Always remember that Sportskeeda’s content must, under all circumstances, be
- Consistent and
Clear and concise
Always be politically correct. Our readers may have certain expectations and more people will be offended by political incorrectness than the inverse. Sexist, racist remarks or religiously offensive remarks, as well as lines promoting any kind of political ideology, regionalism or community-based generalization, should be avoided at all costs.
• It’s never a good idea to defame any person, team, place, community, region, country or sport. Hatred and personal bias against anything or anybody should always be avoided.
• Avoid long sentences and unnecessarily long words. Alternate longer sentences with shorter ones.
• Don’t repeat the same word too many times in the same paragraph. The beauty of English is that we have more words than any other language in the world, so we can usually choose from plenty of synonyms. On the other hand, too many obscure synonyms start to draw attention to themselves and start to distort meaning.
• Use short paragraphs, headings and bullet points to break up text, especially when the content is voluminous and/or technical. A single paragraph should ideally contain a maximum of three lines.
• Active constructions are far more powerful than passive ones.
• Sportskeeda is a platform for publishing content on professional sports. Fictional articles (except those written with humorous intent) and personal stories on amateur, unrecognized sporting events should be avoided.
• The importance of research can never be understated. Articles on generic subjects like 'the problems with Indian hockey' or 'the reasons why football is so popular' need to be backed up with authentic facts and numbers that help create a compelling argument.
• Sportskeeda has been created with a view to promote sports in India and the world, but not to promote any particular sporting entity. Articles promoting any brand or corporate entity, ie marketing or advertising articles, will not be published unless they are part of a paid arrangement.
There are no English-language regulators. Usage defines what is correct, and the language is in constant flux, not to mention subject to many international variations. It's more important to adopt universally accepted linguistic standards than to follow any particular rules. But factual errors of any kind are a strict no-no.
The big question: British or American?
In today’s times, British and American English are both widely and interchangeably used, but to maintain a certain style and look, it is important to stick to either one. Since a majority of our readers follow American English, we have adopted that as the standard.
• If something is referred to frequently it can be abbreviated. Type it out the first time it is mentioned with abbreviation in parentheses (round brackets) and then use abbreviation subsequently. If it only occurs once don't bother with the abbreviation unless it is a vital piece of information.
• Where the acronym is more well-known than the full form (for example, IPL or ATP), don't spell it out in full.
• Always bear in mind the audience. If they would understand the abbreviation, then it's probably acceptable.
• No full points to be used at all. For example, 'EPL', 'am', 'pm', 'eg', 'ie', 'WTA'.
• Sportskeeda is a PG-13 site, so no abusive or obscene words should appear anywhere on the site.
• Apart from the obvious ones, ‘bitch’, ‘ass’, ‘screw’, ‘fag’, ‘nigger/negro’, etc also fall under the abusive words category which must be avoided at all costs.
• Common blind-spots: it’s/its; their/they’re. Note that "it's" is the abbreviated form of 'it is'. The possessive adjective is 'its' (eg: it’s amazing how its popularity has remained constant).
• Apostrophes are not used for plurals. The plural of ODI is ODIs.
• Apostrophes are not used for numbers (eg 90s, not 90’s).
• However, apostrophes are occasionally inserted for aesthetic reasons or to avoid ambiguity (eg "do’s and don’ts", "crossing the i’s and dotting the t’s").
• For a word or ending in a 's' that is pronounced (eg tennis or Williams) we use the 's possessive (eg tennis's, not tennis'; Williams’s, not Williams’).
• To show plural possession of a word ending in an ‘s’ or s sound, form the plural first; then immediately use the apostrophe. (eg players’ practice session).
For short items that are not complete sentences use lower case and no punctuation at the end of the lines, and full stop at the end of the last line.
Every cricket team is made up of the following types of players:
Treat long bullets as full sentences and use a semi-colon after each bullet, and full stop at the end of the last line.
I discussed this with some of my colleagues and a few elders from my family, and the following are some of the most commonly cited reasons as to why depression is not made as big a deal in the subcontinent, as elsewhere:
The list below is illustrative and not exhaustive. The important thing is to be technically correct, and consistent within the website.
• Every word of an event name should have upper case initial (eg World Cup, Miami Masters, etc).
• In titles of articles or headings within an article, all words except the first word and proper nouns (or events names, such as those mentioned in the first point above) should have lower case initials.
• Acronyms should always have all letters in upper case (eg ODI, IPL, MVP, etc).
• The first letter after a colon, semi-colon or hyphen should have lower case initial, even in a title, unless it is a proper noun or the start of a new sentence. For example, 'Indian cricket: Give the selectors some credit', but 'Cheteshwar Pujara: the new wall'.
• Certain sport-specific terms should always have upper case initial (eg Test, Grand Prix, etc).
• Sport names (eg football, cricket, golf, etc.) should always have lower case initial, as should common nouns like coach, gold medal, etc.
• In English, any country or nationality is written with a capital, regardless of part of speech or whether it's referring to the language. 'French', 'France', 'French people'. But there are some exceptions, like 'french windows', where the word has passed into the language and 'forgotten' its origins.
• Days of the weeks and months have capital letters, eg 'Monday' and 'April', but seasons do not, eg 'winter'.
• Names of events or groups that have been created by combining two or more common nouns should have capital letters for all the words in the name, eg "Women’s Day", 'Anti-Corruption Unit'.
• Be careful about mixtures of plural and singular. A team, a group, and a country are all singular. Example: 'The team management is generous – it allows the players plenty of allowances.'
• However, when the noun in question is referring to any quality of the individuals within the group, then it is to be used in the plural. Example: 'The team spent their practice time doing running drills on the ground.'
• Collective nouns like ‘number’, ‘majority’ and ‘minority’ are always plural (eg 'A minority of athletes are drug abusers.').
• The most frequent use of a colon is at the end of a sentence to introduce lists, tabulations, texts, etc. For example, 'There were two crucial factors: experience and versatility.'
• Use a colon to introduce long quotations within a paragraph and to end all paragraphs that introduce a paragraph of quoted material.
• Capitalize the first word after a colon only if it is a proper noun or the start of a complete sentence. For example, 'She promised this: The team will go to the nationals this year.'
Commas should help to remove ambiguity and make the message clear. There are no hard and fast rules beyond this. The tendency in modern English is to minimize the use of commas, but they can help non native-speakers to understand longer sentences.
• It is generally sufficient to join two main clauses with an 'and' or 'but' and no comma, but sometimes clarity requires one. Use your judgement.
• They tend to travel in pairs around clauses. For example, 'The player, as far as we know, completed his training successfully.'
• Use consistently or omit consistently (eg after and before 'however', or after an adverb at the beginning of a sentence: 'Sometimes, it rains in Fontainebleau.').
• They are rarely required before 'and', although there are exceptions for complex sentences and clarity. For example: 'The main points to consider are whether the athletes are skillful enough to compete, whether they have the stamina to endure the training, and whether they have the proper mental attitude.'
• Two complete sentences cannot be joined by a mere comma. Use a semicolon or full stop instead. For example: 'The first half is concerned with place; the second is concerned with time.'
• Points of the compass are lower case: 'south', 'north', etc.
• Use capitals when part of a recognized geographical name or a region (eg 'the South of France').
• Hyphens in points of the compass: 'south-east', 'north-west', etc but there are exceptions, as in 'southeastern end'.
• Most references in Sportskeeda articles will be in rupees, dollars or euros.
• rupee, rupees (pl) – lower case 'r' when using the full word, but upper case ‘r’ when using the abbreviation (‘Rs.’).
• For dollars, specify the country, eg 'US dollars', 'US$', 'Singapore dollars', 'Sing$'.
• In English the currency symbol always comes before the amount (eg '€700'), but the word in full comes after ('700 euros').
• No space to be used between the currency symbol and the figure, but space to be used between an abbreviation and a figure.
• Some examples: 'US$118 million', 'Rs. 100,000', '€2.2 million'.
• The period indicating a decade should be written as '90s' or '80s'. Never use an apostrophe (90's is wrong).
• Write out dates in the format '26 October 2004'. Avoid using superscripts (st, nd, rd, th) and commas. Exception: 9/11 or September 11th.
• Use an en dash to indicate time span (2000-2006), but 'to' is always preferable. Exception: 'the season 2005-06'.
• A disclaimer must necessarily be added in cases of an article where the opinion of the author is likely to differ from that of a majority of the readers. This disclaimer should read as, "The views expressed in this article are those of the author and they do not necessarily represent the views of Sportskeeda."
• The disclaimer can be placed either at the top of the article or at the bottom. Articles which are very likely to be misconstrued should have the disclaimer at the top, while those which are less likely to be misleading should have the disclaimer at the bottom.
Use ellipsis to indicate the deletion of one or more words in condensing quotes, texts and documents. Be especially careful to avoid deletions that would distort the meaning. When material is deleted at the end of one paragraph and at the beginning of the one that follows, place an ellipsis at both locations.
An ellipsis may also be used to indicate a thought that the speaker or writer does not complete.
• When ellipsis points are used within a sentence, use three.
• When ellipsis points are used between sentences, use four, the first or last of which serves as the period for the first sentence, depending upon where the omitted material occurs.
• Following a word there is no space between the word and the first dot. Preceding a word, leave a space (eg 'He was going to start... his new coaching stint.').
• Note that an ellipsis is not used in English to mean 'etc'.
• 'Blacks' as a noun is no longer acceptable to mean black people or people of African origin; the preferable term is 'of African origin'. 'African Americans' can be used to refer only to people of American nationality.
• Similarly the word 'oriental' (whether noun or adjective) should never be used to describe ethnic origin. Use 'Asian', 'South-East Asian' or specify countries of origin.
• The format of every article is auto-selected by Sportskeeda CSS.
• An article should not have any html directives to change the font size or type.
• No color other than black should be used in any article.
• Bold format should only be used for headings or sub-headings, and should not be used for any word or phrase within a paragraph or sentence.
• Italics should be used when emphasis or stress is required; italics should also be used for titles of books or movies (see ‘Italics’ below).
• The text alignment of all articles should be left.
• For eliminating formatting errors, the article should be pasted on to Microsoft Word and put through a Spelling and Grammar check (F7).
• Either ‘he’ or ‘she’ on its own will not do when you mean 'people in general'. Avoid: 'he/she', 's/he' and '(s)he'. Use 'he or she' or 'they' or think of an alternative.
• Avoid 'sportsman' when talking about people in general – it conjures up negative and old-fashioned images. Talk instead about 'sportspersons', 'athletes', 'players' or whatever seems relevant for the context.
Hyphens and dashes
• When in doubt, check the dictionary for any words that could be one word, two words or hyphenated.
• Many combinations that are hyphenated before a noun are not hyphenated when they occur after a noun (eg 'he bowled part time' needs no hyphen, but 'he is a part-time bowler' does).
• When two or more words are combined to create an adjective, there must necessarily be a hyphen between those words (eg game-changing strike, lightning-quick outfield, etc.).
• Hyphens must always be used when using the age of a person as an adjective (eg '23-year-old player').
• Don't hyphenate adverbs (eg 'the superbly written article').
• Spaced dashes are generally used for parenthetical remarks (eg "Let’s talk about something that most people would agree is a huge contributor to this – your style of play.").
• Unspaced dashes often stand for ‘to’ or ‘and’, as in '1997-98' and 'India-Pakistan match'. But in general, if you mean 'to', say so: '1997 to 1998'.
-ise -ize spellings
Don’t split them if you can easily avoid it. 'I want to learn the rules quickly', not 'I want to quickly learn the rules.'
Put the following in italics:
• Titles of books and substantial periodicals, eg 'Blue Ocean Strategy' and 'World Business'.
• Titles of TV programs, films, plays, operas, etc.
• Newspaper titles. However, do not include ‘The’ in italics unless it is part of the title (if in doubt check a recent masthead): 'the Financial Times' but 'The Times' and 'The Economist'.
• Names of ships and aircraft.
• Non-English (including Latin) phrases not yet naturalized (eg 'salami' but 'sine qua non').
• Names of parties in legal cases, but not the 'v.' (eg 'Jarndyce v. Jarndyce').
Leave the following unitalicized:
• Titles of chapters, articles, sections are put in single quotes and not in italics. You might choose to put these in bold for emphasis but don’t be tempted to use italics.
• Websites. Often written in bold for clarity and emphasis.
• Plural or apostrophe ‘s’ (eg in the Daily Mail's report on the match…).
• Leave in lowercase and spell out titles even when they are used with an individual’s name. For example: 'Sepp Blatter, president, FIFA'. Also keep lowercase when using in a generic sense with a definite or indefinite article. For example: 'XYZ is the chairman of the BCCI'.
• But capitalize formal titles when they are used immediately before one or more names: Pope Benedict XVI, President Barack Obama, Vice Presidents John Jones and William Smith.
Less/fewer – general rule:
• Less for quantity of uncountable nouns ('less money', 'less sugar').
• Fewer for number of countable nouns ('fewer goals', 'fewer wickets' = all plural nouns).
Like/such as/as if
• Don’t use 'like' to mean 'as if' (eg 'It looks as if he’s finished', not 'It looks like he’s finished').
• 'Like' excludes. 'Such as' includes. 'Cities like Bangalore are wonderful' means the writer is talking about cities similar to Bangalore, but not necessarily Bangalore itself. 'Cities such as Bangalore' includes Bangalore.
• From California to Kolkata and Canberra, the word 'like' has slipped into youth speak to mean 'said' or absolutely nothing at all. "I was like, 'You can't mean it'. It was like so cool." This is never allowed in written English.
• Use standard abbreviations ('km', 'kg', etc) but use 'liter', 'mile' and 'million' in full to avoid confusion.
• No full stops in units of measurement and no plurals for those abbreviated (eg '30 km', but '30 miles').
• Leave a gap between the numeral and the unit of measurement (eg '2 km').
• Try to use metric units, wherever possible. Examples: 'square meters' and 'hectares', rather than 'square yards' or 'acres'.
Names and titles
• Use only last names on the second (or any subsequent) reference, e.g. 'Dhoni' rather than 'MS Dhoni'.
• For more than two references of a particular person, use other adjectives (such as ‘Spaniard’ or ‘southpaw’ for Rafael Nadal, ‘Brazil forward’ or ‘22-year-old’ for Neymar, etc.) after the first two references.
• Use 'Dr.' and 'Prof.' (both with a dot) where appropriate.
• When listing, for example, players in a team, omit 'Mr.', 'Mrs.' and 'Ms' and non-English forms of the same, but include other titles such as 'Baron', 'Sir', 'Professor' and 'Dr.'.
• Note that Chinese and Japanese names are frequently (but not always, depending on individual preference) written with the family name appearing first. For example, Na Li’s name is written as Li Na.
• Always check that the capitals are in the right place. 'Robin van Persie' and 'Juan Martin del Potro' are good examples.
• All nationalities should be referred to by their proper names, ie British, Japanese and Germans, not slang terms like Paki, which can be offensive.
• Use Roman numerals for episodes and to show personal sequence for people. For example, 'World War II', 'King George VI'. Roman numerals use the letters I, V, X, L, C, D and M.
• In general use Arabic numerals, i.e. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 0, unless Roman numerals are specifically required.
• Write out whole numbers one to nine in words, and 11 or more in numerals. However, if numbers above and below ten appear close together then standardize to all numerals or all written out (eg 'They were about 5 or 10 runs short.').
• If it isn't a whole number (eg '9.25'), write in numerals.
• Note that English uses a full point not a comma to indicated decimal places.
• Avoid starting sentences with numbers. It’s usually easy to change the sentence order round. One exception: a numeral that identifies a calendar year can start a sentence. For example, '1976 was a very good year.'
• Use a comma to denote thousands rather than a space (eg '1,000' or '20,000').
• It’s fine to use a hyphen with numbers, and hyphens must always be used when using the age of a person as an adjective (eg '62-year-old man').
• Use words or numerals according to an organization’s practice: 3M, Twentieth Century Fund, Big Ten.
• Clarify 'billion' if you feel it's necessary for your audience. A thousand million has become standard in the UK, but a 'billion' in France is still a million million.
• Spell out first through to ninth when they indicate sequence in time or location: first base, he was first in line. Starting with 10th, use figures.
• Use 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc when the sequence has been assigned in forming names. The principal examples are geographic, military and political designations such as 1st Ward, 7th Fleet etc.
Over use of present participles is a common trait among amateur writers. For example, 'On finishing his training, and having been offered a place in the team and having successfully negotiated his salary' should be avoided. 'When he finished his training and took his place in the team on his choice of salary' is better.
• Write out 'percent' in full (one word), except in tables or lists, where the symbol ‘%’ should be used.
• Use figures for percent, e.g. 1 percent, 2.5 percent.
• For amounts less than 1 percent, precede the decimal with a zero: 'The cost of living rose 0.6 percent.'
• Country names should always be written in English, not the local form.
• Towns are less important. The main thing is to be consistent. Either anglicize or localize them all. If you say 'Munich' instead of 'München', say 'Dunkirk' instead of 'Dunkerque'.
• Always double check the spelling of place names.
• Ensure that there is no confusion and be precise. 'The United Kingdom' consists of Great Britain (England, Wales, Scotland) and Northern Ireland. 'The British Isles' can mean the UK plus the Irish Republic. Never use 'English' to mean 'British'. 'Ireland' is the island as a whole. 'The Republic of Ireland' is the country (but doesn't include Northern Ireland). Use 'the Netherlands' rather than 'Holland'.
• For United States of America, either use the full name or the acronym 'USA' (no dots or full stops). Avoid using 'US'.
• Make sure you're up to date with newly created countries, such as Montenegro.
• 'One' sounds dreadfully old-fashioned in English and is used mainly by the British Queen. 'You' sounds better to mean 'people in general', but beware of mixing up 'I', 'you' and 'we' in a single paragraph. Sentences like the following need to be rewritten: 'When I started work you really had to watch out for any mistakes one might make.'
• It's polite to put yourself last. 'Johann, Jean, John, Ian and I travelled to Saudi Arabia.'
• Remember the difference between a subject and an object. It's 'between you and me', not 'between you and I'.
• In text and direct speech always use double quotation marks ("").
• If the quote is a full sentence then put the full point inside the quote marks. Introduce with a comma. Example: He stated, "Audience numbers are up this year."
• Introduce with a colon if the quotation is more than one sentence.
• Use single quotation marks for a quote within a quote (' '). For example: Smith said, "He told me, 'I wish I had been selected in the team.'".
• If the quote isn’t a full sentence then put the full point outside the quote marks: She tells us that audience numbers are "up this year".
• Do not use a comma at the start of an indirect or partial quote.
Other uses of quotation marks:
For irony: Put quotation marks around a word or words used in an ironical sense: The "debate" turned into a free-for-all.
For unfamiliar terms: A word or words may be placed in quotation marks on first reference: Broadcast frequencies are measured in "kilohertz". Do not put subsequent references in quotation marks.
• In general, use the semicolon to indicate a greater separation of thought and information than a comma can convey but less than the separation that a period implies.
• The semicolon is also used to clarify a series when items in the series are long or when individual segments contain material that must also be set off by commas: The main offices are in Mercer County, N.J.; Marion County, Ind.; and Broward County, Fla.
• In English, there are no spaces before colons, semi-colons and question marks, only after them.
• On the contrary, there is a space before an opening bracket, but none after it. On the other hand, there is no space before a closing bracket, but one after it.
• Strictly speaking ‘that' is for defining clauses and ‘which’ is for non-defining clauses. However, ‘which’ can be used in a defining clause if this is clearer. Defining clauses have no punctuation, while non-defining clauses must be between commas.
• Some examples follow.
• As a general rule use: '5.00 am' (not '5am' or '5.00am'). For 'midday' and 'midnight', use '12 noon' and '12 midnight'.
• Keep an eye out for incorrect 'am' and 'pm'. These can have disastrous consequences.
• Use hyphens and apostrophes for clarity (eg "I gave him a five-minute start" or "He had five minutes’ start").
• Never use the French format '5h30'.
• Keep them short and explanatory, rather than clever or abstract.
• If the article has reference to any particular country (specially India), then that country’s name must necessarily appear in the title.
• Capitalize first letter, lower case for the rest, unless they're words that would be capitalized in a normal sentence, eg proper nouns or words such as 'Test'.
• No full stop at the end.
• Must contain at least one SEO (search engine optimization) keyword, preferably two.
• Must not be larger than 70 characters.
• Who is a subject. Whom is an object.
• These days 'To whom did you give it?' sounds overly formal. 'Who did you give it to?' is much better in most contexts.
Additional guidelines for commonly encountered issues
Some words and phrases to avoid:
• Adverbs that work in speech but not in writing (eg 'actually', 'really', 'just' and 'simply') - removal of these is a matter of judgement but usually they can come out and tighten the copy at the same time.
• 'Hopefully' – strictly speaking should never be used to mean 'it is to be hoped'. It really means 'in a hopeful way'.
• 'In order to'; 'on a regular basis'; 'of the opinion that'. All cases of several words used when one or two more direct ones ('to'; 'regularly'; 'I think') would do the job better.
• 'So' as in 'so then he decided to quit the team' or 'so you want to join the team'.
• 'Time frame', 'touch base', 'at the end of the day', 'leverage', 'piece' (to mean 'thing', 'stuff', 'issue', 'area') and other jargon.
• 'Techie/s', 'bean counters', 'mad scientists', 'boffins' – and other words that stigmatise particular professions.
• 'Atleast' is not one word; it should be 'at least'. The same principle applies to 'infact', which should actually be 'in fact'.
• 'Extraordinary' is one word, not two.
• Pictures must always have captions, for SEO purposes.
• When captioning, keep it short and explanatory with a capital letter for the first word and no full point at the end: eg 'Opening ceremony of the Olympics'.
• Because captions are often added at a late stage they are neglected and are often punctuated inconsistently or have typos.
• Check copyrights to see whether acknowledgement is required for photographs; such acknowledgement should be in the format ‘Image courtesy <source>’. For example, an image from whoscored.com should have the acknowledgement as ‘Image courtesy whoscored.com’.
• Every Sportskeeda article must necessarily have at least one picture.
• The file name of every picture must necessarily contain the name of the player or team in question (e.g. sachin_tendulkar.jpg)
• Always use a licensed picture, ideally from the 'Getty' tab on the article submission page.
• Images should be inserted at the top of the article and in the middle; no images should be inserted at the bottom of the article.
• Avoid using vulgar, disturbing or inappropriate pictures, no matter how suited they may be to the article.
• Sportskeeda has a no-tolerance policy towards plagiarism.
• If any portion of an article is found to be copied from anywhere, the article will be rejected and a warning will be given to the author (along with the link of the original source).
• If the same author is found to have copied even after being given a warning, his or her account will be permanently blocked.
• An article could be rejected on any of the following grounds:
- It is badly written (contains more than 10 language/grammatical/formatting errors);
- It is plagiarized (either direct words and phrases or ideas);
- It is excessively subjective or irrational;
- It is on a generic subject and is poorly researched (eg articles like "What is the problem with Indian hockey?" or "Does Indian basketball need a professional league?" which do not contain the necessary facts and numbers to back up the argument);
- It spews hatred against any particular player, team, community, country or region;
- It pokes fun at any person or player based on physical appearances;
- It is insensitive towards any player or insults the abilities of any player (for example, a list of the worst cricketers in the world);
- It is a piece of fiction or is a personal experience story on an unofficial, amateur sporting event;
- It is a news report whose content is similar to that of an article which has already been published on Sportskeeda (even if it is not plagiarized).
• While writing the word, care should be taken that the correct format is followed – upper case initial, and everything else in lower case.
• All statistics in every article must be carefully checked to avoid any inaccuracies.
• Every stats article must necessarily contain a line at the end saying, “Stats updated up to <date>.”
• All sub-headings must necessarily contain SEO keywords (ie names of players, teams, venues etc).
• Sub-headings should be in bold type, and Heading 2 font.
• Sub-headings should serve the purpose of breaking up the article into easily digestible segments; they should not be used just for the sake of using them.
• Every video article should have some unique accompanying text that describes the circumstances surrounding the video and gives certain facts about the incident which aren't available on YouTube.