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This is a general-purpose editorial style guide for people who write for the web or digital media.

As a copyeditor and writer I’ve produced many editorial style guides for my clients, and they have a lot in common (the style guides, not the clients). While brand voice may be a unique thing for each organisation, the mechanics of style can be much the same from one website to another. So I thought it would be helpful to compile this generic style guide – for my clients, for myself, and for you if you find it useful.

—John Clifford



This isn’t a hugely original piece of work. Like dictionaries, editorial style guides are not supposed to be original.

I’ve drawn on The Economist Style Guide, the Mailchimp Content Style Guide, the Telegraph style book, the Guardian and Observer style guide, and the Government Digital Service style guide among other sources.

UK English

This is a UK-English style guide. Much of the content is also relevant to US and other versions of English but of course there are differences of vocabulary, spelling and usage, which are beyond the scope of this guide. Apologies to our transatlantic cousins. (Or should that be Translatlantic, TransAtlantic, trans-Atlantic, or Trans-Atlantic? See transatlantic.)

Feedback and comments

This is a work in progress. I welcome feedback, contributions, comments, constructive criticism, and – heaven forfend  – corrections of any typos etc. Please contact me.

Writing style

Grammar and syntax

Time and place

Word list