How do you write about the person who plays music on the radio or at the club? Is it DJ, D.J., D. J., deejay or dee-jay?
Should there be 3 commas or 4 commas in the list above?
Should I have written three and four in the sentence above this one?
Should I have written “three” and “four” in the sentence above this one?
Is it better to write from 2-5:00 pm or from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm?
Do you write the abbreviations for meters, kilograms, etc. next to the number or leave a space? 100m or 100 m?
It’s confusing for everybody, even professional writers. And for the pros, there is always someone who delights in finding “mistakes” and “exposing” the writers as barely literate children. I’m sure the same thing happens in your language.
The solution for this is the style guide. Each publication that you read has a set of rules that they declare to be THE RULES. Many of these rules will be the same for everyone, but sometimes they are particular for the institution. But the purpose of style guides is not to declare one set of rules to be the only correct set of rules, but to make consistent choices in your writing. So choose one of the style guides below and stick to it. If you’ve followed the guide, you don’t have to worry about people telling you where to put your commas.
These are all respected English publications written to a high standard:
For business writing, why not follow the European Union style guide?
American style guides (sometimes called “stylebooks,” a term I doubt would be permitted in a British English publication) are a for-profit industry, I’m afraid. All of the major publications’ stylebooks are available for purchase or online subscription only. You can see a small sample of the Associated Press stylebook in the link below. You can also try a free 30-day trial of the Chicago Manual of Style: