British usage and spelling and usage should be maintained throughout ('rumour, not 'rumor'; 'complexion', not 'complection'; 'realise', not 'realize'; &c.). A full list appears at the end of this post.
Capitalization: Like all proper nouns, days of the week, months, seasons, and cardinal directions should be capitalized.
Censorship: it was common the period to soften the blow of words like 'damned' by printing them as 'd--ned' and letting the reader fill in the blanks.
Colon: the colon is used in cases of introduction, definition, elaboration, and explanation. (He had only one thing left in his pack: the tin albatross. It was a case of mistaken identity: he'd thought his own reflection was his sister, returned home. We are an insular and distrustful clan: you're the first intruder my father didn't just shoot.)
|Image by Aeferg|
Compound Names: the first part of these should never be capitalized unless the sentence begins with the name. (“Good day, Mr der Große.” vs. “Der Große is not in, presently.”)
Ellipsis: the ellipsis should always be represented as the three-dot glyph (…), not a series of separate periods (...). In cases where a character trails off just at the end of a complete sentence, that sentence's end-punctuation precedes the ellipsis, and is separated by a space. (“Which banana do you think he used to do all that? …”)
Em Dash: is used as a break in thought or speech—like this one—and then allows for a return to the matter at hand. It can also be used to cut off a speaker mid-sentence.
Et Cetera: should be abbreviated '&c.', not 'etc.'
Forward, Backward, Toward, Outward: modify nouns
Forwards, Backwards, Towards, Outwards: modify verbs, also represent definite direction
Fragments: fragmentary sentences should not be used outside of speech, along with sentences starting with 'and' or 'but'.
Indents: all poems, songs, and letters should be indented and italicized.
Italics: should be used for foreign words, emphasis, irony, titles of works, and names of vessels. In letters, songs, and poems, which are already italicized, no differentiation is made.
Question Mark: question marks are not necessary after rhetorical questions.
|Bob the Angry Flower|
Quotes and end-sentence punctuation: if the end-sentence punctuation modifies the quote itself, it should be placed within the endquote. If it modifies a larger sentence which contains the quote, it should be placed outside the end quote. (“Goddamit,” said Frank, “this is no place to keep a Panzer!” vs. But what, my dear reader, could the butler possibly have meant by his last words, ‘These hats will end us all'?) Two end-sentence punctuations should not be used on the same sentence, except in some special cases. (“Why is she leaping over my anvil shouting ‘I'm a propane-fueled dancing machine!’?”) The same rules apply to parentheses. In the rare instance of a double quote and single quote appearing side-by-side, there should be no space between them. (“She just kept saying to me ‘oh dear, but whatever can be wrong?’”)
|The Fearsome 'Alot'|
Subjunctive/Indicative Conditionals: 'If I was a Roman Legionnaire' means that it is physically possible for the speaker to be one, even though he is not one currently. 'If I were a Roman Legionnaire' is used when it is not actually a possibility, just an idea. This is why we say 'If I were you', since it is not actually possible to be someone you are not (yet).
Titles: if the abbreviation for the title ends with the same letter as ends the full title, then no period is required (Mr Okuda, Dr Silva, Mme St Germaine). The period is necessary for all other instances. (Prof. Prachanda, the Rev. Cadwallader)
Brief Guide to Victorian British Spellings:
Use of the 'æ' and 'œ' ligature.
Nouns ending '-ense' in American usage take '-ence' instead.
|Defence||Licence (noun only)||Offence||Pretence|
'OU' for 'O'.
A few retain a 'C' where Americans use 'K'.
Verbs ending in '-ize/-yze' instead take '-ise/-yse'.
|Optimise||Paralyse||Penalise||Practise (verb only)||Realise||Recognise||Standardise|
Many nouns ending in -or instead take -our.
Some words use 'PH' instead of 'F'.
Many words use -re instead of -er.
Some verbs take -t in the past tense instead of -ed.
|Dreamt||Leant (on a chair)||Learnt||Lent (money)|
Some nouns use -xion instead of -tion.
Many words retain doubled consonants.
Others omit consonants we usually double.
|All Right||Any Thing||Any Where||Each Other||For Ever|
|Ageing||Arse for Ass||Artefact||Axe||Baulk||Behove||Blueish|
|Cosy||Dependant||Enquiry (inquiry)||Grey||H'm||H'mph||Haulier (hauler)|
|Kerb (Street Curb)||Loth (loath)||M'm||Nett (i.e. profit)||Orientate (orient)||Pedlar (peddler)||Pleaded (not Pled)|
|Plough (a field)||Pyjamas||Speciality||Storey (of a building)||Titbit||Tyre||Vice (not Vise)|
|Whisp (of smoke)|
And lastly, a 'draught' of air, or water, but not for a draft of a letter.