Archives for March 2015

Writing Tip: Biblical Books & Abbreviations

When referring to a biblical book in running text, spell out the name of the book and lowercase the word “book”:

  • We studied the book of Revelation.
  • The sermon covered the book of Ruth.

One exception is for Gospels: if you’re referring to a specific Gospel, capitalize the word “Gospel” (alternatively, using the term “gospel” in reference to “good news” should be lowercased):

  • She read from the Gospel of Matthew.
  • He shared the gospel with his congregation.

When space is at a premium, abbreviations may be used for book names. Please keep abbreviations consistent throughout written copy—for example, if you abbreviate one heading, please abbreviate in the rest of the headings within that same deliverable.

Here are the standard abbreviations for each biblical book (shown in alphabetical order). Don’t forget to include the period after each abbreviation!

Old Testament books:

Amos Amos
1 Chronicles 1 Chron.
2 Chronicles 2 Chron.
Daniel Dan.
Deuteronomy Deut.
Ecclesiastes Eccles.
Esther Esther
Exodus Exod.
Ezekiel Ezek.
Ezra Ezra
Genesis Gen.
Habakkuk Hab.
Haggai Hag.
Hosea Hosea
Isaiah Isa.
Jeremiah Jer.
Job Job
Joel Joel
Jonah Jon.
Joshua Josh.
Judges Judg.
1 Kings 1 Kings
2 Kings 2 Kings
Lamentations Lam.
Leviticus Lev.
Malachi Mal.
Micah Mic.
Nahum Nah.
Nehemiah Neh.
Numbers Num.
Obadiah Obad.
Proverbs Prov.
Psalms Ps. (plural Pss.)
Ruth Ruth
1 Samuel 1 Sam.
2 Samuel 2 Sam.
Song of Solomon Song of Sol.
Zechariah Zech.
Zephaniah Zeph.


New Testament books:

Acts Acts
Apocrypha Apoc.
Colossians Col.
1 Corinthians 1 Cor.
2 Corinthians 2 Cor.
Ephesians Eph.
Galatians Gal.
Hebrews Heb.
James James
John John
1 John 1 John
2 John 2 John
3 John 3 John
Jude Jude
Luke Luke
Mark Mark
Matthew Matt.
1 Peter 1 Pet.
2 Peter 2 Pet.
Philippians Phil.
Philemon Philem.
Revelation Rev.
Romans Rom.
1 Thessalonians 1 Thess.
2 Thessalonians 2 Thess.
1 Timothy 1 Tim.
2 Timothy 2 Tim.
Titus Titus

Writing Tip: Common Branded Terms

We deal with so many lines of business, brands, and projects on a daily basis—and each has its own set of terms that we use to brand its features.

To keep our communications consistent, we’ve created a list of branded terms. Terms should always be written as they appear on this list (including capitalization, italics, and punctuation).

We use these standards for a few reasons:

  1. Branding a term lets the customer know that it’s important and associated with a product.
  2. Consistency and repetition strengthen the brand in our customers’ minds.
  3. Maintaining consistency also makes us look smart and credible.

Here are some branded terms that are commonly missed:

  • Pre-Publication or Pre-Pub
  • Community Pricing
  • Dynamic Pricing
  • Faithlife Groups
  • Free Book of the Month
  • Reftagger
  • Verse of the Day

On the flip side, some terms are not branded, though we often try to capitalize them as though they are. They make sense as general terms, and we don’t want to overbrand our copy—having too many capitalized words can look sloppy, and many terms aren’t unique to our business.

Here are some commonly confused nonbranded terms:

  • top product
  • monthly sale
  • prayer list
  • reading plan
  • wish list

Check out the Branded Terms Lexicon on the Wiki for a comprehensive list of branded terms (bookmark this!): http://wiki/Branded_Terms_Lexicon

Writing Tip: Possessives Ending in “S”

Which is it—Jesus’s disciples or Jesus’ disciples?

It depends on who you ask, but in our style guide, we just use the apostrophe (which is a departure from the Chicago Manual of Style).

  • Logos’ training seminar
  • The disciples’ feet

This goes for plurals ending in “s”; irregular plurals take an apostrophe and an “s”:

  • The women’s conference
  • Children’s ministries

Writing Tip: Spaced-Out Ellipses

Ellipses should be spaced out in marketing copy (“. . .”). They’re primarily used to show that text is omitted.

They can also be used as a point of suspension (Our lowest price . . . ever!), though those can usually be replaced with an em dash (Our lowest price—ever!).

When part of a sentence is omitted, we can use an ellipsis with spaces on each side to show which part is missing. If the sentence ends directly before the omission, leave the ending punctuation (usually a period), followed by the three spaced-out periods (see the third example below).

Let’s cut down these sentences: “Ellipses omit text that isn’t needed. The periods are tricky and should be spaced out.”

  • Ellipses omit text that isn’t needed. The periods . . . should be spaced out.
  • Ellipses omit text that isn’t needed. The periods are tricky . . .
  • Ellipses omit text that isn’t needed. . . .

Pro tip: Use nonbreaking spaces to avoid breaking your ellipses over two lines.