Style and Grammar

Basics

Acronyms and Abbreviations

If there’s a chance your reader won’t recognize an abbreviation or acronym, spell it out the first time you mention it, then use the short version in parentheses next to it. Use the short version for all subsequent references.

  • First use: Keeping People Stoked (KPS)
  • Second use: KPS

If the abbreviation or acronym is well known, like “rep” or “HTML,” use it instead (and don’t worry about spelling it out).

Contractions

We support the use of contractions. We sell socks, skate, paint, shoot hoops, make art, and don’t often use two words where a contraction will do. However, try to avoid using contractions if you’re writing content that will be translated for an international audience.

Punctuation

Apostrophes

The apostrophe’s most common use is making a word possessive. If the word already ends in an s and is singular, you also add an ‘s. If the word ends in an s and is plural, just add an apostrophe.

Colons

Use a colon (rather than an ellipses, em dash, or comma) to offset a list.

  • Erin ordered three kinds of socks: Training, Super Invisibles, and Star Wars.

You can also use a colon to join two related phrases. If a complete sentence follows the colon, capitalize the first word.

  • I was faced with a dilemma: I wanted a donut, but I'd just eaten a bagel.

Commas

When writing a list, use the serial comma (also known as the Oxford comma).

  • Yes: Brett admires his parents, John Wilson, and Jeff Kearl.
  • No: Brett admires his parents, John Wilson and Jeff Kearl.

Commas go within quotation marks.

  • In order to earn his "free lunch," Jordan had to sell 30% more intercom systems than any of his coworkers.

Dashes and Hyphens

Use a hyphen (-) without spaces on either side to link words into a single phrase, or to indicate a span or range.

  • first-time customer
  • Monday-Friday

Use an em dash (—) side to offset an aside. Use a true em dash, not hyphens (- or --).

  • Multivariate testing—just one of our new Pro features—can help you grow your business.
  • Austin thought Brad was the donut thief, but he was wrong--it was Lain.

Periods

In Relation to Parentheses 

Periods go outside parentheses when the parenthetical is part of a larger sentence, and inside parentheses when the parenthetical stands alone. 

  • I ate a donut (and I ate a bagel, too). I ate a donut and a bagel. (The donut was Sam’s.) 

In Relation to Quotation Marks 

Periods precede closing quotation marks, whether double or single. Use single quotation marks for quotes within quotes.

  • Brad said, “A wise man once told me, ‘A fool and his donut are easily parted.’” 

There should only be one space between a period and the following sentence.

Question Marks

In Relation to Parentheses

Like periods, question marks go outside parentheses when the parenthetical is part of a larger sentence, and inside parentheses when the parenthetical stands alone.

  • Why couldn't she leave me alone (and why did I decide to live with her in the first place)?
  • I ate her donut. (Who's to say she didn't deserve it?)

In Relation to Quotation Marks

Question marks go inside quotation marks if they're part of the quote. 

  • Christy asked, "Did you eat my donut?"
  • Who was it that said, "A fool and his donut are easily parted"?

Exclamation Points

Exclamation points go inside quotation marks. Like periods and question marks, they go outside parentheses when the parenthetical is part of a larger sentence, and inside parentheses when the parenthetical stands alone. 

Numbers

Think of a Title

Spell out the numbers zero through nine. Write 10 and up in numerical form. When beginning a sentence with a number, spell it out.

  • I have zero free sock codes left.

  • Something about 13.

  • Twenty two is my roommate’s favorite number.

Numbers over three digits get commas:

  • 999

  • 1,000

  • 150,000

Write out big numbers in full. Abbreviate them if there are space constraints, as in a social post or a chart: 1k, 150k.

Ranges and Spans

Use a hyphen (-) to indicate a range or span of numbers.

  • It takes 20-30 days.

Money

When writing about US currency, use the dollar sign before the amount. Include a decimal and number of cents if more than 0.

  • $20
  • $19.99

When writing about other currencies, follow the same symbol-amount format:

  • ¥1

  • €1

Temperature

Use the degree symbol and the capital F abbreviation for Fahrenheit.

  • 98˚F

Dates

Years are expressed in numerals unless they stand at the beginning of a sentence (see numbers), in which case it might make more sense to reword.

  • © Stance 2017. All Rights Reserved.

When expressing specific dates, use cardinal numbers in the month-day-year date form.

  • May 26, 2008, was the day Stance became a company.
  • On February 8, 2017, I made that up.

Time

Use numerals and am or pm without a space. Don’t use minutes for on-the-hour time.

  • 7am

  • 7:30pm

Use a hyphen between times to indicate a time period.

  • 7am-10:30pm

Specify time zones when writing about an event or something else people would need to schedule. Since Stance is in San Clemente, we default to PST. However, our warehouse is in Utah, which is on MST.

  • Eastern Standard Time: EST

  • Central  Standard Time: CST

  • Mountain Standard Time: MST

  • Pacific Standard Time: PST

When referring to international time zones, spell them out: Nepal Standard Time, Australian Eastern Time. If a time zone does not have a set name, use its Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) offset.

Names and Terms

Days of the Week, Months and Seasons

Capitalize names of days and months. Lowercase the names of the four seasons.

Tuesdayspringthe vernal (or spring) equinox
Novemberfallthe winter solstice

Holidays

Capitalize the names of secular and religious holidays or officially designated days or seasons.

  • Earth Day 
  • New Year's Day
  • New Year's Eve
  • the Fourth of July
  • Independence Day
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • National Poetry Month


If you're not sure about the spelling, capitalization or possession of the name of a holiday, or season, _____ is a great resource.


People, Places, and Things

Writing About Stance

Our company’s legal entity name is “Stance, Inc.” Our trade name is “Stance.” Use “Stance, Inc.” only when writing legal documents or contracts. Otherwise, use “Stance.”

Refer to Stance as “we,” not “it.”

Capitalize the proper names of Stance products, product features, and collections.

Displaying Trademark Notices

To note that something is a trademark, and in the case of registered marks in order to collect damages, the trademark has to be displayed with an appropriate symbol.

Here are the various trademark symbols and when to use them:

  • For unregistered trademarks of goods, use ™

  • For unregistered trademarks of services, use ℠

  • For trademarks granted registration by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), use ®

    • Note that using ® on marks that haven’t been registered by the USPTO can be considered fraud, so if you’re not sure if a trademark is registered, don’t use ®.

The trademark symbol should appear as close to the mark as possible.

Here’s how to indicate Stance’s trademark:

  • Include the ® symbol in the upper right-hand corner, above the word: Stance®

Marks are also sometimes indicated by using all caps: STANCE

Our trademarks should be properly noted the first time they’re used in a press release or article, or anywhere else our trademark and copyright notice does not appear.

Stance Trademarks

Below are lists of our registered and unregistered trademarks, with their correct spellings and capitalizations.

Registered

  • Stance®

  • Instance®

Unregistered

  • Feather-Stitch™

  • Feather-Seam™

  • Core-flex™

  • Butter Blend™

  • Wholester™

  • FEEL 360™

  • Deathless Thread™

  • Punks & Poets™

A Special Note On Punks & Poets™

The Punks & Poets are our sponsored athletes, musicians, artists, photographers, and general ambassadors of the brand. Below are guidelines on how we refer to them.

Both nouns should be plural, or both nouns should be singular.

  • Yes: Punks & Poets (referring to a group)

  • Yes: Punk & Poet (referring to an individual)

  • No: Punk & Poets

Always use an ampersand.

  • Yes: Punks & Poets

  • No: Punks and Poets

Do not separate the two groups. We would not call someone a Punk and someone else a Poet. They are all Punks & Poets.

Writing About Other Companies

Honor other companies’ own names for themselves and their products. Go by what they use on their official websites.

  • iPad

  • YouTube

  • Happy Spritz

Refer to a company or product as “it” (not “they”).

Symbols

Collaborations

We often use an “x” to denote collaborations with other brands or individuals. On these occasions, the name of the brand or individual we are collaborating with should come first, followed by the “x,” which should be written in lowercase.

  • Yes: Brixton x Stance

  • No: Brixton X Stance

  • No: Stance x Brixton

This rule should be applied on Stance.com and any Stance publications, such as catalogs and “zines,” where the reader already knows all the content belongs to and involves Stance.

The rule is not meant to be applied in the context of environments outside our stores, website, and written publications. For example, the rule would not apply to a display in a store such as Tilly’s, where not all product or content belongs to or involves Stance.

Ampersands

Avoid using ampersands unless one is part of a company or brand name.

  • John and Clark

  • Punks & Poets