1) Always try to be clear, real and friendly.
Clear: use words that are easy to understand.
Real: be straightforward and inclusive – we’re much more
than just ‘the council’. We’re Haringey!
Friendly: write with warmth and respect.
Be straightforward, precise and accurate.
Exaggerate, embel ish, bluff or over-promise.
Be succinct. Try to express one idea per sentence.
Write in long sentences, or use 10 words when two will do.
Use slang or colloquialisms.
Use language that is appropreate and easy to understand.
Use overly complicated, technical or unusual words.
Lead with the most important message.
Bury key information down the page or screen.
Create energy with short sentences.
Be staid, stuffy or formal.
Use the active voice: ‘We can do this. .’
Use the passive voice: ‘This can be done. .’
This is direct, demonstrates commitment and empowers
ownership of the action.
This is indirect and doesn’t invite ownership.
Be inclusive: address people as ‘you’, and talk about ourselves
Create distance by using the overly formal ‘Haringey wil . .’,
as ‘us’ and ‘we’.
Write as though you’re talking to a good friend.
Write in a way that’s superior, condescending or distant.
Be confident and convey information in a positive and
Be unnecessarily apologetic, pessimistic or technical.
2) Always try to be consistent in the way we write.
We write zero to nine as words, and switch to numerals
from 10 onwards. For example ‘nine out of 10 applications’.
We use symbols to denote currency. We leave out ful
There are a few exceptions to this:
stops, spaces and unnecessary zeros:
Units of measurement, such as £5, 2cm, 9pm, page 6
Numbers joined by a dash meaning ‘to’, such as
£ and p not pounds and pence
5–14, 6–12 years
£3.5 mil ion (not £3,500,000 or £3.5m)
Numbers in a table or figure
£3 (not £3.00), £3.50
Numbers that start a sentence. For example, ’Nineteen
99p (not £0.99)
We write out ordinal numbers 1–9 and switch to
$, €, etc (not USD, dol ars, euro, etc)
numerals from 10 onwards. For example ‘first’, 23rd.
We use the 12-hour clock and use ‘am’ and ‘pm’,
We use full stops and leave out spaces and
We italicise the titles of publications, films, books,
television shows and radio programmes.
7am (not 7.00am, 0700, or seven o’clock)
7.30pm (not 7:30pm, 1930, or half-past seven).
Where possible, use actual dates rather than ambiguous
phrases such as ‘in summer’, ‘next year’. We write dates as:
We don’t use full stops in common abbreviations.
Tuesday 21 December 2015
Mrs, Mr, Dr
21 December 2015
eg, etc, ie
PhD, BA , MSc
We try not to use ampersands (&) – instead, we write
2011–2, 2008–15 (to show periods of time)
out the word ‘and’, unless it is impractical to do so.
2014/15 (to show a financial year)