GB Journal Style Guide

A-row, hyphen

Abbreviations with more than one capital take no stops (e.g. GB, GBPS, PO, FRPSL). Initials of personal names have a stop (e.g. H. G. Wells). Abbr. in a mixture of upper and lower case take stops (e.g. B.Litt.).

acid-free, hyphen

advt., (advertisement)

Age: 41-year-old, hyphens

Alphabet 2, not II. As a general rule, avoid Roman numerals. Exceptions are monarchs.

anti-clockwise, hyphen

apostrophe: this year’s competition (singular); three weeks’ holiday (plural)

appendix, pl. appendices (but indexes)

archival-quality, hyphen, as in ‘archival-quality paper’, but no hyphen as in ‘paper of archival quality’. The hyphen avoids ‘archival quality paper, archival ordinary paper’.

back-to-back, hyphens

backstamp, one word

base-line, hyphen

Block Cypher issues

Book reviews. TITLE [: subtitle], [edition]. Author/Editor. [Size,] pp., [No. illustrations,] [binding,] [limited edition]. Published by publisher, year. Price [postage] [supplier]. ISSN/ISBN (use hyphens between numbers).

Bradbury, Wilkinson, comma

brown-lilac, l.c. b, hyphen

cancel or cancellation

CANCELLED, small caps

canceller, not —or

Captions: Fig. 4 – Caption here, Italic, en dash, no stop

‘Castle’ high values

c.d.s., circular datestamp

Century: 18th century, l.c. c

cf., (compare) one stop. (c.f. (two stops) – carried forward).

chalk-surfaced, hyphen

charge marks, two words

check-list, hyphen

circa, italic. Abbr. c., italic with stop.

circular datestamp: c.d.s., stops

Co., (company) cap C, stop

coextensive, one word

Col., (colonel) stop

Collective nouns. Usually treat as singular (e.g. the committee is; Parliament is).

Colours: pale yellow-green, bluish green, hyphenate names of colours only (not bluish, pale, deep)

Column, a vertical group. Can use vertical column to avoid ambiguity (see row)

combhead, one word

Computer terms: MB, megabyte; KB, kilobyte; GB, gigabyte; MHz, megahertz

Controls: A 11 (close), A 11(c), B 12 (wide); Control G 27, cap C when
specific, space after G

cri de cœur, (passionate appeal) ital. (œ = ASCII 180, ANSI 0156)

Currency: 6d, no stop; 2s 6d, thin sp.; 1s, preferred to 2/6, 1/-. ‘Sterling’ applies to decimal as well as £.s.d. currency.

Cylinder, cap C when specific. Abbr. cyl., stop.

Cyl. 10 no dot, rather than stop

Dash: En dash used for London–Brighton; 1911–12

Dates: 8 June 1908, all-figure dates to be avoided because of differing British and American practice; 13th century, l.c. c, spell out; 1860s, no apostrophe; mid-1860s, l.c. m, hyphen, no apost.; 1914–18, en dash (includes intermediate years); 1914/18 excludes them

datestamp, one word. Abbr. d.s.

day-to-day, hyphens

decimal point: set medially: 5.67

De La Rue, cap L

Die 1a, (Downey) cap D, l.c. a

Die 2, (Downey) cap D, figure 2

Die 2, (LE) cap, not II

ditto, abbr. do., stop

double-ring, (postmark) hyphen

Downey Head issues, cap H

Dr, (doctor) no stop

duty plate, two words

e.g., stops

Edward VII/VIII, use King Edward VII/VIII

elevenpenny, one word

Elizabeth II, use Queen Elizabeth II

em dash, no hyphen

en dash, no hyphen

Enschedé, acute accent (é = ASCII 130, ANSI 0233)

etc., stop. Not to be used in combination with e.g. as the two are contradictory

ever-increasing, hyphen

ex lot No. 345, no stop after ex

face-to-face, hyphen

FDC, first day cover

Figure: use Fig. 8 in text, cap F, space after Fig.; (Fig. 8), italic when in brackets; Figs 8–10, Figs 8 & 9, no stop when plural, en dash or ampersand

filled-in, hyphen

first day cover, abbr. FDC

first-class, hyphen

Flaw: first ‘E’ in ‘THREE’, small caps, small quotes; ‘PENCF’ flaw, small caps, small quotes

fleur-de-lis, pl. fleurs-de-lis, not italic

Footnote symbols (in hierarchical order): *, (ANSI 0134), (ANSI 0135), § (ANSI 0167), (ANSI 0182)

Fractions: one-third, one-quarter, hyphens

frame-break, hyphen

frame-line, hyphen. Avoids outer frame line (i.e. line of the outer frame
rather than outer line of only one frame).

FRPSL, small caps, no stops, no comma before L. Always use if author is one.

GB, no stops

The GB Journal, italics, include ‘the’

the GBJ, no stops, l.c. t

George V, use King George V

George VI, use King George VI

half-tone, hyphen

hand-drawn, hyphen

hand-engraved, hyphen

handmade, one word

handstamp, —ed, one word

Harrison, not Harrisons when referring to Harrison and Sons Ltd

head plate, two words

i.e., stops

ibid., (in the same place) stop, not italic. See id. and op. cit.

imperf., stop

imperforate (adj.). Not ‘imperforated’ (how do you imperforate a stamp?).

imprimatur, l.c.

index, pl. indexes (but indices in sci. and math.)

Initials: MJ, (initials only) no stops or spaces; M. B. Jackson, stops and spaces

inverted-and-reversed, hyphens

inverted commas: distinct from quotation marks in purpose but not in form. They usually indicate that a term is not what it might seem. Can take the place of ‘so-called’

ISBN/ISSN: 0-7123-0136-4/0430-8913. Use hyphens between numbers

ital., abbr. for italic

KEVII, no stops or space

KEVIII, no stops or space

key plate, two words

KGV, no stops or space

KGVI, no stops or space

left-hand, hyphen. Can often use ‘left’ and drop the ‘-hand’

letter sheet, two words

letter-rate, hyphen

Lettering, corner: JD, no hyphen, PK-PL, hyphen (a pragmatic exception to using an en dash)

Letterpress, one word. Process of printing from raised type (see surface
printing, typography)

Letters of distinction: BA, FRPSL, RDP, small caps, commas; Dip.A.D., stops when a mixture of lower and upper case letters

Line-Engraved, hyphen. Caps when referring to the Line-Engraved issues of Queen Victoria, but l.c. as in ‘these stamps are line-engraved’

£.s.d., £-sign, stops. L.s.d. (cap L) is acceptable but £.s.d. is preferable

Ltd, no stop

Mackennal, not MacKennal, McKennal

make-up, hyphen

make-ready, hyphen

Maltese Cross, caps

Measurement: 7.8 mm, 8 in., 2 lb., thin space, no stop after ‘mm’, stops after ‘in’ and ‘lb’. Abbrev. units are the same in singular and plural

Messrs, no stop

MHz, two caps, no stop

mid-1880s, hyphen, no apostrophe

miscut, one word

Months: Jan., Feb., Mar., Apr., May, June, July, Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec. Stops except for May, June and July

Mr, no stop

Mulreadys, not —ies

ninepence, one word

No., (number) cap and stop

Numbers: one, nine, 10, 9,999, spell one to nine; fifty-five, hyphen; 120,000, use commas for thou. but thin sp. OK in tables. Ranges: use the least possible, 67–9, 1993–5,  but the numbers 10–19 represent single words so are given in full, 17–19, en dashes. A common mistake is to use 2–3,000 when 2,000–3,000 is intended

off-centre, hyphen

offset, one word. Transfer of ink via a temporary carrier, as in offset litho printing. Often misused by philatelists for set-off (q.v.)

op. cit., (in the work cited) not italic, stops

Orbs wmk, cap O

over-inked, hyphen

over-inking, hyphen

overweight, one word

Page: 24-page catalogue, hyphen; p., pl. pp., l.c. as in ‘Vol. 2, p. 3’

papermaker, one word

PAQUEBOT, small caps

p.c., postcard

‘PENCF’ flaw, small caps, quotes

Penny Black, caps

Penny Lilac, caps

Penny Post, cap Ps

Penny Red, caps

per se, (by him-/itself) ital.

perf. Type 2a, cap T, l.c. a; perf. 14, l.c. p, stop

Perkins, Bacon & Co. The Penny Black was not printed by Perkins, Bacon. It was Perkins, Bacon & Petch from 1834 until 1852 when it became Perkins, Bacon & Co. There was no firm of Perkins, Bacon & Co. in 1840. (From 1887 P, B & Co. Ltd)

photo, photos, no stop

photogravure. The abbr. ‘photo’ (without stop) is already used for photograph. Photo. (with stop) is acceptable. In the printing world, photogravure is shortened to ‘gravure’.

plate-glazed, hyphen

Plate 6, cap P for particular pl.; Plate 1b, cap P, l.c. b (Penny Black); plate, l.c. p for general plate

PMG, Postmaster-General

PO, no stops

the Post(s), cap to avoid ‘fence posts’

the Post Office, caps. Rowland Hill was Secretary of the Post Office.

a post office, l.c.

POSTAGE, (wmk) small caps

postage rates, use postal

postal rates, not postage.

postcard, one word

postmark, one word

Postmaster-General, caps, hyphen. (Plural is Postmasters-General, not —als)

pre-adhesive, hyphen

pre-paid, hyphen

pre-payment, hyphen

pre-stamp, hyphen

present-day, hyphen

prisoner-of-war, hyphens

Prof., professor, stop

proof, l.c. (cf. Specimen)

proof material, two words

PUC, no stops

put to press, no hyphens

q.v., quod vide (which see, singular), l.c., stops, not italic

QEII, no stops or space

quartz lamp, use ultra-violet lamp or UV lamp. Modern ones are not necessarily made of quartz. The user is more concerned with the UV light than with the material of manufacture

Quotation marks. Use single marks. Only use double marks when quoting within a quote

quotations in text: usually set in italic, whole paragraphs set in indented italic and do not need quotation marks

QV, no stops or space

R20/11, Row 20, stamp 11

re-, hyphen always before a vowel, e.g. re-entry, re-open

re-entry, hyphen

re-gummed, hyphen

re-hardened, hyphen

re-perforated, hyphen

recut, one word

reface, one word

References: superscript 3, outside stops if referring to whole phrase, inside if referring to last word only; (GBJ 9/35, 1971); GBJ, Vol. 25, p. 8 (1987), cap V, l.c. p; The GB Journal, Vol. 25, p. 8 (1987)

Reference Example 1: Galland, R. B. and Dr D. Latto. ‘QV surface printed die proofs’. The GB Journal, Vol. 32, p. 84 (1994).

Reference Example 2: Beaumont, K. M. and J. Easton. The Postage Stamps of Great Britain, Part 3. London: Royal Philatelic Society, 1964.

‘repp’ paper, use ‘so-called “repp” paper’

reprint, one word

Revd, (Reverend) no stop

right-hand, hyphen

Roman numerals: Use Arabic. Roman numerals are difficult to interpret when large and some people may not understand how they work.  Exceptions are: monarchs, King George V; preliminary pages of books. One further possible exception is the citation of all-figure dates where the month in Roman numerals avoids confusion

rose-red, hyphen

row, horizontal group. Can use horizontal row to avoid ambiguity (see column)

Rowland Hill, not Roland

Royal Cypher issues

saleroom, one word

screw-head, hyphen

screw-hole, hyphen

see, can be italic as in ‘(see chapter two)’

selvedge, not selvage

set, as in 480-set, hyphen

set-off, hyphen. Direct transfer (usually unwanted) of ink from a printed sheet to one laid on top of it. A set-off occurs when the interleaving between two sheets of newly-printed stamps is creased over or shifted and an impression from the wet printed surface of one is imparted to the back of the other. cf. offset

SG 272a, no stops, space after SG

SG Spec. N2d stop after Spec, spaces

SG Specialised Catalogue, Vol. 1, 10th edition.

short-term, hyphen

side-by-side, hyphens

silk-thread paper, hyphen. Now it is known that Dickinson used other materials (e.g. hemp and flax), not silk, it is appropriate to use ‘thread paper’

so-called, hyphen

specialised, not -ized

Specimen, cap S. This avoids the ambiguity: A Specimen of this value. A specimen of that value. The first is a stamp overprinted SPECIMEN; the second an example of a stamp

SPECIMEN, small caps when referring to an overprint set in caps

squared circle, two words

St, (Saint) cap, no stop

State: Plate 58, State b, cap S; State 2, (LE) cap, not II

sub-post office, hyphen

subtitle, one word

supersede, not —cede

surface printed, two words

surface printing, use letterpress, q.v.

tête-bêche, (head-to-tail) ital. (ê = ASCII 136, ANSI 0234)

three-halfpence/penny, hyphen

threepence, one word

time-to-time, hyphens

Time: 6:30 a.m. colon, space, stops. Using a point instead of a colon would imply a decimal value. This is especially relevant when using the 24-hour clock, when a.m. or p.m. is not there to help

TPO, TPOs, no stops, no apostrophe

twopence, one word

twopence-halfpenny, hyphen, l.c. h

Twopenny Blue, caps

twopenny, one word

Type 99, cap T

Typography, use letterpress. Typography is the art of printing from raised type or the design of printed matter using type; the process is letterpress. This term and surface printing were confusingly adopted by philatelists to mean letterpress printing

unhardened, one word

unoverprinted, one word

unpaid, one word

unregistered, one word

updated, one word

USA, no stops

usage, not useage

UV, (ultra-violet) caps, no stops

Value: Downey Head 1d Die 2, after issue, before Die

vermilion, not vermillion

Victoria, use Queen Victoria

viz., not italic, comma before

Watermark: Orbs, Emblems, Spray, Crown, cap; Large Crown, abbr. LC, use abbr. only after intro. the full term

a Web site, cap W, two words

weight: 3 lb., 5 oz., stops; 67 g

well-known, hyphen

well-produced, hyphen. As in ‘a well-produced book’ (but ‘the book is well produced’).

wmk, l.c., no stop