style guide: H.G. Wells


The following is based on the text of “The Outline of History” (1920) by H.G. Wells:

dialect: British English, circa A.D. 1920, but with fewer Briticisms than, say, The Economist.

spelling:Oxford spellings (colour, realize, etc), but with some exceptions, like:

analyze, Burmah, Cæsar, encyclopædia, formulæ, Jengis Khan, judgment, Keltic, Lao Tse, Moslem, Nanking, Palæolithic, Peking, Phœnicians, Porto Rico, to-day, to-morrow, spelt, Sanscrit, Thermopylæ, Yugo-Slavia.

contractions: cannot, not “can’t”, is not, not “isn’t”, etc.

dashes: no spaces separate it from adjoining words:

there flowed, about the sixth century B.C.—we do not know to what degree of submergence—a wave of Keltic peoples

numbers: use commas for 10,000 and up. You can write out numbers, even large ones: ninety-three million miles.

percentages: Written out: perhaps ten per cent. or more of the adult population.

weights and measure:English units, especially:

  • length:inches, feet, yards, fathoms

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