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Style guide

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Please obey the following rules in this style guide when editing content at this web site. For issues not discussed below, consult the Wikipedia Manual of Style.


Always keep in mind that the page you are editing will be viewed by readers of different ages, educational backgrounds, cultures and browser technology.

Write clearly and concisely. Do not use more words than are necessary, but do not sacrifice clarity to conciseness.

Do not repeat content. If the same information is expressed in two different places, then inconsistency will result when one place is edited before the other is. If you see repeated content, ask yourself where the reader is likely to search for the information in question. If the reader is much more likely to look for it in one place than the other, then delete it from the less common place and link to the more common. If the reader is equally likely to look for it in different places, create a separate page to hold the information.

An ideal page should be one or two screenfuls long, an intentionally vague measure. If it’s too short, then the reader’s time has been wasted; consider combining short pages. If it’s too long, then the reader’s attention may wander, and a reader using a handheld device may not be able to find important information; always split very long pages.

Spelling and word usage

Words should be spelled as shown in the current edition of NWL. Where variant spellings are given, use the more common and note the choice you made below. When given a choice between American and British spellings, use the American. When a word is listed in NWL as a noun but commonly used by Scrabble players as a verb, insert a hyphen to avoid giving the impression that the verbal inflection is acceptable: BINGO-ED, BINGO-ING.

  • LIGHT, not LITE
  • “the NSA” but no article before NASPA or NASPAWiki
  • PHONEY, not PHONY (as a noun)
  • TOURNAMENT AND CLUB, not CLUB AND TOURNAMENT (for consistency with Official Tournament and Club Word List)
  • Words like LOGIN, LOGON, SETUP, SHUTDOWN, FLYBY, RUNOVER, BUYOUT, PAYOFF, KICKBACK and TURNAROUND are nouns. In verb phrases, keep the verb as a separate word and use an inflected form when appropriate: “Yesterday I set up the system and logged in.”).
  • Use the terms “tournament game”, “club game”, “informal game” and “online game” to refer to the four different types of games (do not use the term “friendly game” because it would imply that some games were not friendly, which would be contrary to the spirit of the NASPA Code of Conduct).

Punctuation and typography

  • Capitalize only the first word of article titles and section headers, but always capitalize proper names and names of books (see Wikipedia naming conventions); for example: Breaking news, Long List.
  • Use multiple levels of headings appropriately, except on very small pages. Start with a second-level heading after the introductory section. Use single blanks and empty lines around each heading for edit page readability.
  • Use boldface (entered by surrounding the text by ''') only to emphasize the first appearance of the article title in the first paragraph of an article. Where possible, write the first paragraph so that it does include the article title.
  • Use italics (entered by surrounding the text by '') for general emphasis, foreign/nonstandard words and the titles of books and other publications.
  • However, do not emphasize links. For example, use Long List and Long List, not Long List.
  • Single quotes: use ‘ and ’ (like ‘this’), not the plain ' symbol.
  • Double quotes: use “ and ” (like “this”), not the plain " symbol.
  • Use double quotes for the first level of quotation, single quotes for the second (nested) level. If punctuation marks need to be placed at the end of a quotation, place them inside or outside but not both. Periods and commas go inside; colons and semicolons go outside; exclamation marks and question marks go inside if they are part of the quotation and otherwise outside.
  • Use quotes to enclose text whose exact appearance is important; in this case preserve both internal and external punctuation, notwithstanding the above. For example, “Click on the button labelled ‘Click me!’.” If the quoted text is to be typed by the reader, enclose it within “<code>” inside the quotes. Where possible, avoid having URLs appear in text by placing them in external links; when an URL must appear in text, enclose it in “<code>” with no quotes.
  • Use &rsquo; and not ' for an apostrophe. In typesetting, the apostrophe is identical to the right single quote, and there is no distinct HTML entity for the apostrophe.
  • Do not use use apostrophes or other punctuation to form plurals of initialisms (acronyms). For example: IDs, ORTs.
  • Use &ndash; (–) and not - for numerical and date ranges or elsewhere where endashes are called for.
  • Use &mdash; (—) and not -- where emdashes are called for (as an alternative to semicolons and parentheses). Include a space before and after an emdash.
  • Use &minus; (−) and not - to denote subtraction.
  • Use &times; (×) and not x to denote multiplication.
  • Omit punctuation (quotes, apostrophes, ampersands) and HTML entity names (such as &rsquo;) in article titles, but include the appropriate punctuation in article contents. You may also include the punctuation in links like this: Director’s Manual (code:[[Directors Manual|Director&rsquo;s Manual]]).
  • Do not use serial commas.

Dates, times, numbers...

  • Where possible, write the name of the month in full, the day (with no ordinal suffix) and the year (four digits): “November 11, 2003”. Omit the day if it is not applicable: “August 2006”. If there isn’t room to write out a date, use an appropriate ISO 8601 format: 1899-04-13. Do not use mm/dd/yyyy or dd/mm/yyyy notation, as these are not understood in the same way throughout North America.
  • Use the 12-hour clock, not the 24-hour clock. Correctly punctuate and capitalize “A.M.”, “P.M.”, “noon” and “midnight”.
  • In text, write out single-digit numbers (“one”, ..., “nine”) and use numerals for larger numbers (“10”, “11”,...) or when small and large numbers are discussed in a related context.
  • Use “½” for the fraction one-half.

SCRABBLE notation

  • To describe an opening bingo played horizontally: 8B CAZIQUE (124)
  • The equivalent play vertically: H2 CAZIQUE (124)
  • Omit either the grid reference, score or both where they are unknown
  • As above, use &minus; (−) and not - in negative scores and spreads.
  • Use &ndash; (–) and not - for win-loss records and to delimit opponents;rsquo; scores.


  • Place the contact information for individuals on their dedicated NASPAWiki contact pages. Avoid having many redundant copies of the information.
  • Do not post non-public contact information (or any other personal information) without permission. Note that once you save a version of a page, it will remain accessible in the version log forever.
  • You may use mailto: links to make email addresses easy to use with one click. However, some folks prefer to have their email address obfuscated so that only humans can decipher it—please respect their wish.
  • For postal addresses, verify the full postal codes with USPS or Canada Post and use the recommended standard format. Include the name of the country (USA or CANADA) and use a style that preserves line breaks (for example, add a blank in front of each line to create a preformatted section).
  • For phone numbers, use the dialing prefix symbol (plus sign) and country code (1 for both USA and Canada). Group digits using blanks (not parentheses, dashes or periods). For example: +1 212 555 1234.

Linking and article titles

  • Link (only) the first occurrence of each phrase in a section to the appropriate internal wiki page.
  • Where possible, avoid direct external links in unrelated pages by providing an intermediate internal page explaining or summarizing the external page. For example, link cross-tables rather than cross-tables.
  • Contact information for committee members should be placed only in their individual pages, so that if it changes, only one page needs to be edited.
  • Create redirect pages rather than using alternate labels for inflections or base forms of internal page names (e.g., the “committee” page redirects to “commitees” to save inexperienced editors having to write [[committees|committee]].
  • Article titles should be unabbreviated nouns or noun phrases. Create redirect pages from acronyms to fully spelled out names.
  • The first letter of the first word of an article title should be capitalised. If there are additional words, they should use whatever capitalisation would normally be used in regular text. So: the “style guide” has a page entitled “Style guide” (and not “Style Guide”) and the “Web Committee” has a page entitled “Web Committee”.
    • When editing for print use however (in documents such as the Rules or Director’s Manual), use the current edition of the Chicago Manual of Style to determine section/chapter title capitalisation (lower-case non-initial prepositions and conjunctions, but watch out for when they come at the start of a phrase: “Drawing Out of Order”).
  • When linking to other pages and services hosted on this server, use {{SERVER}} rather than explicitly writing http://www.scrabbleplayers.org. This is because during transition between servers, either during server migration or emergency failover, users may be browsing at www1.scrabbleplayers.org or www2.scrabbleplayers.org.

Logos and Branding

See the NASPA branding guide.


  • Always write “Scrabble”, never “SCRABBLE”.
  • Do not use the word “Scrabble” except where necessary for identification. Consider whether the words “NASPA” or “competitive” might be reasonable alternatives.
    • It is okay to refer to past events that had the trademark “SCRABBLE” in them by their full, correct name.