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Upper case when referring directly to the actual programme, otherwise use lower case. Until all hard-coded instances of Activation PIN have been removed from the Online Services pages, use ‘Activation Code (also known as Activation PIN)’. Only use upper case when using the full title: Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, for example. Lower case in subsequent mentions that do not use the full term: the register. Not advisor, but advisory is the correct adjective. Exceptions include where it’s part of a specific name: 4th Mechanized Brigade, for example. To emphasise words or phrases, you can: Lower case even in a name: Northampton borough council. The only acceptable use of square brackets is for explanatory notes in reported speech: “Thank you [Foreign Minister] Mr Smith.” Do not use round brackets to refer to something that could either be singular or plural, like ‘Check which document(s) you need to send to DVLA.’ Always use the plural instead, as this will cover each possibility: ‘Check which documents you need to send to DVLA.’ Not ‘EU Exit’. You can use bullet points to make text easier to read.
Activation PIN has been changed to Activation Code on outgoing correspondence from the Government Gateway. Upper case when referring to the national Adoption Register. Do not use bold in other situations, for example to emphasise text. Lower case except where it’s a title with the holder’s name, like Chief Constable Andrew Trotter. Upper case, but generic references to tax credits are lower case.
Use upper case for East End, West End (London), Middle East, Central America, South America.
Use lower case for the north, the south of England, the south-west, north-east Scotland, south Wales, the west, western Europe, the far east, south-east Asia. Lower case when a group has a very generic title like working group or research team. Lower case unless part of a proper noun: Cardiff Harbour Authority.
Steps end in a full stop because each should be a complete sentence.
If you think an acronym is well known, please provide evidence that 80% of the UK population will understand and commonly use it. Only use upper case when referring to the name of an academy, like Mossbourne Community Academy. Upper case when referring to the Agile Manifesto and principles and processes, otherwise use lower case. For example, ‘You can only register a pension scheme that is (one of the following):’ The number and type of examples in a list may lead the user to believe the list is exhaustive. Instead use ‘for example’ or ‘such as’ or ‘like’ or ‘including’ - whichever works best in the specific context. Try using ‘for example’ or ‘such as’ or ‘like’ or ‘including’. Use EU when you mean EU member states: EU countries, EU businesses, EU consumers, goods exported from the EU, EU VAT numbers. eg can sometimes be read aloud as ‘egg’ by screen reading software. Write out in full at first mention, then call it the Commission. If you write content by starting with user needs, you will not need to use FAQs. Describe what the user might need to do, rather than what government calls a thing. Upper case for the Earth, Planet Earth and Earth sciences, with lower case for ‘the’. If that is not possible, use an alternative such as ‘meaning’ or ‘that is’. Try (re)writing sentences to avoid the need to use it. Write email addresses in full, in lower case and as active links.
The first time you use an abbreviation or acronym explain it in full on each page unless it’s well known, like UK, DVLA, US, EU, VAT and MP. Then refer to it by initials, and use acronym Markdown so the full explanation is available as hover text. For example, ‘a class of 15 16-year-old students took the A level course’ can be written as ‘15 students aged 16 took the A level course’. Use and rather than &, unless it’s a department’s logo image or a company’s name as it appears on the Companies House register. But it’s sometimes necessary to add a short phrase to clarify whether all or some of the points apply. Upper case in titles: Spencer Tracy, Chairman, GDS.