Irregardless Magazine

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Irregardless Style Guide

Irregardless Magazine follows a unique style guide. While the Associated Press and MLA offer serviceable starting points, style is an art, not a science. Sometimes you’ve got to blaze your own trail. The Irregardless philosophy on style is thus:

“It’s easy to pile wild choice on top of wild choice, or conversely to make nothing but down-the-middle…decisions. To choose to demonstrate understated mastery and nonetheless show distinction is much more difficult.” (Jesse Thorn from Put This On)

General Style

  • Too many parentheticals slow down the reading of a paragraph, so opt for m-dashes or shorter sentences where necessary.
  • Cuss words can be a crutch, but sometimes they are necessary to get meaning across. In these cases, use the first letter of the word and asterisks afterwards. Bleeps are always funnier than swears.
  • Make an effort to use words of Saxon origin over Latin or Greek whenever possible. Linguistic purism is quite the rabbit hole though, so don’t obsess over it.
  • Furthermore, avoid Latin abbreviations like eg, ie and etc. Instead, use the common English phrases for example, that is and and so on.

Punctuation

  • Use logical punctuation when quoting. It’s not an anglophile thing, it’s a Web thing.
  • Sometimes commas are optional. Avoid a cluttered look, and forgo the oxford comma unless style or clarity are sacrificed.
  • Semicolons are a punctuational power move. Used correctly they exude confidence and swagger, but overuse them and they come off as affected and cumbersome. Proceed with caution.

Typographic Choices

  •  Ligatures add a touch of Old World charm to even the most bourgeoisie of words. Use them whenever possible. If you can’t activate them all via CSS, don’t hesitate to take an HTML code approach.
  • Forgo punctuation in abbreviations, acronyms and initialisms (for example, JK Rowling, Dr Manhattan and asap). [under review]
  • Some acronyms are so prevalent they have approached wordhood (for example, OK and TV). These should always be capitalized.
  • Smart quotes aren’t always so smart, so don’t worry too much if they end up facing the wrong direction. It adds a bit of sprezzatura to the typography.
  • Always use Arabic numerals unless style or clarity are sacrificed.

Writing about Words

  • Italicize words when referring to their wordhood, and put single quotes around the definition of a word (for example, ampersand is an abbreviation of  ‘and, per say, sand’).
  • Bold parts of words (for example, pumpern- comes from the High Middle German for ‘to fart’).
  • In the title of an article, substitute italics for single quotes when referring to a word’s wordhood.

Miscellaneous Spelling

  • e-books, email, eLit
  • Web and Internet are proper nouns.
  • Videogame is one word.
  • Theatre refers to the art form; theater refers to the physical structure.
  • Sun and Moon are proper nouns, as is God in all instances referencing the monotheistic deity.

A Word on Grammar Fascism

Theirs no reason not to strive for the cleanest grammar possible, but typos happen no mater how many times you read over an article before publication. Just don’t let it happen to often. Keep proofreading even after publication.