Dutch News general style guide
We will refer to the site as Dutch News in articles and in photo caption credits
Avoid using the word ‘Dutch’ all the time – it is usually unnecessary but it is nice to mention in the first or second paragraph for SEO reasons
Always include first names
No capital letters for titles: queen, prime minister, chairman, professor, parliament etc
Capital letters to a minimum
Abbreviations to a minimum
Acronyms are in upper case if they are just letters, but upper and lower case if they spell out a word which is used, ie Fifa, Uefa, AOW, KNVB. So, the Dutch state pension AOW, world football body Fifa, Dutch family spending institute Nibud.
No full stops between letters: PM not P.M.
Double quotes round quotations: “quote”
Comma inside quotes marks: “We are having a lovely time,” she said.
Titles of films, books, plays (but not newspapers) in italics.
Some common things
Britain not UK
US not America, but American is okay
10 kilometres, 1.5 metre society
Time: 10 am, 10 pm. But prefer ‘early morning’, ‘late afternoon’. If relevant use ‘local Dutch time’ not CET.
Value added tax (btw) and thereafter btw
Religion: with capital letter: Muslim, Protestant, Christian, Islam, Jewish
Money: If no euro amount available, use original currency: €23, €67 billion. No gap between currency, amount but a space between million and billion
Millions and billions: always write out in full unless short of space in a headline. Then it is €43m or €43b. We use the US billion (thousand million)
Metres and kilometres: always write out in full, so 1.5 metre society, 10 kilometres from Amsterdam
Education: We use primary and secondary school, university, hbo college, and vocational college (mbo) as generic terms. For vmbo we use trade school if the distinction is necessary. Students go to college and university, pupils go to school
Universities are known as Amsterdam University, Delft University etc. Technische universities are universities of technology not technical universities, but we try to avoid it altogether.
Heathcare: family doctors not GP (too English). UUMC is Utrecht University’s teaching hospital UUMC
Newspapers: we call them the Volkskrant, the Financieele Dagblad if they are het or de, otherwise without (Trouw). For some reason we also use the NRC
S not Z
° rather than a big C or Celsius for temperature (option, shift 8 on a mac)
MP or member of parliament, parliamentarian if the acronyms get too much.
Tweede Kamer: parliament. Use ‘lower house of parliament’ only if relevant
Eerste Kamer: upper house of parliament or senate
Junior ministers not state secretaries
A political party has
- a chairman or chairwoman not chairperson
- a party leader (who heads the election campaign)
- and a parliamentary party leader (never faction leader or party leader)
We always give a short description of the political party if necessary.
Local authority or council but not municipality
A local authority has:
a mayor – who is crown-appointed
councillors – who are elected
executives or department heads/chiefs (wethouders) – who are non-elected, the local council version of a minister, ie finance chief Fred Smith said. We have stopped using alderman
b&w (burgomeeter en wethouders) is the local authority version of the cabinet. Avoid if possible, if unavoidable use executive committee. Ie The council’s executive committee is meeting tonight
Deelraad: borough council
Provincie: provincial council or provincial government
Rijkswaterstaat: use transport ministry where ever possible. Transport ministry roads department or transport ministry waterworks department if necessary
Brussels is an acceptable substitute for European Commission or Commission. Many people still associate EC with the European Community so we avoid it.
The European parliament has MEPs or ‘members of the European parliament’.