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This style guide aims to standardize certain aspects of writing content to make the contribution process smoother.

Use American English

For words that have multiple spellings, use American English over British English.

For example:

  • "decentralized" over "decentralised"
  • "color" over "colour"
  • "analyze" over "analyse"

Terminology

Ethereum

Ethereum is a proper noun and should always be capitalized.

  • "Ethereum" not "ethereum"

Ether

Ether is a common noun and should not be capitalized unless at the beginning of a sentence. ETH, on the other hand, is a currency abbreviation (and ticker symbol) and should always be capitalized.

  • "ether" not "Ether"
  • "ETH" not "eth or Eth"

Mainnet

When referring to the Ethereum Mainnet (i.e. not referring to a testnet) use the proper noun. Proper nouns help avoid confusion and build greater understanding.

Correct usage:

  • Mainnet
  • Ethereum Mainnet

Incorrect usage:

  • main net
  • mainnet
  • Main net
  • Ethereum mainnet

Proof-of-work / Proof-of-stake

Proof-of-work should be capitalized only when at the beginning of a sentence. In any other instance, all letters should be lower case. In either case, proof-of-work should be hyphenated between each word.

Correct usage:

  • Proof-of-work
  • proof-of-work

Incorrect usage:

  • Proof-of-Work
  • Proof of work
  • proof of work

The same rules we apply to proof-of-work are applicable to proof-of-stake, proof-of-authority, proof-of-humanity, proof-of-individuality, etc.

Smart contract

Smart contract is a common noun and should only be capitalized at the beginning of a sentence. In any other instance, all letters should be lowercase.

Correct usage:

  • Smart contract
  • smart contract

Incorrect usage:

  • Smart Contract

The Merge

When referring to The Merge, treat it as a proper noun. Always capitalize the first letter in each word.

Correct usage:

  • The Merge

Incorrect usage:

  • The merge
  • the Merge

Zero-knowledge

Zero-knowledge is a common noun and should only be capitalized at the beginning of a sentence. In any other instance, all letters should be lowercase. In either case, zero-knowledge should be hyphenated between each word.

Correct usage:

  • Zero-knowledge
  • zero-knowledge

Incorrect usage:

  • Zero-Knowledge
  • Zero knowledge
  • zero knowledge

ZK-proof

When using the abbreviated form of zero-knowledge proof you should shorten zero-knowledge to ZK, and hyphenate the abbreviation.

Correct usage:

  • ZK-proof

Incorrect usage:

  • Zk-proof
  • zK-proof
  • zk-proof
  • Zk proof
  • zK proof
  • zk proof

ZK-rollup

When using the abbreviated form of zero-knowledge rollup you should shorten zero-knowledge to ZK, and hyphenate the abbreviation.

Correct usage:

  • ZK-rollup

Incorrect usage:

  • Zk-rollup
  • zK-rollup
  • zk-rollup
  • Zk rollup
  • zK rollup
  • zk rollup

Use active voice

Sentences using active voice are more concise and efficient, making your writing more engaging and easier to comprehend.

Active voice sentence: an actor acts on a target

"The man bought a car."

Passive voice sentence: a target acts on an actor

"The car was bought by a man."

Read more on active voice(opens in a new tab)

This isn't an easy one, especially for non-native English speakers. If you aren't sure, don't worry. We'll help with any of these.

When linking to another page on Ethereum.org, use the relative path over the absolute path. Do not hard-code the language path (i.e. /en/) in any links. This maintains consistent functionality across different language versions of the site.

<!-- Good -->

Read more about [smart contracts](/docs/developers/smart-contracts/)

<!-- Bad -->

Read more about [smart contracts](/en/docs/developers/smart-contracts)
Read more about [smart contracts](https://ethereum.org/en/docs/developers/smart-contracts)

Please also add a trailing slash to all links. This keeps links consistent and avoids redirects, which hurts site performance.

<!-- Good -->

Read more about [smart contracts](/docs/developers/smart-contracts/)

<!-- Bad -->

Read more about [smart contracts](/docs/developers/smart-contracts)

Linking to images

When adding an image to a page, the image should be downloaded and placed in the same folder as the markdown file. You can reference the image like this:

![alt text for image](./image.png)

<!-- Good -->

![How to mint your NFT](./mintYourNFT.gif)

<!-- Bad -->

![How to mint your NFT](https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/2000/0342fj_fsdfs.gif)

This helps us ensure the image will be available.

Using emojis

Everyone loves emojis 🥰 To standardize the appearance of all Emojis across browsers, ethereum.org uses an <Emoji /> React component.

<--- Good --->

The London Upgrade is live <Emoji text=":tada:" size={1} />

The London Upgrade is live <Emoji text="🎉" size={1} />

<--- Bad --->

The London Upgrade is live 🎉

Header casing

This site uses sentence casing for header names as a convention. Only the first word and proper nouns are capitalized. This applies to all markdown files on lines that begin with hashes (#).

<!-- Good -->

## Minting your NFT

### Setting up your wallet

### Get enough ether

<!-- Bad -->

## Minting Your NFT

### Setting Up Your Wallet

### Getting Enough Ether

Article authors

When citing articles from a specific author or organization, use the article's name as a link, followed by a dash, then the author's name italicized.

<--- Good --->

- [A rollup-centric ethereum roadmap](https://ethereum-magicians.org/t/a-rollup-centric-ethereum-roadmap/4698) — _Vitalik Buterin_
- [The History of Ethereum Testnets](https://consensys.net/blog/news/the-history-of-ethereum-testnets/) – _ConsenSys_

<--- Bad--->

- [A rollup-centric ethereum roadmap by Vitalik Buterin](https://ethereum-magicians.org/t/a-rollup-centric-ethereum-roadmap/4698)
- [ConsenSys on The History of Ethereum Testnets](https://consensys.net/blog/news/the-history-of-ethereum-testnets/) – _ConsenSys_

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