Wiki Style Standards

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This page is to function as a reference for the Wiki Style Guide. The main article is here: [1] and will be summarized below for insights particularly relevant to this Wiki.


Abbreviations are shortened forms of words or phrases. In strict analysis, they are distinct from contractions, which use an apostrophe, and initialisms. An initialism is formed from some or all of the initial letters of words in a phrase. Below, references to abbreviations should be taken to include acronyms, and the term acronym to apply also to initialisms.

Write out both the full version and the abbreviation at first occurrence
When an abbreviation will be used in an article, first introduce it using the full expression:

  an early local area network (LAN) developed by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) ... DEC's later LAN products were ...


  • Integers from zero to nine are spelled out in words. Integers greater than nine expressible in one or two words may be expressed either in numerals or in words. Other numbers are given in numerals or in forms such as 21 million.
  • In general, use a comma in numbers with five or more digits to the left of the decimal point. Numbers with four digits are at the editor's discretion: 12,345, but either 1,000 or 1000.
  • Write out "million" and "billion" on the first use. After that, unspaced "M" can be used for millions and "bn" for billions: 70M and 25bn.
  • Write 3%, three percent, or three per cent, but not 3 % (with a space) or three %. "Percent" is American usage, and "per cent" is British usage.
  • Scientific notation (e.g., 5.8×107 kg) is preferred in scientific contexts.

Units of Measurement

  • The main unit in which a quantity is expressed should generally be an SI unit or non-SI unit officially accepted for use with the SI.
  • Where English-speaking countries use different units for the same measurement, provide a conversion in parentheses. Examples: the Mississippi River is 2,320 miles (3,734 km) long; the Murray River is 2,375 kilometres (1,476 mi) long.
  • Where space is limited (such as tables, infoboxes, parenthetical notes, and mathematical formulas) unit symbols are preferred. In prose, unit names should be given in full if used only a few times but symbols may be used when a unit (especially one with a long name) is used repeatedly after spelling out the first use (e.g. Up to 15 kilograms of filler is used for a batch of 250 kg), except for unit names that are hardly ever spelled out (°C rather than degrees Celsius).


First person pronouns

  • To maintain an objective and impersonal encyclopedic voice, an article should never refer to its editors or readers using I, my, we, us, or similar forms: We should note that some critics have argued against our proposal. But some such forms are acceptable in certain figurative uses.

Second person pronouns

  • Avoid addressing the reader using you or your, which sets an inappropriate tone.
  • Use a noun or a third-person pronoun: instead of When you move past "Go", you collect $200, use When players pass "Go", they collect $200, or A player passing "Go" collects $200.
  • If a person cannot be specified, or when implying "anyone" as a subject, the pronoun one may be used: a sense that one is being watched. Other constructions may be preferable if one seems stilted: a person's sense of being watched.

Verb tense

  • By default, write articles in the present tense, including those covering works of fiction and products or works that have been discontinued. Generally, do not use past tense except for past events and subjects that are dead or no longer meaningfully exist. A good rule of thumb is that unless a subject has a specific expiration date (such as a person's death, a company's closure, or an event's end) then the present tense is appropriate.