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Abbreviations

See abbreviations and acronyms

Acronyms

See abbreviations and acronyms

Address

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:


Luton Council
Town Hall
Upper George Street
Luton
LU1 2BQ

Alignment

All text should always be left justify, including headings. Indenting of  paragraphs is not necessary.

Apostrophes

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,

  1. 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
  2. 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)
  3. 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’.

Download a copy of our style guide

© 2022 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ