When addressing someone by name, for example, Dear James, sign off with ‘Yours sincerely’.
When addressing someone by title or job, for example, Dear Chief Inspector, sign off with ‘Yours faithfully’.
Addresses should be written without punctuation, for example:
Upper George Street
All text should always be left justify, including headings. Indenting of paragraphs is not necessary.
This is not really a style issue, as there are clear grammatical rules. However, incorrect use of apostrophes is probably the single most common error made in written materials.
Apostrophes are used to indicate one of three things,
- That a letter (or letters) have been missed out - examples include:
- is not being shortened to isn’t
- I cannot being shortened to I can’t
- it is being shortened to it’s
- To indicate ownership - in most cases, the apostrophe is followed by the letter ‘s’ - examples include:
- the council’s priorities
- Luton’s population
- the Mayor’s speech
If the word ends with the letter ‘s’, the apostrophe is added on its own at the end to indicate ownership.
This applies whether the word is a plural or singular - examples include:
- the boss’ instructions
- the senior managers’ conference
Note: if an ‘s’ is being placed after a number or abbreviation to make it a plural it does not require an apostrophe - examples include:
- The council owns thousands of PCs (not PC’s)
- Many people enjoy watching DVDs (not DVD’s)
- Alcohol should only be sold to over 18s (not over 18’s)
- To show expressions of time: Thursday’s meeting, seven days’ notice, one week’s pay.
Remember, don’t use apostrophes with pronouns.
The council’s policies = Its policies
‘It’s’ with an apostrophe means ‘it is’ or ‘it has’, not ‘belonging to it’.