Cantilever Writing Style


Most of our communication is written, so clear writing makes a huge difference in the effectiveness of our team.

We have a particular writing style that we should try and stick to for most communication. There are a few aspects of “Cantilever Style”, especially as pertaining to industry topics, where we may ignore standard grammar rules. Refer to ”Cantilever Style“ before any other grammatical rules.

  • Punctation marks may not go inside quotes when using a standalone term. It’s correct if someone says “this is the right way.” But it’s also fine in our view, if you are quoting a term, to do things the “Wrong Way”. However, it may make even more sense for the term to be italics instead of quotations when in doubt about how to deal with the Wrong Way.
  • These words are one word. When used as a proper noun, they should be capitalized. However, they will most often be used as an adjective and should thus follow sentence case:
    • frontend
    • backend
  • The user has a login which they use to log in to a site. They do not have a log in that they use to log into a site. You hack into a site, you don’t hack in to a site.
  • Punctuation and Lists: If a list item contains one sentence only, it does not need a trailing period. If it has more than one sentence, both sentences should have periods.
  • Use curly quotes for any outbound communication and certainly all site content. Learn the keyboard shortcuts so you can type them faster, or use software helpers. Read more:
  • Straight vs. Curly Quotes

General Grammar Resources

Sometimes the rules of grammar can be tricky to navigate. Here are some excellent links to resources helping answer some of your questions.

The Elements of Style

This is still the bible of English grammar.

We highly recommend that anyone who hasn’t read Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style should read it. Even if you have before, it’s a great resource to go back to every few years.

The Punctuation Guide

Ever wondered if you're using a semicolon correctly or how to properly use quotation marks? This site has your back and is relatively easy to navigate!

Grammarly’s Blog

A fantastic source of getting answers to your questions. And they have pictures! Check out some of these examples:

Montgomery College

Of course an academic institution is a good source. It's always wonderful when they share their knowledge online.