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Tone of voice

Overview

We’re a company made up of very smart people. Our intelligence should make it easier, not harder, to understand what we say. That means no jargon, no making ourselves look smarter at the expense of our audience’s understanding. We firmly believe that, if we can’t explain a concept or project to a non-expert, we don’t understand the subject well enough. Just because a topic is complex, that doesn’t mean it should be explained in a complicated way.

Everything we write should help our audience understand the reality of AI adoption; free of the frills, jargon, or exaggeration that often colours the way people think about AI.

 

Faculty’s tone of voice balances two (seemingly) opposing forces:

Generally, we follow the Oxford Style Guide. However, true to our principles of inversion and challenging old traditions, our tone of voice does have a few quirks of its own:

  • We don’t capitalise technical terms like ‘artificial intelligence’ or ‘natural language processing’.
  • We always spell out an acronym the first time we use it (ie ‘machine learning’ before ‘ML’).
  • We use single quotation marks.
  • We use sentence case in our titles.
  • We spell out numbers one to nine, but anything over 10 should be in numerals.
  • As much as possible, we use contractions – ‘we’re’ instead of we are, ‘we’ll’ instead of ‘we will’.

Do

Use an authoritative, conversational style:

Use accessible language:

Use titles that focus on the readers’ needs, not technical implementation:

Relate abstract AI concepts to familiar realities:

Capitalise the names of industries:

Don’t

Don’t capitalise technical terms like ‘artificial intelligence’ (unless part of the term is a name):

Don’t use exclamation marks; they undermine our air of calm self-assurance:

Don’t use sales speak or business jargon:

Don’t use acronyms without defining them: