Bulleted lists

Capitalize the first word of every bullet. Don't use semicolons after points in a bulleted list. Include a period at the end of the bullet only if that point is a complete sentence. If one bullet point requires a period, give all in the list a period. For example:

When you go to the store, please buy:

When you leave the house:

I need these things done:


Capitalize the first word after a colon if a colon introduces a direct quotation or the first word after a colon is a proper noun. For example:

The dolphins left a note that said: "So long and thanks for all the fish!"

There are two students tied for top of the class: Richard and Stephanie.


Use semicolons sparingly. They are difficult to see on some hand-held devices. Semicolons can sometimes confuse non-native English speakers. For example, in Greek you end a question with a semicolon. In Arabic a semicolon denotes a direct causal relationship between different phrases.

Try rewriting the sentence or paragraph to make it more readable.


Use the serial comma (sometimes called the Oxford comma). In a list of three or more, include a comma before the conjunction. For example: Please buy milk, apples, and cod cakes.


When offsetting a phrase with dashes you should use the longer em dash (—) with a space on either side of the dash. For example:

We emphasize specific, customer-centered workflows, and — whenever possible — we preserve your current workflow.

Use words rather than symbols, but in some contexts you may use an "en dash" to convey a range of numbers. For example, both 10–20 footnotes and 10 to 20 footnotes are acceptable options.

We assign 2–5 people to each development team.


These sentences with quoted text are correctly punctuated:

"Would you like a milk shake?" he asked.

"I don't like milk shakes," she said. "You know I detest milk shakes."

He paused before saying, "Well, how about a Pepsi?"


Sentences should always be separated by a single space. Never two spaces.

Ampersands or plus signs

Use and instead of an ampersand or plus sign, unless they're part of an official title or company name. For example, Hoefler & Co.


Avoid using the slash / symbol. Replace it with words or commas as appropriate.