The PPG Canadian Editorial Style Guide was created as a starting point for our editors. It is used for all PPG authors who haven’t requested another specific editorial style guide for their books.
Obviously, English is far from being a simple, straightforward language. There are many different editorial style guides associated with the English language, depending on which country an editor is representing: United Kingdom, Canada, the United States of America, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. We all have different ways of spelling and punctuating the English language, so we each use different editorial style guides when editing books.
This is why PPG creates a customized editorial style sheet for all our authors—to ensure consistency in editing for each and every one of their books. The styles are driven, first and foremost, by the author’s preference (if any) as to which primary guide he or she wishes to use (e.g., The Oxford Style Manual for British authors, The Chicago Manual of Style for American authors, a special blend of the two for Canadian authors as shown below). From there, the customized editorial style sheet is created by a book project’s primary editor, and everyone else follows that editor’s lead for every single book published by that author going forward.
PPG Canadian Editorial Style Guide
Spelling and Spelling References
Use behaviour and behavioural, not behavior and behavioral
Use clamour, not clamor; but write clamorous, not clamourous
Use colour (and colourful); not color or colorful
Er and ‘er: Use the word “er” to denote a speech filler, but use ‘er to denote an informal contraction of “her”: e.g., Oh, er, bring the truck ‘round to the gas pump and fill ‘er up.
Use favour (and favourite), not favor or favorite
Use flavour (and flavouring) not flavor or flavoring
Use humour, not humor; but write humorous, not humourous
Use labour, not labor; but write laborious, not labourious
Use metre, not meter
Use savour, not savor
Use TV, not T.V. (plural is TVs)
Generally, Canadian spelling uses “our” for words such as labour, humour, etc, but there are a few exceptions: sailor, tailor. Also, some “our” words drop the “u” when a suffix such as “ious” is added: e.g., laborious, not labourious
Words such as “center” and “meter” use “re” in Canadian spelling: e.g., centre, metre
Grammar and Punctuation
|Style Guide(s) Used
Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) 16th Edition
Oxford Guide to Writing English: The Canadian Handbook
“Numbers in Fiction” The Editor’s Blog (Beth Hill, January 25, 2013)
|Abbreviations and Acronyms
As per The Editor’s Blog, avoid using abbreviations for units of measure and rates of speed (especially for dialogue within the story), if possible. See blog post for examples.
For acronyms, spell out the words (or meaning of the acronym) in full the first time an acronym is used.
Capitalize names and do not place quotation marks around the names of other animals: e.g., write Lucky, not “Lucky”.
Capitalize brand names and manufacturers.
|Dates and Time
As per The Editor’s Blog, avoid using ordinal numbers (e.g., 1st, 30th) for dates that include the month or month and year.
Ex. Write first of June, not June 1st or 1st of June. (Also avoid using superscripts with ordinal numbers in dates; e.g., write 25th, not 25th.)
Oxford Canadian Dictionary of Current English
|Design (Info re layout, font, margins, trim size, etc.)||Italics (as per CMOS)
Use italics to denote unfamiliar foreign words or phrases (or foreign sounding words and phrases; e.g., Genus Humanitas or Genius Humanitas); rather than italics and quotation marks.
Italics (or boldface type) can also be used (sparingly) to show emphasis.
As per the PPG Style Guide, spell out numbers from zero to nine, and write the numerals for anything greater than nine (e.g., 10 not ten).
Exceptions: Write the numbers as words when writing dialogue. (Source: “Numbers in Fiction”, The Editor’s Blog)
Quotation marks may be used to signal that a word is being used in an unusual way or to denote sarcasm or irony. (Note: The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) discourages frequent use of quotation marks for this purpose. Where quotations are used to introduce an unusual phrase or jargon, CMOS recommends dropping the quotation marks for subsequent uses of the same word or phrase.)
Use quotation marks around a word or term when you are referring to it as a word.
As per The Editor’s Blog, write out the words for symbols: e.g., use dollar, not $, percent, not %; degrees not °, etc., especially for dialogue.
|URLs (as per PPG Style Guide)
Write urls in lowercase letters
Related reading: PPG Work-Made-for-Hire Vendor Agreement
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