What are the WikiAnswers style rules?

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WikiAnswers Style Guide
In order to make the site the best it can possibly be, we have found that some things need to be done in standard ways. Thus, we have created this Style Guide. Below you will find listed grammar, spelling, and style conventions that are recommended for use on WikiAnswers. Keep in mind that these are guidelines, rather than hard and fast rules. Following them enables the formatting of questions to be standardized, thereby reducing repeated effort among contributors when the same question is asked a different way and receives another answer (only to eventually be merged with the original question).

  • Answers begin at the left margin and read like a book, from margin to margin. While it is sometimes tempting to center an answer, centering of answers needs to be avoided in favor of the margin to margin format.
  • Answers should be written in "normal" typeface. Use font attributes sparingly and for emphasis.
  • Capitalization should be reserved for common usage such as acronyms, abbreviations, the first letter of a sentence, and proper nouns.
  • Italics should be reserved for quotes, citations, and foreign words within a sentence, or for emphasizing a word or phrase. Please do not italicize long sentences or paragraphs.
  • Bold should be reserved for headlines and sub-headlines, or the occasional strong emphasis.

Contractions should be avoided in questions where possible. Try not to begin your question with Can't, Won't, Wasn't, Weren't, Haven't, Hasn't, etc. If your sentence sounds awkward without the contraction, then try referring to the question "How do you ask a question without using a contraction?" (included in the related links).

  • Okay instead of OK or O.K. (only use periods in questions when necessary for terms like Web 2.0 or Windows 3.1)
  • Pleonasms (redundancies, superfluous words) should be avoided: VIN or VIN code instead of VIN number, PIN or PIN code instead of PIN number, ATM instead of ATM machine

  • 1964 or 1960s, instead of '64, 60's, sixties, etc.
  • When needed, use B.C. and A.D. for dates.

  • Use one apostrophe for feet and two for inches (quotation marks can't be used in questions).
  • Use "x" instead of "by." For example, e.g. 8' x 14'' ... 7 mm x 12 cm

Special Characters:
  • When you are trying to make a point using one exclamation mark is enough.
  • Special characters including commas cannot be used in questions because of limitations in our system. There should be no ampersands, dollar signs, percentage symbols, parentheses, etc. Only letters, digits, hyphens, and single quotation marks (apostrophes) can be used.
  • In questions, periods should only be used in terms such as "5.0 engine" and "Windows 3.1." We discourage questions that require more than one sentence to ask.
  • In questions, 1am, 10pm, etc. instead of 1:00 a.m., ten PM, etc. (we can't use colons in questions).
  • In questions, quotation marks need to be substituted with single quotes (apostrophes) for technical reasons. Quote 'like this' instead of "like this."

Phrasing of Questions:
  • We use American English, unless the question is written in another language. We don't do this to offend, but only so that we have a consistent spelling throughout the site and know what to do when we find similar questions with contrasting spelling.
  • Use the second person pronoun, you and your, instead of I, me, and my. For example, "How do you know you are pregnant?" instead of "How do I know if I'm pregnant?" Do not use the formal one; as in "How does one know she is pregnant?" This helps other people realize that our questions are for everyone, not only for the individual who asked them.
  • Whenever possible, questions should start with a traditional question word. These include who, what, where, when, why, or how (but not how come: why should be used instead), as well as whom, are, can, could, did, do, does, had, has, have, is, may, might, must, need, should, was, were, which, whose, will, and would. Other words might also be acceptable, but in general, the simplest way to ask is usually the best.

  • As a general rule, spell out numbers ten and under. Use numerals for numbers greater than ten. Please note: exceptions are made for measurements.
  • Be consistent when your question or answer contains more than one number. You would write "Do I need 5 or 15 copies?" not "Do I need five or 15 copies?" (An exception is made for formal designations, as in Rulers or Wars, such as Pope John Paul II, Henry VIII or World War 2.)
  • Spell out fractions and hyphenate them. (Ex: two-thirds)
  • When discussing decades, do not use an apostrophe between the year and the s. (Correct: 1980s or 80s)
  • In answers, always write out a number if it begins a sentence.

 Specific Category-Dependent Guidelines Cars and Vehicles
  • 1999 Chevy Corvette instead of '99 'Vette, etc.
  • 4-cylinder instead of 4 cyl, etc.
  • 4x4, FWD, and AWD instead of front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, etc.
  • 4.9L instead of 4.9 liter engine, 4.9 liters, 4.9 l, etc.
  • AC instead of air conditioner.
  • automatic instead of auto.
  • hp instead of HP or horsepower.
  • mph instead of MPH or M.P.H.
  • rpm instead of RPM or RPMs.
  • repair instead of fix (unless the question may be asking whether it should be replaced or repaired).
  • replace instead of change.
  • V8 instead of V-8, v8, etc.
  • VW instead of Volkswagen.

Sample questions: "Where is the fuel filter located on a 1996 Geo Metro?" "How do you replace a headlight bulb on a 2005 Saturn SL2?" "How do you remove the fuel tank from a 1983 VW Rabbit?" "How do you replace the oil pump on a 1999 Chevy Astro 4.3 AWD?"

Business and Finance
  • "When was (name of company) founded?" instead of discovered, invented, created, etc.
  • "Who is the founder of (name of company)?" instead of discovered, created, invented etc.

Entertainment and Arts
  • "What is (celebrity's) sexual orientation?" instead of "Is (celebrity) gay?" or "Is (celebrity) straight?" or "What is (celebrity's) sexual preference?" etc.
  • "What is (celebrity's) official fan page on (social site)? Instead of "Does (celebrity) have a (social site)?"

  • Use the question phrasing "What are some ____ that begin with the letter ____" and capitalize the letter.

Video Games
  • Questions asking for cheat codes should be phrased so they don't sound illegal. Instead of asking "how do you hack _______" (game), ask "what are some cheat codes for ______" (game). This will help us tell the difference between an illegal hack and a legal, built-in cheat.
  • "in" Pokemon (version), instead of "on" Pokemon (version)
  • Include the word "Pokemon" in Pokemon questions.

  • Pre-ejaculate is preferred over pre-seminal fluid or pre-cum.
  • Semen is preferred over cum or sperm in clinical questions about fertility.
  • Sperm should be used when a question is referring specifically to spermatozoa, not as a replacement for semen.
  • Buttocks should be used instead of Ass, Arse, Bum, Butt.
  • Use medically correct terms for all body parts NOT SLANG; if in doubt, ask.

History and Society
  • UK instead of United Kingdom.
  • US instead of United States, USA, America, etc.
  • Russia to refer to the country from 1991 through the present. USSR and Soviet Union should only be used intentionally, i.e. during the time period that Russia was known as the Soviet Union or USSR, which was between 1922 and 1991.
  • World War 1 and World War 2 instead of WWII, WW1, Second World War, Great War, etc.
  • US Navy, US Army, US Marine Corps, US Air Force, etc., to differentiate from services in other countries.
  • US Constitution to differentiate from the constitution of other states and countries.
  • Vietnam, not Viet Nam

Hobbies and Collectibles
  • Stamps - Whenever possible list the Scott # or its equivalent in the first line of the answer.
  • "What is the value of XYZ?" instead of "What is XYZ worth (i.e. "What is the value of a 1901 Silver Dollar?")

Home and Garden
  • Inground and above ground pools instead of in-ground, aboveground, etc.
  • V instead of v, volt, or volts
  • A instead of a, amp, or amps
  • W instead of w, watt, or watts
  • Hz instead of hertz
  • 240V instead of 220V, 230V, or 250V and 120V instead of 110V, 115V, 117V, or 125V, except when taken as a measurement. This is important to facilitate searching. Note 208V and 277V are different from 240V.
  • Use the form gauge-conductors for wire sizing. I.e. 14-2 for 14 gauge 2 conductor wire

Jobs and Education
  • Academic degrees (bachelor's degree, associate's degree, master's degree) should not be capitalized unless they are used after a person's name. Examples: Sarah has a bachelor's degree in psychology. Sarah Thompson, Bachelor of Arts, will be speaking at the conference.
  • It is also correct to use the acronym of a degree, which is capitalized. Example: Sarah has an MBA from the University of Kansas.
  • "How do you answer 'What is XYZ?' in a job interview?"
  • "How much money does an XYZ earn?"
  • "What does an XYZ do?" instead of "What duties…"
  • "How do you answer '(question)' in a job interview?" Single quotation marks should be placed at the beginning and at the end of the interview question being asked. For example, "How do you answer 'What are your strengths and weaknesses' in a job interview?" not "What are your strengths and weaknesses?"
  • "What jobs can you get with an associate's degree in natural sciences?" instead of "What kind of jobs ..." or "What type of work ..." etc.
  • "How do you become an XYZ?" instead of "What is required ..." or "What do you need to be ...?" (unless it's education, legal requirements, or personal qualities).
  • "How long does it take to become an XYZ?" instead of "How many years of college ..." "How much school ...?" "How much training ..." (This can include years other than school.)
  • "What education or training do you need to become an XYZ?" instead of "What education is required ..." or "What degree ..." or "What type of training ..."
  • "Where can you go to school to become an XYZ?" instead of "What colleges ..." or "Where can you get an education ..."
  • "What should you study in high school or college if you want to become an XYZ?" instead of "What classes ..." or "What courses ..." or "What should you major in ..."
  • "How much does it cost to become an XYZ?" instead of "What does college cost for ..."
  • "What personal qualities or skills do you need to be a XYZ?"

Law and Legal Issues
  • "Can you move out at 17 in Indiana?"
  • "How old do you have to be to move out in Indiana?"

Literature and Language
Books and Literature
  • Messages warning about spoilers should not be added to answers (see the related link for a definition of Spoilers).

  • In the Grammar Punctuation and Spelling section, when a person is asking how to spell a word (i.e. "How do you spell the word capitle?"), do not correct the spelling of the word in the question.

  • When asking for the translation of a word or a phrase, identify what language the original phrase or word is from, in your question. In many cases, it is difficult to find a translation without knowing what the original language is.

  • Always use the numerical form of an age rather than spelling it out (17 rather than seventeen).
  • When referring to someone's age in a question, hyphenate the age when it is used as an adjective.
  • Example: Can a 16-year-old girl date an 18-year-old boy?
  • When the age stands on its own, do not hyphenate it.
  • Example: Can you be emancipated if you are 17 years old?

Religion and Spirituality

Because of the sensitive nature of this category, guidelines have been drawn up to ensure that respect for the views of others and a helpful atmosphere are maintained. See the related link below.

  • Volume - Measurements (tsp, oz, lb, ml, g, cm, etc.) should be written out, rather than using abbreviations.
  • Inventions - Ask "Who invented (name of invention)?" or "When was (name of invention) invented?" instead of discovered, built, created, etc. For example: "Who invented the telephone?" and "When was the telephone invented?"

  • American Football - Super Bowl instead of Superbowl
  • Soccer - Team names should use capitals, with no shorthand, e.g. Manchester United instead of Man U.
  • Tournament names can be abbreviated, e.g. UEFA, FA, COMMENBOL etc.
  • Hockey and Football - Use terms that refer to the specific sport. For football, this can be either to include 'American' or 'association' before football, or to use 'soccer' or 'gridiron.' For hockey, this means the inclusion of type (ice, field, or indoor) to prevent incorrect categorization and answering.
  • Martial Arts- Write out Tae Kwon Do instead of taekwondo and Kung Fu instead of kungfu.

Computers and Internet
  • Internet is always capitalized.
  • Email instead of e-mail.
  • Online instead of on-line.
  • Website instead of web site.

Travel and Places
  • Use "halfway" rather than "half way," or "half-way."

Please also refer to the related question for why a style guide is important for a Wiki.
264 people found this useful

Why is the WikiAnswers style to use 'World War 2' instead of 'WWII' or another variant?

Style Choice for WWII . \nThis is a good question. Many style choices are completely arbitrary. We try to see what the predominant style on existing questions is and then change the others to match. (Keeping a consistent style makes it *much* easier to find existing questions.) However, there is ( Full Answer )

Why does WikiAnswers need style rules?

Answer . Grammar, spelling, and style conventions are important for wiki Q&A for a few reasons. . Fundamentally, the need is based on what it means for us to be a wiki. On other Q&A sites the same questions get asked over and over again and people's separate answers can never be improved upon. Her ( Full Answer )

What is the current Queen Elizabeth's Style of ruling?

she does not rule she is just a figure head. England is a republic. the chief executive power is the prime minister Answer Queen Elizabeth does not have a stlye of ruling. She actually has no power. She is just a figure-head for England. The only reason she is queen of England is because its a t ( Full Answer )

Are there rules of courtesy between WikiAnswers Supervisors?

No, there are no "written" rules or policies, as we are trying hard not to become a site driven by a multitude of guidelines and regulations. This is a community, where folks collaborate on questions and answers. It's about cooperation, communication and tolerance. Courtesy should be a given. . Al ( Full Answer )

What type of ruling styles did Joseph Stalin have?

His ruling style was communist. Communists typically are not elected or do have elections but no not allow others onto the ballot. Communists use propaganda and control of the media in order to keep order. They will use harsh punishment tactics and even genocide to keep law. All threats are to ( Full Answer )

What are the rules on WikiAnswers concerning questions?

Spelling When phrasing a question, spelling and grammar are vital. To navigate WikiAnswers, people don't want to arrive at confusing pages that they can't read. Take the example question: "Isn't Football called Soccer in America?" This is the correct way to spell it, not "isnt footblal called socc ( Full Answer )

Where can the rules for WikiAnswers be found?

All of the guidelines here at WikiAnswers may be found at the Help Center . To go to the Help Center, click on the question mark (?) at the upper-right hand corner next to the "International sites" drop-down arrow and the "Top Contributers" redirection link. Alternatively, click on the below rel ( Full Answer )

What are the WikiAnswers rules?

Please view the link below for the complete list of the rules of WikiAnswers. The same link can be found at the bottom of each WikiAnswers page; it is labeled "Terms of Use."

Why doesn't WikiAnswers complement the nice question bar with a 'Yahoo Answers' style layout?

(Yahoo Answers displays more than one answer and the contributor of each answer.). WikiAnswers is NOT Yahoo Answers, they are two completely different sites with different aims and reliability. Yahoo Answers is mainly a community site to air varying input on a range of topics, not provide the direc ( Full Answer )

What are the rules on WikiAnswers?

The question asked here is a bit vague. Hopefully, you'll find the answer to your question via the Help Center of the site. Here's the link: http://wiki.answers.com/help/help_center

Is betting about WikiAnswers against the rules?

\nWikiAnswers does not support gambling with real money, however if you are having a friendly bet about something on this website, and the bet follows our rules, then it's fine.\n. \nFor example, if you bet against a friend that you may get to a Bronze Contribution level first, this is allowed, as ( Full Answer )

How would you quote WikiAnswers according to the MLA style?

To insert a quote into an essay in MLA style, you would first find the quote and write it verbatim into the essay. Then, after the end quote, put one space than then an open parenthesis. In the parenthesis, write (without quotes) "WikiAnswers Question". If there are various contributors/authors, the ( Full Answer )

Ernest Hemingway's writing style mirrored the rules he learned at?

Ernest Hemingway's writing style mirrored the rules he had learnedwhile working as a journalist at the Kansas City Star newspaper.His editor gave him lessons in writing that he continued to utilizeas a writer. He was advised to always use short, simple words andsentences. He was also told not to use ( Full Answer )

What are the rules about interacting courteously with other uses on WikiAnswers?

WikiAnswers Community Etiquette . It basically boils down to this: treat others the way you would like to be treated. WikiAnswers contributors come in all shapes and sizes. Be respectful of your differences and appreciate that we are all here for similar purposes. For the ins and outs of the d ( Full Answer )

What are the rules on editing an answer on WikiAnswers?

Guidelines as shown in the WikiAnswers Help Center: . Questions can be edited for clarity and relevance; some questions may have bad spelling or grammar that needs to be fixed. Questions can also be made more universal or generic so they can be helpful to many people instead of just one person.. ( Full Answer )

Can you get blocked from WikiAnswers for speaking against the rules?

Anything you do that goes against the Answers.com policy you can get banned for. However, you will receive a warning or two beforehand. As far as speaking out against the rules, you may suggest changes to them in the community forums. They are in place for good reasons, however, and few have ever b ( Full Answer )

Who made the rules for WikiAnswers?

Chris Whitten, the Founder of WikiAnswers, originally had a set of rules when WikiAnswers was FAQ Farm. When Chris sold FAQ Farm to the Answers Corp., the Answers Corp. made a Terms of Use document that were more legally adept than those made by Chris, so it was a combination of the two rule creator ( Full Answer )

What are the rules in writing number style?

I believe it is spell out 1 through 20 and then you can write the actual number for the rest of the numbers. I learned that you spell out one through ten, and use digits after that. The convention may have changed since then.

What are the WikiAnswers Global Rules?

The WikiAnswers rules that apply for the entire world (for each language that WikiAnswers has available) are available in the Help Center. The Help Center is available below. Under the tab 'Contributing', there should be a 'Community Guidelines & Dispute Resolution' link. Click on that. Then, cl ( Full Answer )

What are the rules of WikiAnswers that apply to religion?

Because of the sensitive nature of Religion categories, guidelines have been drawn up to ensure that respect for the views of others and a helpful atmosphere are maintained. See the related link below for the Religion and Spirituality Topics Guidelines.

What rules should a WikiAnswers user be aware of?

There are a set of rules called the 'Community Guidelines' that everyone should be aware of on WikiAnswers. View the Related Link below for the Community Guidelines.

Should WikiAnswers have a rule about adding more detail to your answers?

The Community Guidelines encourage contributors to use full sentences when answering a question, instead of just posting an answer such as "No." However, we cannot force people to add more detail to their answers; if you find an answer that lacks sufficient detail, please flag the answer for improve ( Full Answer )

What are the basic rules that everyone has to follow on WikiAnswers?

The main, simple rules are the 'Community Guidelines'. However, there are also guidelines for other topics such as religion, plagiarism, spam, and cyberbullying. Some of the links are provided further down this page under 'related questions' and 'related links'.

What is rule 34 WikiAnswers?

Rule 34 states: If it exists, there is porn of it. No exceptions. Alternatively, rule 35 states: If there is no porn of it, it will be made.

What are the rules about posting personal ads on WikiAnswers?

The only place that you are allowed to post personal ads on WikiAnswers is on your profile. Hopefully, if you provide good answers and contributions, people will click on your username and look at your profile and see your ad. You are not allowed to post ads on the Community forum, answers, or other ( Full Answer )

Why are there rule and guidelines for WikiAnswers?

Wikianswers is built on a wiki concept. A wiki means that anyone can edit questions and answers. With that being said , it is important that we implement some rules to help protect the site from vandals. please note that if you disobey these rules and guidelines you may lose your account.

How do you change the WikiAnswers style rules?

The question is protected (see related question below), but if you want to add to it you can write to the email address given (the same one given for all protected questions), and we will review your suggestions and update the Guidelines accordingly.

Why has WikiAnswers got stupid rules?

EVERY site has rules. The rules on WikiAnswers are not stupid - they are there for a reason - to ensure fair-play by everybody, so that people conduct themselves sensibly, and to ensure that peoples contributions are actually helpful. Some people think it's funny to post stupid answers - then they c ( Full Answer )

What are the rules for APA font style?

While writing paper in APA format style a lot of people do not abide by the rules for APA font style, however it is essential to write an outline. The font people ought to use is Times New Roman while the Arial font is suggested for image captions. It should be within 10-12 pixels.

What are the 8 rules of Wikianswers?

Though Answers.com does have rules, there are no "8 rules of WikiAnswers." If there were, they would certainly contain being respectful of others, not vandalizing the site (like posting nonsense answers), and other rules that make the site and using the site fun for all. In fact, you will find th ( Full Answer )

Why did Greece change to monarchical styles of rule?

A republic was established and the monarchy when a republic was abolished following a constitutional referendum in 1973. The monarchy was also abolished during the Second Hellenic Republic (1924-1935).

Which part of CSS style rule identifies the element to be formated?

You take the HTML element and than define the specifics of it. Hereis and example of one of my definitions of a document body: body { background-image: url(brnbak02.gif); background-repeat: repeat; background-color: #cfe3ff; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; margin: 0; padding: ( Full Answer )

Is it against the rules to repost the same questions over again in wikianswers?

It is not particularly against the rules unless you are doing it deliberately as a form of vandalism. Instead, you should edit the questions if they were asked wrong or flag the answer if it is abusive or doesn't answer the question. You could also go to the talk page and clarify your intent if the ( Full Answer )

Is it against the rules at WikiAnswers to delete what you post on another person's message board?

No, people that make a post on another's message board has nothing to do with the rules. Some people do this when sharing emails for example, they give them the email and the immediately delete the message from the other's message board. A bit more: While the practice of deleting messages is not ( Full Answer )

What was the style of the rule of Julius Caesar when he was appointed dictator for life?

Julius Caesar did not change his style of rule when he was appointed dictator for life in 44 BC. He was assassinated one month after his appointment. Moreover he had obtained the dictatorship three times prior to this. He had himself first appointed dictator in 49 BC to preside over his own election ( Full Answer )

What are the WAmmy rules on WikiAnswers?

When submitting a WAmmy nomination, remember to include two things: . The name of the person you are nominating (a link to theirprofile would help too) . The link to the answer, question or profile that you arenominating for the WAmmy. There are some short rules which should be observed. . ( Full Answer )