The internet (lowercase i) has a language all its own.
While LOL and OMG finally made their way into the OED a few years ago , traditional bastions of style like the AP have lagged behind the times (e.g., The New York Times only dropped the hyphen from email a few months ago).
That’s why BuzzFeed’s release of an internet-friendly style guide is so necessary. How else would we know the proper verb form of Instagramming?
In celebration of the praiseworthy style guide, we’re giving you a listicle of our own highlighting the best bits of BuzzFeed’s style guide.
1. The Basics
It’s internet, website, and email. Not Internet, web site, or e-mail.
2. Googling and Other New Verbs
The company is capitalized (“He landed a job at Google”); the verb is not (“Always google a blind date beforehand”). More fun verbs: Instagramming, LOL-ing, fave-ing, DJ’ing, BS’ing, trendspotting, and bro-ing out.
3. Vive la Serial Comma
BuzzFeed bucked AP convention here by endorsing the serial comma, aka the Oxford comma. We agree: adding a comma after each item in a series is simple, clear, and easy to read.
4. Companies are Not People
This is a particular pet peeve of ours. Companies are referred to as “it,” not “they.” MarketSmiths is a copywriting agency, and it’s pretty awesome.
5. Writing About Websites
Vanity capitalization is a no-no (e.g., marketsmiths.com, not MarketSmiths.com), as is including the “www” of a URL.
Language is extremely fluid, constantly changing with the times. The advent of the internet only sends this process into hyperdrive. Still, it’s nice to have standards to stick to. Thanks, BuzzFeed!