)
Eastern Development Region
Far Western Development Region/Far West
Government of Nepal
hard-working (She is hard-working.)
Koirala, B. P.
load shedding, n.
Master of Arts, MA
Master of Science, MSc
Mid Western Development Region/Mid West
Nepali (not Nepalese)
Newa (used instead of Newar, in keeping with following primary sources of terms for spelling proper nouns; transliterating नेवा: as used by the community)
noes (plural of no)
NPR (see “Currency”)
rupee (see “Currency”)
self-made (She’s a self-made millionaire.)
toward (not towards)
UK: abbreviate as an adj. (UK ambassador, but living in the United Kingdom)
US: abbreviate as an adj. (US foreign policy, but living in the United States)
USD (see “Currency”)
village development committee (VDC)
Western Development Region