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Grammar & Mechanics

Basic grammar guidelines for writing with Orbit.

Why should we care?

👌”If you respect your readers, you will make the content work for them.” — Sarah Richards, Content Design

General information

The main language of Orbit and is American English


Double-check, proofread and, when possible, get a second and third set of eyes on your copy.

Write short sentences. Short sentences improve readability. They are more powerful.

Long sentences that run on and on, and are full of commas, colons and semicolons — and many different clauses — are really confusing and awkward to read for even the strongest readers — just look at James Joyce’s Ulysses; it’s an impossible read that most people just cannot get through because they can’t follow anything because his sentences are so long and winding, like the narrow streets of Dublin.

Em dashes are preferable to semicolons — but never use hyphens unless you are hyphenating. On a Mac this is shift + option + minus. On Windows, just copy this: —

En dashes are used to connect things, such as time and date, in short form. On a Mac this is option + minus. On Windows, just copy this: –
Jan 24–Feb 28, 10:00–14:00.

A lot of people have a tendency to Randomly Capitalize. Especially so in headlines and subheadings. It doesn’t make your work look more important, just messy. Write them in sentence case.

Titles of books, films, songs etc are written in title case. They do not have inverted commas, nor are they italicized: How to Play Dead.

Full stops are not used in acronyms: UK, US.

All brand names must follow the company’s own style: easyJet; SpongeBob SquarePants. product and service names have their first letter capped: Hosted Airport Programme, Tequila (never TEQUILA), Virtually Interlined, Guarantee, etc. Note that it is NOMAD, not Nomad.

Never justify text. Keep it ragged and left-aligned. Justifying your copy means it will not behave when it is read on different devices.

Always include diacritics if they are there: Oliver Dlouhý, Petra Vaškových, etc. It’s very rude to misspell someone’s name.


One to nine are written in full, followed by 10 to 999,999,999 etc. 1 to 9 may be used in headlines and subject copy for brevity, but shouldn’t be in subheadings.

When talking about numerous people or animals, always write thousands, millions or billions in full: 60.5 million passengers. For anything else, m or bn is ok, depending on how it reads: $60bn.

Use commas to separate thousand units: 1,000.

Date & time

All dates are written month – day – year: October 26, 2018; Friday, October 26, 2018. In short, March 17th, ie., “The changes are effective immediately, March 19th.”

Please note the comma separating the date and the year; the day and the month.

With years use BCE (Before Common Era) and CE (Common Era) as opposed to BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini) if you need to.

Use the 24-hour clock. 14:59.


The plural of euro is euro.


€, $ and £ are placed before the price, without a space: €6.43.

kč is placed after the price without a space and is not capitalized.

¢ and p are placed after the price, without a space: 83¢.

Temperatures: 30C (86F).