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<chapter id="writing-style">
  <title>Writing style</title>
  
  <para>In order to promote consistency between the myriad authors of the
    FreeBSD documentation, some guidelines have been drawn up for authors to
    follow.</para>
  
  <variablelist>
    <varlistentry>
      <term>Do not use contractions</term>
      
      <listitem>
	<para>Do not use contractions.  Always spell the phrase out in full.
	  &ldquo;Don't use contractions&rdquo; would be wrong.</para>

	<para>Avoiding contractions makes for a more formal tone, is more
	  precise, and slightly easier for translators.</para>
      </listitem>
    </varlistentry>
    
    <varlistentry>
      <term>Use the serial comma</term>
      
      <listitem>
	<para>In a list of items within a paragraph, seperate each item from
	  the others with a comma.  Seperate the last item from the others with
	  a comma and the word &ldquo;and&rdquo;.</para>

	<para>For example, look at the following quote;</para>
	
	<blockquote>
	  <para>This is a list of one, two and three items.</para>
	</blockquote>
	
	<para>Is this a list of three items, &ldquo;one&rdquo;,
	  &ldquo;two&rdquo;, and &ldquo;three&rdquo;, or a list of two items,
	  &ldquo;one&rdquo; and &ldquo;two and three&rdquo;?</para>
	
	<para>It is better to be explicit and include a serial comma;</para>
	
	<blockquote>
	  <para>This is a list of one, two, and three items.</para>
	</blockquote>
      </listitem>
    </varlistentry>
    
    <varlistentry>
      <term>Avoid redundant phrases</term>
      
      <listitem>
	<para>Try not to use redundant phrases.  In particular, &ldquo;the
	  command&rdquo;, &ldquo;the file&rdquo;, and &ldquo;man
	  command&rdquo; are probably redundant.</para>

	<para>These two examples show this for commands.  The second example
	  is preferred.</para>
	
	<informalexample>
	  <para>Use the command <command>cvsup</command> to update your
	    sources</para>
	</informalexample>
      
	<informalexample>
	  <para>Use <command>cvsup</command> to update your sources</para>
	</informalexample>
	
	<para>These two examples show this for filenames.  The second example
	  is preferred.</para>
	
	<informalexample>
	  <para>&hellip; in the filename
	    <filename>/etc/rc.local</filename>&hellip;</para>
	</informalexample>
	
	<informalexample>
	  <para>&hellip; in
	    <filename>/etc/rc.local</filename>&hellip;</para>
	</informalexample>
	
	<para>These two examples show this for manual references.  The second
	  example is preferred (the second example uses
	  <sgmltag>citerefentry</sgmltag>).</para>
	
	<informalexample>
	  <para>See <command>man csh</command> for more
	    information.</para>
	</informalexample>
	
	<informalexample>
	  <para>See &man.csh.1;</para>
	</informalexample>
      </listitem>
    </varlistentry>
  </variablelist>
</chapter>

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