Swing Blue Alliance Brand Guide


Writing Style

How to Refer to Swing Blue Alliance

  • Swing Blue Alliance
  • Swing Blue Alliance (SBA) if you use the name multiple times on the same page/article/document
  • Swing Blue Alliance (formerly Swing Left Greater Boston)

How to Refer to Other Organizations


  • Swing Blue Alliance (SBA)
  • Indivisible
  • Indivisible Mass Coalition (IMC)
  • Indivisible Acton Area (Their website sometimes says Indivisible Acton-Area and Indivisible Acton Area MA)
  • Greater Andover Indivisible
  • I-RISE Newburyport (The formal name is Indivisible-RISE Newburyport, but I have seldom seen it written that way)
  • All In for NC (capital I)
  • Common Cause (CC – spell out unless you are using it multiple times in a page/article)
  • Field Team 6 (FT6)
  • Force Multiplier (FM)
  • Lean Left VT
  • Movement Voter Project (MVP)
  • Swing Left Peninsula
  • Team4NC

When Using Acronyms:

  • Spell out the first time you mention the org
  • If you mention it only once or twice in an article/page, do not abbreviate either time
  • Always spell out if there’s a lot of content between the first and future mentions
  • If you mention it multiple times, the first time, spell it out and follow it with the abbreviation in parentheses (the parentheses part  is optional for SBA)
  • After you have written the page/document/newsletter, go back and check that you have done this consistently/correctly; it’s easy to be inconsistent

Baseline Guide

Preferred Spelling and Punctuation


  • Serial comma: Use a comma before and & or. For example:
    • YES: left, right, and center
    • NO: left, right and center
  • Serial semicolon: Use a semicolon before and & or if there are multiple complex phrases. For example:
    • YES: all dogs, cats, and horses; all books, movies, and CDs; and all men, women, and children.
  • John L. Smith, Jr. (comma before Jr.)
  • Use comma before which but not before that:
    • Take the dog that bit me to the pound. (Use that and no comma because you need to know which dog bit you.)
    • Take the scarf, which is under the table, to your sister. (Use which and commas because “under the table” is extra, helpful — but not necessary — information.)
  • No punctuation at the end of a title
    • YES: Come to These Events
    • NO: Come to These Events: or Come to These Events.
    • OK: Come to These Events!


  • Avoid the use of e.g., i.e., etc.
  • For countries, use the letters without periods: US and UK, never U.S. or U.K.
  • Do not use periods in degrees: PhD, MD, BA, MA, etc.


  • Spell out one through ten, and use numerals for larger numbers, except when comparing.
    • “There are eight available options.”
    • “There are 24 available options.”
    • “There are 8 available options for phonebanking and 24 available options for postcard events.”
  • Always use a comma between the thousandth and hundredth place:
    • 1,000
    • 2,150,222
  • Do not use a space between a dollar or other money sign and the number itself:
    • $300.30

Dates and Time

  • June 17 – not June 17th
  • the 1980s, the 60s (no apostrophe)
  • Time: 9:00 am. 3:30 pm; note space after numbers, am/pm is lowercase and has no periods
  • When explaining a range of years, use xxxx-xxxx (1995-1999 or 1998-2000); do not say
  • 1998-99
  • When explaining a range of dates:
    • In the same month: May 22 – 28; note space before and after hyphen
    • Across multiple months: May 22 through June 1; do not use hyphen
  • Dates in running sentence: The meeting was held on August 11, 2000, in the morning; note comma after year, just like any other parenthetical phrase.