Dynamic Writers, Dynamic Rules
Once upon a time, the AP could get away with carving its style commandments in stone. Today, standards have to evolve with the needs of the writers and editors who apply them—which means you've come to the right place, because Bleacher Report has always been in the business of adaptation.
What It Is
The B/R Stylebook is a new resource for a new era: a document designed to keep pace with 24/7 news and to-the-minute information. Yes, the fundamentals will always be the fundamentals, and diligence will always pay dividends—but diligence is nothing if not the art of attention to detail, and attention to detail means seeing the moral of facts on the ground:
In an age of agile social media, front-runners get ahead by staying on their toes—and flat-footedness is the first step toward the Trash folder of history.
How It Works
B/R's copy gurus have spent years refining a style suited to its digital medium. The Stylebook gathers the fruits of their labor in a single basket, with three discrete sections serving three discrete functions:
- Bleacher Report Basics, a brief summary of the site's most important bylaws
- The Style Standard Clearinghouse, an essential digest of rules and exceptions
- The Sports Usage Dictionary, a growing primer on spelling, hyphenation and capitalization for sport-specific words and phrases
And lest you think we've forgotten the bit about dynamism, there's also an appendix devoted to Updates and Inquiries—the former to keep you apprised of the latest adjustments to any of the sections above, the latter to let you shape the course of things to come.
Bleacher Report Basics
Cut your teeth with another media outlet? Don't assume their style rules apply here too—B/R's standards are known for their uniqueness, with particular emphasis on…
Numbers and Statistics
- Numbers zero through nine (and first through ninth) are spelled out unless otherwise noted in the Style Standard Clearinghouse.
- Numbers 10 and above (and 10th and above) are presented in digits unless otherwise noted in the Style Standard Clearinghouse.
- Percentages are (a) always presented in digits (even for numbers under 10) and (b) indicated by the word "percent" instead of the percent symbol (%)—except in stat lines and tables, where B/R style calls for the symbol.
- Quotation marks are double ("…") instead of single ('…')—except in headlines or quotes within quotes, where B/R style calls for single marks.
- Unspaced em-dashes (text—text) are standard in all dash scenarios, as opposed to en-dashes (–), double hyphens (--), or spaced em-dashes (text — text).
- Serial commas are NOT used in lists of three or more items—meaning that "football, basketball and baseball" (as opposed to "football, basketball, and baseball") is the correct construction.
Formatting and Layout
- All words in headlines are capitalized, with the exception of articles (a, an, the), coordinating conjunctions (and, but, or) and prepositions of four or fewer letters (in, of, etc.)
- Paragraphs are aligned flush with the left margin, never indented.
- Line-item lists are formatted with the "Bulleted List" tool in B/R's publishing interface.
- Quotations are (a) introduced with attributive hyperlinks to original source material and (b) formatted (without surrounding quotation marks) using the "Block Quote" tool in B/R's publishing interface if comprising three or more lines—except in the case of quotes obtained from firsthand interviews, which are always formatted as normal text.
Style Standard Clearinghouse
Head spinning after all those, ahem, "basics"? Well, catch your breath and get your bearings—we've only covered the tip of the iceberg, and it's a long way down into the nitty-gritty abyss.
To peruse the Style Standard Clearinghouse for general interest, you can use the scroll bar at the right. To search for a particular entry, meanwhile, you should use your browser's "Find" feature—i.e. via Command-F on a Mac or Ctrl-F on a PC.
Sports Usage Dictionary
Did the pitcher bring his "A-game" or his "A game"? Is he playing in the "big leagues" or the "Big Leagues"? And what about that breaking pitch—is it a nasty "curveball" or a nasty "curve ball"?
B/R's Sports Usage Dictionary has the answers you're looking for, all of them findable with help from the same combination of scrolling and "Find"ing that got you through the Style Standard Clearinghouse.
Updates and Inquiries
Whenever you loop back to the Stylebook, be sure to scan the summary of recent updates to and inquiries about the sections above:
And if you ever encounter an issue we haven't addressed yet, don't hesitate to press us for clarification by submitting your question via the following form:
All new questions will be processed by B/R's intrepid admins on a regular basis, with the goal of keeping the Stylebook—and B/R itself—as relevant tomorrow as it is today.