See also: #List of policies
Clarity and accuracy do not forbid a good writing style. Articles should not be dully encyclopædic but helpfully descriptive without compromising accuracy.
Inevitably collaborative authorship will harm the beauty of composition, and this has its own challenges. A contributor who has composed what he considers a beautiful piece should not get too upset about changes made by another contributor, as changes are quite legitimate, and preferences in styles are individual, and contributors should Assume good faith and practise courtesy. Variety in composition is the essence of a collaborative wiki and all we ask is that contributors try to leave an article pleasant to read without compromising accuracy.
Language and dialect
Wikishire in default uses British English. Articles about British or Irish topics should use British / Irish English. Dialectical usage is outwith the scope of prescription and local usages are acceptable as long as they can be readily understood by English-speaking readers in general. Articles about other English-speaking lands may use local forms and spellings of English.
This extends to cases where there are English-language names for places in the British Isles that have been dropped for political purposes. To reiterate, articles about British or Irish topics should use British / Irish English. Alternative languages can of course be mentioned in the articles themselves.
Articles should try to avoid grammatical and other errors of English (which are generally unaffected by dialect). To ensure correct grammar and usage, useful guides are provided by the Academy of Contemporary English.
When reference is made to geographical features such as parishes, cities or counties, the prefix form shall be preferred. That is to say one should write about the "Parish of Thurso", not "Thurso Parish"; the "City of St Davids", not "St Davids City" and the "County of Devon", not "Devon County". Special attention must be taken with the names of counties to avoid tautological constructs such as "County of Cheshire": Once the correct form "County of Chester" has been introduced, the author is free to use the proper noun "Cheshire" as long as it is not preceded with the descriptive "county of". A list of the appropriate constructs is given at Counties of the United Kingdom.
Care must also be taken when referencing county towns where the name of the county is derived from the town. The county town need not be described with reference to its own county as this creates clumsy tautological sentences. For example, instead of "Mitchel Troy is a village and parish three miles south-west of Monmouth in Monmouthshire", use "Mitchel Troy is a village and parish in Monmouthshire. It is located three miles south-west of the county town of Monmouth".
Numbers and measurements
When numbers are used in prose, any whole number less than 10 should be written out in full and decimal fractions should be avoided in non-technical cases. For example, one should write "seven miles", not "7 miles" and "2½ inches", not "2.5 inches". Measurements should be in the imperial system when used in British articles.
In British English, according to Hart's Rules, the traditional rule is that abbreviations (in the narrow sense that includes only words with the ending, and not the middle, dropped) terminate with a full stop, whereas contractions (in the sense of words missing a middle part) do not, as per the following table:
|The Right Honourable||Contraction and Abbreviation||Rt Hon.||R--t Hon...|
The key aim of Wikishire information is truth. References should be provided as far as possible, both as verification and as a guide for users' further research.
Primary sources are preferred to secondary sources, secondary preferred to tertiary and so forth, and ideally an effort should be made to find original sources. Neither Wikishire nor other wikis should be used as a cited source.