|Amgine's style guide details|
|0–9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z|
Acronym, Navy Army Air Force Institutes, a British government organization which manages recreational facilities (restaurants, cafés, bars, canteens, etc.) for British armed forces. Will generally require an explanatory instance.
North American Free Trade Agreement, not Area or Association.
nail bomb / Nailbomb 
A nail bomb is a generic term for an anti-personnel explosive, often improvised, which include nails/screws or similar materials to increase their destructive effect. The capitalized Nailbomb is a Brazillian musical group.
naive, naively, naivete 
Do not spell with diaresis, or with accent, nor with a y, although all are alternative spellings. These three are the most common constructions across US, UK, and Canadian English corpus.
In general, use the name by which the subject wishes to be known. e.g. Declan Patrick MacManus is written of as Elvis Costello. Marion Morrison preferred his own name with family and friends, but for the press and strangers he was John Wayne.
On first mention in print, give the full name followed by, if relevant, the position; e.g. George H.W. Bush, former U.S. President. Subsequent mentions use either the surname alone, e.g. "Bush continues to work from his Crawford Ranch", or where the position is relevant then by that title, e.g. "the former President refused to comment on his successor", or with the appropriate honorific, e.g. "Messrs Bush and Cheney are currently on the speaking circuit."
In spoken news it is important to reverse the order: position name, e.g. former U.S. President George H.W. Bush. Listeners are more able to comprehend who the subject is, rather than having to stop listening to remember who the person is and possibly missing the rest of the sentence.
Constructions such as "sibilant polemicist Rich Lowry" require a definite article: "the sibilant polemicist Rich Lowry" or "Rich Lowry, the sibilant polemicist".
See also: Nigerian names
Only use for drugs which produce numbness and stupor, such as morphine, methadone, cocaine, heroin. Do not use generically to indicate any illegally trafficked controlled substance.
Term generated by politicians and increasingly used to indicate any opposition to the USA's "War on drugs" as well as any terrorist organization which may or may not be using the drug trade for fund-raising. Avoid use except in direct quotes.
Not Nasa. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, should always be preceded on first mention with U.S. or U.S.A.'s (see National below). Acceptable on first reference.
Do not use to mean country or state. Do use nation to indicate a people united by language, culture and history and forming a distinct group, possibly within a larger territory.
Related, avoid attributing the actions of an administration, government, or military group to a nation. e.g. "Indian massacre of 1622" deprecated in favour of "Jamestown massacre of 1622" or "Opechancanough massacre of 1622".
Avoid use to indicate citizenship or lack thereof, except in direct quotes.
Wikinews is transnational, therefore any organization whose title begins with the word "National" must be defined - for example, in at least Australia, United Kingdom, and the United States there were entities titled "National Rail". Many organizations whose titles begin with "National" are not, in fact, nation-wide in scope, e.g. the two National Curriculum Committees of the United Kingdom, one for Wales and one for England.
Use constructions such as the Australia's National Rail or National Rail of the United States.
Lower case except as part of a proper name; e.g. "Atlantis nationalists formed the Nationalists of Atlantis party."
national park 
Prefer, even in official titles, lower case. However, the US National Park Service (a branch of the Department of the Interior.)
Although various levels of governments declare properties 'national parks' for political and economic reasons, there are international definitions as to what constitutes a national park so the term should be used with caution.
National Savings & Investments 
United Kingdom, may be abbreviated NS&I.
Native Americans 
Term used to describe aboriginal peoples of the United States. Never use American Indian or Red Indian. Thaóyate Dúta (known as Little Crow) was a Native American, while Barack Obama is a native American. Not generally used outside of the USA.
Most commonly the acronym North Atlantic Treaty Organization, prefer all-caps over Nato as this is the form the organization itself promotes. NATO is also the acronym for National Association of Theatre Owners (US trade organization), North African Theater of Operations (WWII), North American Telemark Organization (recreation corp), and is similar in spelling to the Romaji nattō (納豆) (ethnic food).
The middle portion of a church. Homonym to knave, a title which will be applied to you if you confuse the spellings.
Lower case except in official title.
Note: almost all monarchies have a "Royal Navy". Always define more precisely: Royal Danish Navy, Royal British Navy, etc. Only use historic royal navy titles in the appropriate context. For example, the Royal Canadian Navy between 1911 and 1968, but now the Canadian Forces Maritime Command.
There is a distinction between adjectival use (a nearby bench) and adverbial use (a bench near by), but this is largely lost in common parlance.
near-sighted, near-sightedness 
Geographic feature at the western extremity of the Isle of Wight, British Isles.
neither ... nor 
Construction must use nor, never or.
Not merely an enemy; an agent of retribution and vengeance. When referring to the Greek goddess, always capitalize. Note her particular sphere of influence was punishing hubris.
The word is extensively used as a proper noun for everything from musical acts to naval ships.
A suffix indicating "new", it is often used to emphasize the difference between what the named item is and what it claims to be. Some uses should include the hyphen, generally when in the emphasis mode of use.
For both the people of Nepal and their language, not Nepalese.
With hyphen, not -wracking.
With acute accent.
Netanyahu, Binyamin 
Netherlands, the 
Not Holland, which is a specific portion of the country. Dutch is the usual adjective.
Note: the Dutch football team is usually referred to as Holland.
Often can and should be omitted. "They are releasing a new album titled 'Smell the Glove'." "They are releasing an album titled 'Smell the Glove'."
Newcastle upon Tyne 
New Deal 
Upper case whether talking about Franklin Delano Roosevelt's or Gordon Brown's.
News Corporation 
A large multi-national publishing conglomerate headed by the Murdoch family. Second mention NewsCorp or News Corp. The largest single block of private news assets in English are directly or indirectly controlled by News Corporation.
newspaper titles 
Just the name. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Times of India, etc., not the Pioneer Press newspaper.
new year 
But New Year's Eve, New Year's Day
New York 
When referring to the city, the largest on the eastern seaboard of the United States, use New York, New York or New York City initially, not New York, NY.
New York state, when referring to the state. Many organization titles begin with New York State, both governmental and otherwise, and full title should be used at initial mention. State University of New York is the title of the public university system, never New York State University, and abbreviated SUNY after first mention.
New Zealand 
Never NZ, even in headlines.
next of kin 
National Health Service abbreviation, must be spelled out on first use with the appropriate qualifier as to which NHS, but use abbreviation in headlines. (see National above.)
Nietzsche, Friedrich 
Nigerian names 
Surnames are not fixed in the western european manner in the northern portion of Nigeria. Names are formed of the usename, paternal usename, and origin; e.g. Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, Umaru child of Musa from Yar'Adua. Due to this name formation it is preferable to use the full name, or to refer the individual by a relevant title, as "Umaru Musa Yar'Adua traveled to Saudi Arabia for health treatment in 2009. The President returned in 2010, and died shortly thereafter."
In most cases, the hyphen is omitted. Note especially: nighttime. (Much though I would personally prefer otherwise, this is the most common usage in journalism.)
Nikkei average 
nimby, nimbys, nimbyism 
Stands for not in my backyard, so never nimbies.
Nineteen Eighty-Four 
For the George Orwell book, not 1984.
Niño, El 
no campaign 
Not No campaign or "no" campaign.
no doubt that, no question that 
The two phrases are opposites: "There was no doubt that he was lying" means he was lying; "There was no question that he was lying" means he was telling the truth. Because the two are often confused, avoid the construction except in direct quotes.
no man's land 
Abbreviation for 'number', omit dot. No 1 on the charts, or in sports, No 10 Downing Street.
Do not use except in direct quotes.
no-fly zone 
Nobel prize 
Nobel peace prize, Nobel prize for literature, etc.
Noel, Noël 
For the christian holiday use Noel except when covering events in a francophone location, or where the specific event covered specifically uses the diaresis accent.
For the personal name, spell as per the person's preferences. (see also names above.)
An acronym for (UK) the National Offender Management System as well as (USA) National Outcome Measures system. The latter is preferably NOMs.
noncommissioned officer 
Avoid "noncom", and never hyphenated.
It is not true that none must use the singular verb. The plural form may sound more natural. "None of the issues have been resolved."
no one 
In use indicates and not, therefore never use "and nor".
nordic countries 
Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland, and their associated territories which include the Faroes, Greenland and Åland.
Magnetic direction, lower case.
northern hemisphere 
northern lights 
aka aurora borealis, the southern hemisphere counterpart is aurora australis.
north of the border 
In England in the UK the phrase is used to indicate Scotland; in North America it indicates Canada. Due to strong regional connotations, avoid this phrase whenever possible.
In the UK, the name of an ancient kingdom, a university, and a police authority; but the county is Northumberland.
No middle 'e'.
notebook, notepaper 
Now over-used; see clichés.
Spell out from zero to ten, numerals from 11 to 999,999. Thereafter write out the full cardinal when referring to humans or animals (e.g. 6 billion people, 2.5 million ducks), written out or the abbreviations m for million, bn for billion, tn for trillion for quantities of inanimate objects. Write out trillion at first mention. Use m, bn, or tn in headlines. Spell out any number which begins a sentence except a year; if this results in a difficult-to-understand sentence, recast the sentence. When writing out a large number, do not use commas between the words which make up that number but do use a hyphen between any word ending in "y" and the following word. (e.g. one thousand nine hundred eighty-four)
The exception to the above is in ages; use cardinals for all ages, even those under ten.
For ordinals, write out to tenth, then 11th, etc.
Maintain consistency within a sentence, "The third and fourteenth primes are five and fourty-three, respectively."
Be critical regarding the use of numbers in articles, particularly large numbers and statistics. A trillion dollar annual expenditure in China is $14.45 per person per week (CIA Factbook China's July 2010 population estimate.) Particularly with announcements of service funding by politicians, be conscious they deliberately try to maximize perceived benefits by taking credit for a single expenditure dozens of times, announcing it as part of this or that initiative or program.
A dollar spent on a road is a dollar spent on a road, though that road may be in front of a park, a school, within a community, a political division, or many more targeted 'story ideas'; it will only fund one job, though it may be announced as an infrastructure, a jobs-creation, a municipal funding, poverty alleviation, social services project, education pilot, and many more efforts to spin it into free political advertising for the incumbents. "Has this funding been announced anywhere previously?" is a good question to ask.
Do not create new big numbers. Summing a group of jail sentences is pretty meaningless unless they are all applied to a single convict and will be served sequentially. Determining something is the same area as 20 football pitches or Manhattan Island is clichéd and may not be useful; many United Staters do not know what a football pitch is, for example.
Four guidelines in using numbers:
- Be careful in using conversions; always double-check for accuracy. Especially in area: units square is not the same as square units. 10 miles square is 10 miles long by 10 miles wide, 100 square miles. Changes in temperature are confusing in conversion: 2°C is approximately equal to 36°F, but a 2°C change in temperature is approximately equal to a 4°F change in temperature.
- Percentages, and all statistics, are easy to misinterpret. Avoid the "rose/fell by X%" construction as it is prone to confusion and misinterpretation. From three percent to five percent is an increase of two percentage points, but a 67% increase, the result being 167% of the original. Or not.
- Confidence/Credible intervals are rarely reported, and the entire concept of reliability of population statistics (especially those ever-popular political polls) has not reached scientific consensus. That being the case journalism articles must never rely solely on statistics, nor should they ever be about a single polling agency report. The story must always be the issue about which the survey was commissioned.
- Use numbers relative to the audience. A sales tax increase of 3% is more relative than a sales tax to raise $130 million dollars. A US public debt of 52.9% of GDP is pretty soulless, but $24,545 per person is a thump in the chest (CIA Factbook USA 2009 estimates.)