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Bulbanews:Manual of style

From Bulbanews, your community Pokémon newspaper.
Revision as of 06:55, 16 September 2006 by Zhen Lin (talk | contribs) (Spelling and capitalization)
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  • Remember the inverted pyramid. Put the most relevant and important information at the beginning of your article (your lead) and gradually work your way down to more trivial information. However, this is not a reason to make the majority of your story slop.
  • Do not correct quoted speech: present it as it is, adding "(sic) or [sic]" where appropriate; however, spelling may be corrected.
  • Use bold ('''bold''') for strong emphasis, instead of spelling words completely capitalized.
  • Song, movie and episode titles are italicized.
  • Pictures are good; they attract readers and pique their curiosity.
  • For news articles, watch use of opinionated words, such as "gracefully", unless you quote a source with them. Also, instead of writing "He was grateful," write "He said he was grateful."
  • Spelling and grammar checkers are aids, not substitutes for proofreading. A spell-checker will not catch incorrect use of "there," "their," and "they're," and a grammar-checker may or may not catch mistakes such as typing "nest" instead of "best."
  • When in doubt, ask an editor or consult the Associated Press Stylebook or Webster's New World Dictionary, both which dictate news style.
  • A tagline is a brief, single statement (it can be a sentence fragment and does not require a period at the end) that summarizes or states a major fact from your story. It is optional.
  • A brief consists of the first several sentences of your story, quickly informing the reader the "who, what, where, when and why" of your story.
  • Use Bulbapedia links as often as they are appropriate (most of the time). Wikipedia links are helpful for unfamiliar, non-Pokémon terms.
  • Objectivity and fairness are vital. Keep your opinion out of your article unless you are writing a review or editorial! A new Pokémon game should not be described as "exciting" or "boring" unless it is in a direct quote from someone else.
  • We are not held accountable to any sort of corporation, such as Nintendo or Game Freak. We are not their cheerleaders or advertisers. It is one matter to inform the public of a new product of interest, but quite another to tout its benefits or provide links to where the readers can purchase it.

Spelling and capitalization

  • "Toward" and related words, such as "afterward," "forward," and "backward" do not have an s.
  • A specific named unit is all capitals, such as "Saffron Pokémon Center." If more than one are used, the specific names are capitalized but not the common word; for example: "Saffron and Celadon Pokémon centers."
  • Numbers, including years, simply need an s without an apostrophe when they are plural; for example: "in the 1990s" and "He is in his 20s."
  • Likewise, fully capitalized acronyms and abbreviations do not require the apostrophe in plural usage; for example: "CDs and DVDs." The exceptions to this rule are fully capitalized acronyms and abbreviations that consist of one character: "He got all A's" is the correct form in this case.
  • Except for historically-ingrained cases such as Jesus and Moses, singular possessives are formed with 's - with an apostrophe. [1] Plural possessives take a bare apostrophe if they end in s.
  • Titles ahead of a name are capitalized, such as "Frontier Brain Noland." Titles after a name are lower-case, such as "Noland, frontier brain,..." Put a long title in back of a name (making it lower-case). If it is a job description, it is always lower-case, such as "trainer Ash Ketchum."
  • Hourly times do not use 0s (5 p.m., not 5:00 PM) and the a.m. and p.m. are written lower-case with periods. Use "noon" or "midnight" instead of "12"; "midnight" is always counted as the day preceding the next. For example, if New Year's Day fell on a Wednesday, midnight on New Year's Eve would be written as "midnight Tuesday."
  • Dates are to be presented with the month abbreviated according to news style and preceding the day of the month, which does not take an ordinal suffix. A year may optionally be added, with a comma after the day of the month. Months that are never abbrevated are March, April, May, June and July. References to months without dates attached are not abbreviated. Therefore:
    • Sept. 1, 2005
    • Sept. 2005
    • Sept. 1
    • September (no date)

Specific items

  • The correct spelling of the subject of this web site is "Pokémon," not "pokemon" or "Pokemon".
  • It is the Wii, not the Nintendo Wii.


  • Use a hyphen to connect related adjectives, such as 9-foot board, first-place finisher, 3-year-old girl. When linked adjectives are not related and not dependent upon each other to make sense, they require a comma, such as "the rusted, dull saw."
  • A sentence with one subject and two verbs does not need a comma. A sentence that is constructed with subect-verb and subject-verb does need a comma; for example: "Pikachu ate an apple and threw away the core," and "Pikachu ate an apple, and Pichu ate a pear."
  • The use of serial commas are to be determied by the preference of each reporter. However, it is to be remembered that news style dictates prudent use, such as "Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle" as opposed to "Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle."
  • Never comma splice, as in "Misty said being a Gym Leader is hard, her sisters give her plenty of trouble." Instead of the comma, you have three options: a conjunction ("because" is good in this case), making it two sentences, or using a semi-colon (the best choice in this case, but don't over-use it).
  • Starting a direct quote requires its own paragraph. An indirect quote (paraphrasing what someone else said) directly related to the preceding sentence can be part of the same paragraph. Try to have paragraphs be no longer than six lines. A reader needs plenty of breaks. Try to mix short and longer paragraphs and sentences.
  • The American use of punctuation within quotes is preferred to the less often-seen British usage. Punctuation at the end of a sentence is to be placed within the quotation marks, if applicable. Exceptions are colons, semi-colons, and question marks that are not part of the quote.
  • Use a comma, not a period, when connecting a quote to a speech tag. It is not: "You do this right." he said. If the punctuation ending the quote is a ! or a ?, the pronoun is still lower-case, such as "You get it right!" he said.


  • Use Japanese Pokémon names in a Japanese context, especially with translations of Japanese episode titles; for example, Nyula and Barrierd! Whose Restaurant?!
  • Use "U.S." as an adjective and "United States" as a noun unless that's how it is in a direct quote. Same goes for "U.K." and "United Kingdom". For example: "Pokémon is popular in the United States," not "Pokémon is popular in the U.S."
  • Nine and below are spelt out, whereas 10 and above are written as numbers, including ordinals such as "first" and "11th."
    • Exceptions are numerous, including ages, dimensions and addresses, all of which use numerals. Avoid starting sentences with numbers, but when it is unavoidable, spell them out, even those 10 and above. The only exceptions to this rule are years.
  • The word "age" isn't needed with an age, such as "Ash Ketchum, age 10," unless the numeral can be confused with some other figure in the same sentence. Hyphenate an age when ahead of the noun, such as "4-year-old boy" and use separate words otherwise, such as "He is 4 years old."
  • Subjects and verbs must match, such as "Electric and Psychic are my favorite types." Some misleading pronouns are singular, such as "everyone": "Everyone brought their Poké Balls" is incorrect- instead, write "Everyone brought his or her Poké Balls."
  • "It's" is a contraction for "it is" as in "It's time we got this right." "Its" is possessive as in "The Poochyena wants its bone."
  • Try to spell out contractions.
  • Avoid first-person writing (using "I," "me," "us," and "we" to refer to yourself) unless you're writing a first-person feature, column or opinion piece.
  • Avoid second-person writing (using "you" to refer to the reader) unless you are writing directions, a second-person feature or a column.
  • Don't worry about overuse of "said." The reader does not tire of it; he reads over it. (Notice the use of semi-colon). Speech tags such as "claimed" makes the reader think the writer doubts what is being said. Accuracy is needed to correctly use certain speech tags. Some speech tags reveal the sentiment of the writer. We often improperly write that "Team Rocket demands" and "League officials request."
  • In speech tags, the subject goes ahead of the verb.
    • Preferred: "You get it right," May said.
    • Avoid: "You get it right," said May.
    • Accepted: "You get it right," said May, the youngest coordinator in the room.
  • Use "plenty" and "several" instead of "much," "lots," or "a lot" except in a direct quote. Note that "a lot" is two words.


  • Some guidelines were adapted or coped from Nils Rosdahl's Notes on News Style.

External resources