Who we are
The Yuan editing guidelines
• Regular editorial dept. meeting
The Yuan style guidelines
• Revised in June 2022
Checklist for contributors
The Yuan comment policy
‘Delta dialog’ program format
Media kit
Who we are


What is The Yuan?

The Yuan is a new community and technology platform dedicated to artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, deep learning, and related disciplines. In the two-plus years since our inception, The Yuan’s initial focus has largely rested on AI in healthcare. We are now broadening our gaze, however, to encompass more general aspects of this transformative technology - above all to include AI ethics, governance, and philosophy - to keep in step with recent advances in, e.g., large language models, and chatbots, and other ground-breaking developments, together with specific scenarios and use cases of AI applications. The Yuan shall also henceforth devote greater scrutiny to AI in practice, particularly in the industrial sector, and with an eye to robotics, autonomous mobility, and automation.

Our aim is, as ever, to provide an open forum for global innovators, entrepreneurs, and others in the AI sphere to exchange their insights. We are thus ever on the lookout for talented AI professionals and social commentators to share their expertise and wisdom to inform our readership of investors, scientists, researchers, engineers, graduate students, policymakers, healthcare providers and patients, and the public at large of developments in this novel arena that is poised to become so central to every of field of human endeavor.

The Yuan is born from the conviction that AI must be accessible, democratic, fair, open, transparent, and unbiased, and harnessed to uplift humanity, not oppress, or subjugate it - or worse. To this mission we steadfastly hold true.


What is the meaning of The Yuan?

The concept of the Yuan’s LOGO derives from the Chinese character 圆(yuán), which means ‘round’ or ‘a circle,’ a shape the distance from whose center is equal point to any point around it, thus signifying our desire to annihilate distance and bring together AI stakeholders from all around the world at one focal point. 圆 also means ‘come true,’ as in ‘a dream come true.’ In the spirit of both these senses, we are committed to realizing AI potential to transform people’s lives and fulfill the promise it holds to attain game-changing breakthroughs in such areas as e-commerce, sustainable agriculture, pandemic prediction, prevention and control, and amelioration of climate change and environmental degradation, among a myriad of other applications.

We hope you will join hands with us in a circle and help make an AI dream come true for all of us.

Our team
Shiwei Wang
Publisher, The Yuan
Shifeng Wang
Chief Editor, The Yuan
Xin Zhou
Co-Founder, The Yuan
Jack Kotin
English Editor, The Yuan
Kim Taylor
Account Manager, The Yuan
Benedict Armour
Correspondent, The Yuan
Jian Zhou
Head of Business Intelligence, The Yuan
Emir Mustafa Isler
Host & Video editor, The Yuan
Yixin Sui
Social Media Editor, The Yuan
Christianna Polydorou
Organizer, The Yuan
Xinyi Yu
Organizer, The Yuan
Margot Ling
Organizer, The Yuan
Checklist for contributors
‘Delta dialog’ program format ***


What is the purpose of the DELTA DIALOG?
Since July 1, 2021, global artificial intelligence community The Yuan, has gathered more than 200 excellent contributors, and the tally of our published articles has neared 500. We are now extending our topic range from general AI technology issues to encompass AI philosophy, ethics, esthetics, and even governance and politics. In particular, the discussions of a series of major issues via The Yuan, such as ‘Prospects for AI in 2022’ and a ‘Call for Open Medical Data,’ have preliminarily made The Yuan a platform that sets AI agendas around the world.



DELTA DIALOG
We believe that, at this time when The Yuan community has been in existence for almost a year and a half, it is now imperative to use another format to allow The Yuan’s contributors to speak out on this platform. Therefore, we have specially created a DELTA DIALOG program at this juncture. We hope that through this program, our contributors can further elaborate their thoughts in a dialog format.

We believe a huge difference exists between a dialog and a written expression, and people can convey more meaning in a dialog than written words can. At the same time, a written format pays attention to logic, but it also inhibits expression of people’s divergent ideas. These divergent thoughts are easier to hear in our conversations, and these seemingly random thoughts often bring us inspiration, fantasy, and even creativity.



Why do we call this show DELTA DIALOG?
A DELTA DIALOG is literally one between three persons, with each forming an angle of this exchange. Why did we choose the concept of a triangle? The angle represents an acute topic, while the triangle represents a balanced, rational, fair, and scientific one.

Another meaning of DELTA DIALOG refers to the three distinguished guests who participate in our program, representing three different positions. 1. The organizer and questioner of the show, that is, our host; 2. The show’s commentator; and 3. The show’s guests.



What does the moderator of a DELTA DIALOG do?
He is a young man;
He is a seeker;
He is humorous;
He may finally decide what form the show will take because he dominates the conversation;
He knowledge of AI is limited, but he hopes to learn from his guests;
He has strong learning ability and is unafraid of guests correcting his mistakes;
He is talkative, but not long-winded; and
He does not stay shut out in the cold, and distinguished guests and commentators will not feel lonely on the show.



What is the commentator’s role in the DELTA DIALOG?
He is a wise man;
He has experienced several eras of technological changes;
He is a sophisticated person;
He has his own fixed view of the future;
He likes the world to change, but at the same time has his own principles; He likes to communicate with young people;
He adores new technology;
He has a scientific spirit;
He is rational, but also passionate;
He dares to speak his mind in the face of incorrect remarks; and
He is not an old grandfather, but a curious man disguised as an elder.



Who can become a distinguished guest in a DELTA DIALOG?
The Yuan’s contributors.



How do we record this show?
This is a cross-recorded program as a video and podcast. Thus, in recording the program, we have to consider the needs of both video and podcast products.

Since the program is recorded in the form of a video conference, we require that the screen and sound of the host, commentator and guests be recorded separately in three channels.

The host/producer should require the three program participants to maintain a stable image before participating in the recording of the program, and that the size of the three in the screen should not be very different.

The sound should be stable and clear.

The three people participating in the program should turn off their mobile phones and computers during recording of the program, which may appear in various pop-up windows.

The recording personnel participating in the program should try to find a quiet environment in which to participate in recording the program.

The program is to be divided into the following three parts: pre-recording, recording and post-recording, to explain in detail how this program is recorded.

1. Before the program is recorded:
● Suitable guests are identified from among The Yuan’s contributors
● It is crucial to customize the topic according to the guest, since asking a guest to talk about a topic s/he does not understand can produce a very scary result
● At least one planning meeting is convened with moderators, commentators, and guests to understand the general direction of the discussion
● The host must undertake detailed preparations and understand the expertise of the guests and the relevant knowledge of the topics they wish to discuss



2. During recording of the program:
● The host will introduce guests and commentators
● The main topic of the program is to be explained by the host
● The first question asked by the moderator must be an open-ended one
● The host should ask questions based on the most familiar part of the guest's work content
● Commentators will support or disagree with the guest's remarks
● Note: The host will not disagree with the guest's point of view, but will ask further questions
● The moderator should organize one discussion after another between guests and the commentator



3. After the program is recorded:
● All materials are pored over
● All talking points are found
● Subsection titles are created based on the main points of the conversation
● If illustrations or image cut-outs are required, please mark these insertions
● Do a good job in material management, checking the quality of sound and images
● If there is a need for corrections, devise a treatment plan
● Use subtitle software to do a good job of text collection for full-file programs



The editing requirements for DELTA DIALOG are not exceedingly high, and mainly depend on the source quality of the three-way signals from guests, commentators, and the host, and are tailored to suit these. It is recommended that the optimal condition is to realize that the three signals can be recorded separately, so as to maximize the quality of editing.

The social media framework for DELTA DIALOG is the same as that of ‘The Yuan.’ By The Yuan:

sharing and interacting with contributors, as well as previews of shows and audience recruitment;
sharing and interacting with contributors, as well as previews of shows and audience recruitment;
sharing and interacting with contributors, as well as program previews and audience recruitment;
will be the primary carrier of video.

As an important video and audio product of The Yuan, we believe that short videos are also an important part of the entire dissemination chain for this program. Therefore, we encourage their propagation on as many short-video platforms as possible.

Although short videos are very important for dissemination, we still attach great importance to the depth of the program. Please note that DELTA DIALOG must be a program more than 60 minutes in length that can reflect the importance of its content. The recording of each program must reflect the future importance of this topic.

Regarding systematic recording of programs. We request that, as a The Yuan video product, DELTA DIALOG play a role in strengthening The Yuan 's selection of topics. Therefore, we have initiated a series of more lively discussions based on a contributor's existing works on The Yuan.



How to create an event while recording a program?
We do not want the recording of a DELTA DIALOG to be just a video or audio program: it should also be able to develop into an event. This requires us to do a good job in the dissemination of ‘this event’ in advance. This work is divided into the following steps:

The topic selection is determined and promoted by the social media matrix; guests invited to participate in the program are to promote themselves; and promotion shall occur via popular ‘conference or event participation’ platforms.


Regarding external cooperation on DELTA DIALOG
1. Like The Yuan, the DELTA DIALOG will be open to external cooperation, and we are willing to collaborate with all insightful individuals and organizations.
2. In addition to the programs produced by itself, DELTA DIALOG will also use its own platform to introduce programs from partners. The imported programs will no longer be limited to our own program design but have more forms of expression: one person says, two people communicate, three, four and more people discuss.


How to plan a topic in depth?
Topic selection lies at the core of a discussion. When planning topics, we must first proceed from the strengths of The Yuan and have a clear positioning for us, that is, what topics our contributors can write and talk about. After this positioning is clear, we will talk about plannin

Of course, the planning of topics that we are going to talk about here must entail planning those topics that people are willing to listen to and read about. So, how should we judge the value of our topic selection? I have summed up a formula here: the contributor' s personal strengths multiplied by the market demand equal the topic’s selection value. The market demand here is how many people pay attention to this topic.

Here we need to pay attention to the fact that this formula is a multiplication. If the market demand is almost zero, then the contributor's strengths are of no value, and vice versa. With this formula, everyone will have a clearer standard for judging their topic selection in the future.

In the stage of planning the topic selection, we can simply divide the topic selection into two types. One is hot topic selection, and the other is conventional topic selection.

Hot topic selection has two cores: fast and accurate. Almost every year or every few months some new terms, new concepts, and even new industries - such as the Metaverse - have gradually emerged in recent years. If you can foresee it early or plan such a topic before the vast majority of people do, then it is very fast content.

In the initial stage of a hotspot, if you want to be the fastest person, you don’t need to go too deeply into the topic selection. You should explain the hotspot clearly, a popular science content, explain why it appeared, the current state of its development, and look ahead into the future. I will analyze the opportunities and risks of entering this industry. This topic is basically the same. I believe that the listeners and audiences have great demand for such topics.

The most important point in the planning of such topics is that you must pay more attention to industry hotspots and celebrity events. These can help you plan hot topics. In a word, you must be fast.

The other type of selection is regular selection. General topic selection is very clear for The Yuan, which is to invite contributors to participate in the discussion and accept the challenges of what they have written.


Podcast Content Partners
Podcast content partners are entities that create podcast content for our audience to listen to. These partners can be individuals, businesses, media companies, or organizations that produce audio content on a regular basis which will in turn be distributed through various podcast platforms under Delta Dialog, such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and others.

To be a podcast content partner the following requirements must be fulfilled:

1.Audio Quality: The partner must provide high-quality audio recordings that conform to the standards of the Delta Dialog podcast. This includes clear, professional audio recordings with minimal background noise and sound interference.

2.Copyright-Free Material: The partner must provide content that is free of any copyright restrictions, including music and other audio elements. The Delta Dialog team reserves the right to review and approve all material submitted for use in the podcast.

3.Speaker Vetting: The partner must provide speakers who are vetted by the Delta Dialog team. This includes conducting background checks, verifying credentials, and ensuring the speaker is knowledgeable and able to effectively communicate the topic at hand.

4.Alignment with Podcast Topics: The partner must have content that is aligned with the topics covered by the Delta Dialog podcast. This includes, but is not limited to, topics such as innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship.

5.Timeliness: The partner must provide content in a timely manner to ensure it can be integrated into the Delta Dialog podcast schedule. This may include meeting specific deadlines or providing content well in advance of the scheduled podcast release date.

6.Open Communication: The partner must maintain open and transparent communication with the Delta Dialog team throughout the partnership. This includes regular updates on the status of the content and any changes that may need to be made.

By adhering to these requirements, the Delta Dialog podcast can ensure that the content provided by its partners aligns with its mission, maintains high standards for audio quality and speaker expertise, and respects the rights of other content creators.



* The Yuan first edited the version on 10 October 2022.

** Revised in February 2023.

The Yuan comment policy


1. What kinds of comments is The Yuan receptive to?
The Yuan seeks well-written, well-informed remarks referencing a particular article. We welcome your advice, criticism, and unique insights into the issues our stories present.

To be passed for publication, comments must be civil and reflect The Yuan’s style guidelines appearing on The-yuan.com. We don't tolerate personal insults and assaults, obscenity, profanity, or vulgarity - including expletives and letters followed by asterisks/dashes/other symbols - commercial self-promotion, impersonations, incoherence, and raised voices.
We only accept comments in English.


2. What are Yuan Gems?
Yuan Gems are featured comments that represent diverse views and are deemed the most interesting and/or insightful. Yuan Gems may be chosen to spotlight comments from a particular area or readers with direct knowledge of an issue.


3. How can I post a comment?
You must complete a quick registration that takes about one minute the first time you write a comment.


4. Why must I register?
Registration helps build up our online forum and ensures members are responsible for what they write. It also guarantees users who leave comments are not bots and affirms your acceptance of our terms and conditions. 


5. When and where will my comment appear?
Since comments are moderated, they do not appear on the site until after their approval. Comments are typically posted quicker during business hours. Moderation is slower in evenings and on weekends.

The Yuan reserves the right to show comments in various ways, including within articles, or in advertisements.


6. Why does The Yuan moderate readers’ comments?
The Yuan aims to provide significant commentary for a general readership. Screening submissions lets readers exchange intelligent and informed comments that enhance our news and information. 

Most comments that are on-topic and not abusive will be published, but moderation judgments are subjective. Our Community Desk decides these issues as carefully and consistently as possible, but due to the sheer volume of reader comments, individual moderation decisions cannot be reviewed with readers and cannot be altered once posted.


7. Will The Yuan edit my comment?
No. Comments are either approved or turned down. We reserve the right to edit a comment quoted or excerpted on The-yuan.com or on our associated blogs. We may correct spelling, grammar, and/or punctuation in such cases. 


8. May I criticize The Yuan?
The Yuan welcomes vigorous opinions and criticism of our work and does not hesitate to allow critical comments, but personal attacks against our staffers will not be approved, and any criticism should relate to a specific article.

The Yuan will not allow comments to become mired in discussions of our moderation policies, and the Editorial Desk will act accordingly.


The Yuan editing guidelines

The Yuan guidelines comprise the language and journalistic conventions based largely on the Associated Press stylebook and The Bloomberg Way. It is also a work-in-progress guide that will evolve and change as style and fashions change.


WRITING NEWS FOR BUSINESS AND INVESTMENT CIRCLES
Be clear and to the point and report timely news, since our readers want to know the current state of play, future possibilities. Write news they can use - they want quality information they can act on.


CARDINAL RULES

Thus, using everyday Standard American English spelling and usage, write from the heart, but do not detach your head in the process. Shoot from the hip but aim well. Do not write ‘I,’ unless you actually feature as a character in your narrative. Do not begin a sentence/clause with ‘It,’ as in ‘It is raining.’ Say rather, ‘Rain is falling.’ Likewise avoid ‘there is/are’ constructions such as ‘There is a growing body of evidence that shows…’ That should be: ‘A growing body of evidence shows...’ Find the actual subject and put it first. Do not begin a sentence with ‘In fact…’ If you have actual facts, adduce them, and let your audience decide whether they withstand scrutiny or not. At The Yuan, we do not use the royal/conspiratorial ‘we,’ except in a quote (see ‘I,’ above). Rather, gently persuade your readers they have a community of interest with you, or that your views coincide with their own. Avoid use of rhetorical questions. If you do pose one, answer it in the manner of Socrates or Martin Luther King, Jr. Refrain from tautology and philippics, polemics, tirades, diatribes, and rants. Your pet peeves are not everyone’s. Let facts presented in a plain tale spark outrage, not your thundering, flowery oratory. Define esoteric terms/acronyms, etc., since not everyone knows what ‘epigenetics’ are, and some might think a‘PET scan’a device in a veterinarian’s office. Do not ever use ‘etc.’ Be circumspect when referring to Chinese territory(-ies) or politics, whatever your personal views. The Yuan is based in Hong Kong and is active throughout the Chinese mainland and is therefore bound by local laws. Ask us if you have any questions. Oh, and don’t let your paragraphs ramble on to an inordinate length (or sentences, for that matter), or tack on sudden afterthoughts or go off on abrupt tangents.


FUNDAMENTAL RULES
Accurate 100 percent error-free: if it is not true, it is not news. Correct mistakes.
Objective news is rarely black and white; use outside voices to say what you cannot.
Fair balance protects a story from charges - sometimes legal - of bias
Brief follow the ‘keep it simple’ principle - get to the point, be clear, be jargon-free.
Show, do not tell. Let facts, anecdotes tell the story.
Names make news corporate and personal; the bigger the name, the more newsworthy it is.
News you can use is relevant, informative.
Follow the money: Who, what, why, when, how much?
Use nouns and verbs, not adjectives and adverbs.
Active, not passive: people cause events, they do not happen by themselves, unless they are natural phenomena, but even these have causative agents.

To be sure, include contrary point/s of view to reinforces fairness.
If in doubt, cut it out: do not run a story, or part of a story, that you are unsure about or which makes little or no sense.


NEWS JUDGMENT
Good news judgment is essential to any successful news service. News judgment involves knowing what is news, what is important news, what information should be included in a story as well as where in the story. News judgment also involves verifying information to make sure it is completely accurate (true and correct).


NEWS WRITING
Here are a few tips and fundamentals that are often missing from news and feature stories that will help reporters when interviewing and writing.


The five W’s: Who, where, why, what, and when – and how? 


In a news story you should be able to establish the five ‘Ws’ in the first two paragraphs/sentences: WHAT happened; WHO (person/people) the story is about; WHERE did it take place; WHY (reason) did it happen and WHEN (what time/day/month) did it happen. You should be able to write an intro in no more than 35 words, 25 is average.


FEATURES

While there is no right or wrong way to write a feature - a synopsis of the story should be established within the first three or four paragraphs otherwise you will lose the reader. You can begin with a quote from an interview to start a story, and some of the best features generally do that, use a group of three points (for example: this, that and the other) or use a creative or flowery opening, which is not used in a hard news story.


We need to remember that an average reader’s attention span is limited. 

Headline, picture, and intro are the first three things a reader will look at. If they are all snappy and eye-catching the reader will skim through the next three or four parts before deciding on whether to finish reading the piece or moving on to something more interesting or appealing to read.


A news story intro is different from a feature and should be summed up in 25 to 35 words. Good news stories are structured using an inverted pyramid that prioritizes information. The most important information is at the beginning. Subsequent information decreases in importance.


HEADLINES
The headline is our first contact point with our readers. To grab their attention, a headline should be interesting.

These elements produce the best headlines:

1. Names - names make news and should start headlines

2. Surprise - the first four words should hook readers

3. What is at stake? - headlines should help the reader understand why the news is worthy

4. Drama and tension - headlines should be written around actions and results/consequences


Use short and simple words as much as possible. For example, ‘Set Up’ rather than ‘Established.’
Use up to about 15 words.
Use US$ figures, not CNY numbers, unless CNY numbers are necessary to the story such as when reporting on China’s total debt.


Use a verb. For example:
Alibaba delivers on revenue but feels China slowdown (Reuters)
Alibaba revenues beat expectations despite China slowdown (Financial Times)
Alibaba’s strong earnings are seen as good news for China’s economy (New York Times)
Alibaba shares fall as sales slow, adding to China concern (Bloomberg)
Alibaba eyes global retail expansion as quarterly results shine (South China Morning Post)
Alibaba is expected to take on and beat Amazon

Use present tense unless a past time is specifically referenced. For example:
JD.Com’s crowdfunding trumped rivals Taobao, Suning in January
JD.Com’s crowdfunding trumps rivals Taobao and Suning

Variations of the verb ‘to be,’ ‘is’ and ‘are.’

Do not use semicolons when the same subject takes two verbs. For example:
Lenovo to close three plants, fire 3000 employees
Do not use a semicolon even in the presence of a second subject, asyndeton (e.g., and, but, or, for). For example:
Lenovo to close three plants; employees vow to strike

Do notuse the passive voice in a headline, except in a quote, e.g.,

Driverless technologies can be put into trial use in Xiong’an New Area, says state

On a more general note, do not tell the entire story in a headline, since this obviates the need to read the rest. A headline should pique the reader’s interest, not sate it.


FIRST PARAGRAPHS
The first paragraph is also known as the theme paragraph because it identifies the theme of the story.
First paragraphs should do two things:

1) Summarize the story.

2) Engage readers.


Summarize the story.
Make it interesting.

Use one sentence, or two at the most and about 35 words or fewer.


Use strong verbs.
Use active voice.
Avoid clutter.
Avoid ‘buried’ leads. We want the ‘new’ news first.


Consider what the story is about
Why would anyone want to read the story? Why did we write it? What’s at stake? Who is winning/losing, making money/losing money? How is the story affecting readers?


Tell the story in three words
Boil it down to a three-word sentence with a universal theme using a noun, an active verb and an object. According to Bill Luening of the Kansas City Star, the story of the Pied Piper would then be: Rats Overrun City. City Hires Ratman. Ratman Kills Rats. City Stiffs Ratman. Ratman Steals Children. Moral: Keep Your Word.


Tell someone about the story
Talking about a story elucidates it. Bruce DeSilva of the Associated Press suggests the bus stop test: “Suppose you are at a bus stop, and someone leans out a bus window and shouts, ‘What is that story you are working on?’ The bus begins to pull away. What are you going to shout?”


Identify the emotion/tension
Where is the emotion/tension? Is it a story about a failure/loss or a success/win? What will touch the reader?


Find the surprise or underlying meaning
What is the surprise? Tease out a bigger picture. Use phrases such as: this means, shows, underscores, illustrates, reflects, suggests, highlights, etc.


Discover the plot
Is this about a character, such as a fallen CEO, an element, such as a faltering market, a setting, such as a troubled company? Who wins/loses? Focus on the heroes, villains, and victims.


Write about ideas
Context paragraphs are not about facts as much as ideas. Try to tell the story without numbers. Rely on images, broader themes instead.For example:

Expectation: The departures are the clearest sign yet that ING’s retreat from investment banking may be broader and faster than first indicated.
Strategy: Converting to an internet bank will allow the company to offer a wider range of products without the cost of maintaining office space, boosting profit.
Regional: The share sale opens the way for a three-company merger of the biggest steelmakers in Korea, China and Japan.
Forward Spin: The rate cut suggests 10-year bond yields may stay at current levels of around 1.70 percent the rest of the year.


EDITING CHECKLIST
Make sure that you do the following before filing a story:

1) Read through the translated article

2) Understand the meaning of the article and, if necessary, recast the headline and first paragraph to reflect what an overseas audience would regard as being the news

3) Research any necessary information and background for the story and add context

4) Rewrite the article using these style guidelines and English-speaking logic (inverted pyramid)

5) Written a catchy headline and first paragraph

6) Proofread the article once or twice for clarity, grammar, punctuation, word choice, spaces between sentences (one), correct dateline and formatting etc.

7) Checked spelling using a spell checker set to US English.


Quick style tips

Order of presentation: WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE (WHY)?

Use Standard US English.

Quote/paraphrase followed by speaker, e.g. “The time has come to go,” Lou Schmoo said, not Lou Schmoo said, “The time has come to go.”

Headlines (with rare exceptions) in present tense.

Four-paragraph lead when length allows (short lead sentence paragraph, with even shorter second sentence, longer third/fourth paragraphs.

Brevity is key. Use short, pithy Anglo-Saxon words (give, get, make, etc.), to avoid entangling the peruser in circumlocution and circumbendibus (using too many words).

Use active voice whenever the actor (subject) is identifiable, except when otherwise justified.

The Yuan style guidelines


ENGLISH
Use US, not UK English. That applies not only to spelling, but also to words, expressions, and phrases, i.e., usage in general.


DATELINE
Use date in full, e.g., January 1, 2021. 


ATTRIBUTION
Always tell readers the source of our information where possible. Who or what told us? If you do not know, find out.


LOCATION
Where is the action taking place? For example:
The Beijing-based Internet company said…
Alibaba is headquartered in Hangzhou, in China’s southeastern Zhejiang Province.
“We deeply regret the job losses,” President XYZ said, at a press conference in Shanghai.
Shares gained the most in two weeks on the Shanghai stock exchange.


SIZE + SCOPE
This makes a company, person, or event extraordinary. It gives perspective. Choose a size and scope appropriate to the theme of the story to give meaningful perspective and add tension to the lead. Sometimes look beyond size or ranking.

Examples:
Didi Kuadi, formed in 2015 through the merger of rival taxi-hailing apps controlled by Alibaba and Tencent…
Didi Kuadi, the Chinese taxi-hailing service valued at USD16.5 billion…
Didi Kuadi, Uber’s Chinese rival…
Didi Kuadi, China’s market-leading taxi-hailing app…


QUOTES
First quote should ratify the theme of the story.
The best quotes are opinions, analyses, or interpretations.
Other quotes in a story can provide contrary viewpoint(s).
Remove throat-clearing phrases.
Structure quotes as: “xxxx,” xxxx said, size + scope. “xxxx.”
Quotation marks always appear outside punctuation. For example: “xxxxx,” XYZ said.
Use single quotation marks for quotes within quotes. For example: “He told me, ‘The project is abandoned,’” XYZ said.
Use single quotations for quoted text in headlines.


NUMBERS
Spell out:

Whole numbers below 10. For example: three weeks.

Avoid starting a sentence with a number. Use the word to start a sentence otherwise, e.g.: Twenty-eight delegates attended the conference.

With large numbers, use a hyphen to connect word ending in y to another word. For example: Twenty-one thousand. But use a numeral in tandem with percent, e.g., 6 percent.


Use figures:
For numbers 10 and above.

For all money amounts, ages, and percentages. For example: US$5 million, 62 years, 14.5 percent.
Spell out million, billion and trillion after numbers.Do not use m/b/t, mn/bn/tn, or mln/bln/tln in either a headline or body.

DATES

When writing about events use months and dates. For example: xxxxx, said at a conference on April 16 last year.

DATELINES
Jan. 13, 2017
Feb. 14, 2020
March 3, 1999
April 1, 2021
May 29, 2018
June 11, 2003
July 4, 1776
Aug. 9, 2011
Sept. 11, 2001
Oct. 31, 1993
Nov. 5, 1605
Dec. 12, 1933


TIMES
Use a colon in times. For example: 6:30pm. Use the 12-hour, not the 24-hour clock.
When writing times, use am or pm after the number. Do not use time references such as this evening, or this morning, especially with am and pm.
Use noon and midnight. Use ‘today,’ ‘yesterday,’ ‘tomorrow,’ ‘this year,’ ‘next year,’ ‘last year,’ rather than dates.

Write, e.g., ’12pm on March 31’ as ‘midnight on March 31.’


NAMES
Chinese names should be written as family name first followed by personal name. For example: Zhou Xin (Zhou is the family name.)
Korean names should be written as family name first followed by personal name. For example: Kim Jong Un (Kim is the family name)
Japanese names should be written as personal name first followed by family name. For example: Shinzo Abe (Abe is the family name)


COMPANY NAMES
Alibaba in headlines unless more is needed to distinguish between names.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. on first reference; Alibaba thereafter.
Do not use multiple designations such as XYZ Co. Ltd., just XYZ Co. Banks tend to be Ltd., but not always. Securities companies (brokerages) tend to be Co.

TITLES
Do not use Mr or Ms You may sometimes wish to use Dr or Prof when it is pertinent to the story.
Use formal titles such as Chief Executive Officer, President, Chairman, etc.
Capitalize the first letter when a formal title appears before a name, for example - Chief Executive Officer Zhou Jianguo/ Zhou Jianguo, chief executive of…Do not use CEO, except in headlines.
Do not capitalize the first letter when a formal title appears after the name, for example - Zhu Liping, director of XYZ Corp.


CHINESE NAMES
Chinese personal names are always two separate words, both capitalized, e.g.,Wang Jianguo, Ouyang Yang’ou, except where the person named uses a different form, e.g., Li Ka-Shing, Jack Ma, Pony Ma.
Place names are always one word, e.g., Qiqihar, Shijiazhuang, Shishi, Urumqi, with the sole exception of Hong Kong. When part of a larger compound like Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Oroqen Autonomous Banner, etc. obviously these are separate. Write澳门 as Macau.


Use apostrophes where necessary to indicate syllable division, e.g. Chang’an, Xi’an, etc. to distinguish them from Chan’gan, Xian, but only when the possibility of confusion exists.


WORD CONFLATIONS
affect (verb) and effect (noun);
stationary (stopped) and stationery (writing paper);
counsel (adviser/advisor) and council (authority; assembly);
complement (go with) and compliment (flatter);
Lie (be in a recumbent position, tell falsehoods) and lay (set, place, deposit eggs; past tense of ‘lie’);
cite (refer to as a source, authority) and site (n. location, scene; v. to locate, situate).


PERCENTAGES
Use the percentage sign (%) in headlines for brevity, but with no space between the number and percentage sign, e.g. 19%. Spell out the word percent in the body of the story (don’t use the % symbol), e.g., 35 percent.
Use percentages to show increases of decreases. Just stating the amount by which an object rose or fell does not conduce an understanding of the scale of an increase or decrease. Put the percentage increase in the headline and the first paragraph.
Round up, unless a story demands a greater level of detail, i.e., with market/forex reports. Otherwise, numbers become too long for no extra value. Thus, for example: 67.98 becomes 68, while 15.13 becomes 15. Use percentages to indicate a rise or fall in something before the figure/amount. For example: Sales fell 6 percent to USD350 million.


PERCENTAGE POINTS
A percentage point is the unit for the arithmetical difference between two percentages. Percentage points are not the same as percentages. For example, if an interest rate is raised to 10 percent from 9 percent, the rate is increased by 1 percentage point, NOT by 1 percent.


JARGON
Avoid the use of jargon whenever possible. If it is necessary to use jargon, e.g., because a quote contains it, always explain it.


INTERNET
Uppercase ‘Internet’


DIRECTIONS
Use toward (not towards), and forward, backward, upward, and downward - all without a terminal ‘s.’


CONTRACTIONS
Do not use contractions (isn’t, aren’t, hasn’t, won’t, couldn’t, shouldn’t, etc.),except within quotation marks.


HYPHENS
Hyphenate compound modifiers for clarity: high-technology product, high-yield investment, used-car dealership, second-largest maker, iPhone-making factory, etc.


Non-Hyphenated Compounds
Healthcare, as one word, is both a noun and an adjective.


CROWDFUNDING
Crowdfunding - also crowdsourcing -- is the practice of raising money from many people through online platforms to fund businesses and schemes.

CURRENCIES
Use the currency symbols, etc., in headlines and in the body of the story.
Give a dollar conversion figure for the first currency amount that is not in US dollars, e.g.:


The company raised 1 billion yuan or CNY1 billion in Round-B financing.
The company raised US$150 million or USD150 million (CNY1 billion) in Round-B financing.


Use currency symbols before numbers with no space between the symbol and the number. If there is no money figure, use yuan, dollar, pound, euro, etc.


Going forward, robots are likely to be rolled out at different types of venues including residential, commercial and office buildings, such as those developed by China Vanke Co.

In future/Henceforth/will (after the subject), robots are likely to be rolled out at different types of venues including residential, commercial and office buildings, such as those developed by China Vanke Co.


Roll out
Going forward, robots are likely to be rolled out at different types of venues including residential, commercial and office buildings, such as those developed by China Vanke Co.
Robots are likely to roll out at different types of venues including residential, commercial and office buildings, such as those developed by China Vanke Co.


WORDS ARE PICTURES
China-South Korea relations have taken a big hit from the impact of the THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) anti-ballistic missile - This sentence, which would seem to imply that South Korea has attacked China, refers in fact to a planned deployment of a defensive missile system, not the actual firing of an offensive one.

‘The municipal government has recently launched new designated shared-bicycle parking areas with space for more than 1,000 bicycles in its downtown area.’


Passive voice
The passive voice must never be used, except when:


1. There is no subject

Applications for clinical research of the drug will be made to relevant Chinese and US agencies in the first half of next year.

Wessner had been considering leaving Faraday Future but was afterwards promoted to senior vice president from vice president.


2. Use of active voice will confusingly separate the subject from the predicate or modifier:

The Z717 is the first twinjet airliner the company independently developed, which is based in China’s southwestern Sichuan Province.
The Z717 is the first twinjet airliner independently developed by the company, which is based in China’s southwestern Sichuan Province.


Suning held a press conference for the November 11 Singles’ Day shopping festival yesterday, at which the smart retail robot ECOVACS produced appeared, talked with Suning’s President Hou Enlong and answered his questions.

Of the 17 positions offered by China Xiong Construction Investment Group Co., an affiliate of the Hebei province government, infrastructure construction, financing and public relations management positions attracted the largest numbers of applications.


It is estimated that some 710 million Chinese people traveled for leisure during the holiday and generated about US$89.394 billion (590 billion yuan) in revenue for the national tourism industry.
Estimates hold that some 710 million Chinese people traveled for leisure during the holiday and generated about US$89.394 billion (590 billion yuan) in revenue for the national tourism industry.


It is estimated that the apartment renting credit profile of renters, owners and practitioners will be created on the credit-based apartment renting platform of Alipay by the end of this year.
Alipay will have created the apartment renting credit profile of renters, owners, and practitioners by the end of this year, it projects.


Tianjin Beijing-Tianjin Expressway Co. was founded in 2004 to take charge of the construction and management of the Beijing-Tianjin Expressway, the second freeway connecting the two municipalities and first two-way eight-lane highway built in the capital.
Tianjin Beijing-Tianjin Expressway Co. formed in 2004 to take charge of the construction and management of the Beijing-Tianjin Expressway, the second freeway connecting the two municipalities and first two-way eight-lane highway built in the capital.


China’s second Space Solar Power Station Development Technology Seminar was held in Beijing on October 28.
China’s second Space Solar Power Station Development Technology Seminar convened in Beijing on October 28.


Another good way to avoid resort to the passive voice is to simply remove the passive verb particle (where possible) to make the statement active.


More than 45 duty-free stores have been settled in the China-Kazakhstan Horgos Frontier International Cooperation Center, The Yuan learned from the Horgos Municipal government.
More than 45 duty-free stores have settled in the China-Kazakhstan Horgos Frontier International Cooperation Center, The Yuan learned from the Horgos Municipal government.


No single THAAD missile has ever been launched in anger.
No single THAAD missile has ever launched in anger.


PUTTING THE CART BEFORE THE HORSE
Due to and because of
The word pairs ‘because of’ and ‘due to’ are not interchangeable. The reason they are not, is that they ‘grew up’ differently in the language.
‘Because of’ grew up as an adverb; ‘due to’ grew up as an adjective. Remember that adjectives modify only nouns or pronouns, whereas adverbs usually modify verbs. (The fact that adverbs occasionally modify other adverbs or even adjectives and entire phrases is not relevant to this discussion.)

To be more precise, with their attendant words, ‘due to’ and ‘because of’ operate as adjectival and adverbial prepositional phrases. To understand how the functions of ‘due to’ and ‘because of’ vary, look at these sentences.

1. His defeat was due to the lottery issue.

2. He was defeated because of the lottery issue.

In sentence #1, his is a possessive pronoun that modifies the noun defeat. The verb ‘was’ is a linking verb. So, to create a sentence, we need a subject complement after the verb ‘was.’ The adjectival prepositional phrase ‘due to the lottery issue’ is that complement, linked to the subject by ‘was.’ Thus, it modifies the noun defeat.

But in sentence #2, the pronoun ‘he’ has become the sentence's subject. The verb is now ‘was defeated.’ As reconstructed, ‘He was defeated’ could in fact be a complete sentence. And ‘due to’ has nothing to modify. It's an adjective, remember? It can't very well modify the pronoun ‘he,’ can it?

Neither can it refer to ‘was defeated’ because adjectives don't modify verbs. Sentence 2, therefore, should read: ‘He was defeated because of the lottery issue.’ Now the ‘why’ of the verb ‘was defeated’ is explained, properly, by an adverbial prepositional phrase, ‘because of.’

In informal speech, we probably can get by with such improper usage as, “His defeat was because of the lottery issue,” and “He was defeated due to the lottery issue.” But we shouldn't accept that kind of sloppiness in writing. We don't want to look stupid among those in the audience who know better. If we show them we don't care about the language, how can we expect them to believe us when we tell them that we care about the facts?


PLEASE PERMIT ME TO INTRODUCE…
Avoid gratuitous introductory clauses.


In recent years, with the emergence of new technologies such as the Internet, Big Data, and artificial intelligence (AI), companies face ever more computing-intensive scenarios and have growing demand for HPC.
The recent emergence of new technologies such as the Internet, Big Data, and artificial intelligence (AI) confronts companies with ever more computing-intensive scenarios and stokes demand for HPC.


CRUTCHES

There has been a structural shift away from traditional tourist spots, which only account for 20 percent of total revenue.
The structure is shifting away from traditional tourist spots, which now make up only 20 percent of total revenue.


There are still many unreasonable and inefficient elements in China’s economic structure.
Many unreasonable and inefficient elements remain in China’s economic structure.


There are many compelling reasons to restore the Holy Herb.
Many reasons compel restoration of the Holy Herb.


There are more than 45 duty-free stores that have now been set up in the center with daily average passenger traffic of 20,000 and a daily average purchasing amount of 5 million yuan, making it the largest duty-free shopping zone in Western China,” Xu said.
“More than 45 duty-free stores have now set up in the center with daily average passenger traffic of 20,000 and a daily average purchasing amount of 5 million yuan, making it the largest duty-free shopping zone in Western China,” Xu said.


Aggravating Aggregating Verbs
Huishoubao.com makes an initial evaluation of an online order, then negotiates the price with the owner.
Huishoubao.com initially evaluates an online order, then negotiates the price with the owner.


The conduct of these actors will have a positive or negative impact on their credit ratings.
The conduct of these actors will positively or negatively impact their credit ratings.


STOCK SYMBOLS (TICKERS)
Provide the stock ticker symbol of all listed companies after the first use of the company name. For example: Alibaba Holdings Ltd. [NYSE:BABA]
Write the stock ticker in square brackets [ ] with a colon (:) between the exchange symbol and the stock symbol, but with no space following. For example:

Tencent Holdings Ltd. [HK:0770]

Ncondezi Energy Ltd. [LON:NCCL]

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. [NYSE:BABA]

Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine Co. [SHA:600276]

Huaxun Fangzhou Co. [SHE:000687]

(Note the struck-out text in the examples above: Do not write ‘Co. Ltd.,’ just ‘Co.’)


Use http:/www.google.com/finance to find stock tickers. When a company is listed on two (or more) exchanges, use both (all) separated by a semi-colon and a space.

The two companies both face fierce challenges from CRRC Corp. [SHA:601766; HK:1766], The Paper.cn reported yesterday.


Do not use an apostrophe between a company’s name and its stock ticker:

Chinese real estate giant China Vanke Co.’s [SHE: 000002] largest shareholder Shenzhen Metro Group Co., saw changes in the leadership. The former chairman Lin Maode was replaced by Xin Jie, Shenzhen Tagen Group Co.’s [SHE:000090] chairman.
Shenzhen Metro Group Co., the largest shareholder in Chinese real estate giant China Vanke Co. [SHE: 000002], has shaken up its leadership. Xin Jie, chairman of Shenzhen Tagen Group Co.[SHE:000090], has replaced outgoing chairman Lin Maode.


The Apple dealer based in China’s southeastern Jiangsu province activated an iPhone 8 Plus before September 22, Apple Inc.’s [NASDAQ:AAPL] official global release date of iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.
The Apple dealer based in China’s southeastern Jiangsu province activated an iPhone 8 Plus before September 22, the official global release date of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus set by Apple Inc. [NASDAQ:AAPL].


iQiyi’s main competitors include Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s [NYSE:BABA] youku.com and Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s [HK:0700] v.qq.com, both of which have enough funds to compete in contents. iQiyi needs to buy and create more content to sustain its lead among video websites.
iQiyi’s main competitors include youku.com, owned by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. [NYSE:BABA], and v.qq.com under Tencent Holdings Ltd. [HK:0700], both of which have enough funds to compete in content. iQiyi needs to buy and create more content to hold its lead among video websites.


If you define a company’s name as an abbreviated or shortened term or acronym in round brackets, place the stock symbol before the defined term, e.g., Carnival Group International Holdings Ltd. [HK:0996] (Carnival Group).


ACRONYMS
Use PBOC for People’s Bank of China (not PBoC) in headlines and body. The same rule applies to all acronyms, which must appear in full in the first iteration, followed defined as a term in round brackets. Thus, “China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), yesterday set the yuan-dollar central parity rate at…”


DOUBLE APOSTROPHE

America's Health Insurance Plans replied to the National Association of Attorney General that they are exploring and strengthening use of non-medication therapies which have been proved in pain relief, Cathryn Donaldson, the insurers’ association’s director of communications, said September 26.

America's Health Insurance Plans replied to the National Association of Attorney General that they are exploring and strengthening use of non-medication therapies which have been proved in pain relief, Cathryn Donaldson, director of communications of the insurers’ association, said September 26.


APOSTROPHIZING CHINESE NAMES

Xi’an, Chang’an and wherever else appropriate to avoid confusion.


LIST OF COMMONLY-USED ACRONYMS

CIRC

CSRC

IOT

NDRC

PBOC

SASAC State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission under the State Council


ADJECTIVES
English adjectives follow the order of opinion, size, age, shape, color, origin, material, purpose and noun. For example, a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife. (From Mark Forsyth’s The Elements of Eloquence.)


CHINESE PROVINCES/REGIONS

Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region

Macau Special Administrative Region


COUNTRIES

The (Kingdom of) the Netherlands, Holland

Burma, Myanmar

The United Kingdom first, then UK.

The United States first, then US, not America


COURTS

The Hangzhou Court of the Internet

Beijing Haidian District People’s Court

Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court

The Supreme People’s Court


REGULATORY AGENCIES
The State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC)
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC)
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC)
China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC)
China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC)
The State-Owned Asset Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC)
Public Security Bureau (PBS)


STOCK EXCHANGES (15 Largest by Volume + NEEQ)
EXCHANGE                                      ABBREVIATION

New York

[NYSE: ]

NASDAQ

[NASDAQ: ]

London

[LON: ]

Tokyo

[TYO: ]

Euronext

[EPA: ]

Frankfurt

[FSE: ]

Frankfurt

[XETRA:]

Shanghai

[SHA: ]

Spain

[BME: ]

Italy

[MI: ]

Hong Kong

[HK: ]

Shenzhen

[SHE: ]

SouthKorea

[KRX: ]

Switzerland

[SWX: ]

Denmark, Finland, Sweden

[OMX: ]

Canada (Toronto)

[TSX: ]

National Equities Exchange and      
Quotations (Beijing)

[NEEQ: ]

Note: See Appendix A for a complete list of world exchanges and their abbreviations.


ONOMATAPOEIA or ADD SNAP, CRACKLE AND POP
Onomatopoeia refers to ‘imitative’ words that sound like that which they describe. Examples are splash, crunch, smack, whack, whoosh, and myriad others. Use them to simplify, vivify and spice up your expression.


BIZARRE METAPHORS
While as entertaining as malapropisms, mixed-metaphors do little to establish the writer’s credibility in the reader’s eyes. George Orwell adduces the example of ‘the fascist octopus has sung its swan song,’ to illustrate the self-canceling effect of such constructions in his Politics and the English Language (Appendix).

Example: Offshore wind power is expected to embrace exploding development.


VERBOSE VERBAL CLAUSES

Most of the 112 Lotte Mart stores in the country are now non-operational. However, Chinese law requires the firm to continue to pay workers 70 to 80 percent of their salaries despite the stores being closed.
Most of the 112 Lotte Mart stores in the country are now non-operational. However, Chinese law requires the firm to continue to pay workers 70 to 80 percent of their salaries despite the stores’ closure.


September 28 - China has introduced new measures to help solve the old problem that financing remains difficult and funding costs are still elevated for smaller, less profitable enterprises (smaller enterprises).
September 28 - China has introduced new measures to help solve the old problem of difficult financing and exorbitant funding costs for smaller, less profitable enterprises (smaller enterprises).


Prices can be calculated based on mobile phone model, use, global market price, version type and other factors.
Price calculations rest on mobile phone model, use, global market price, version type and other factors.


Nanjing, Xiamen, Fuzhou and other second-tier cities also posted significant sales losses over the same period last year, and housing sales flattened in third and fourth tier cities, indicating that the Chinese real estate market has become increasingly segmented.
Nanjing, Xiamen, Fuzhou and other second-tier cities also posted significant sales losses over the same period last year, and housing sales flattened in third and fourth tier cities, indicating the increasing segmentation of the Chinese real estate market.


After being compressed and packaged, various renewable resources are sent to the professional processing plant.
After compression and packaging, various renewable resources go to the professional processing plant.


CIRCUMVENT THE CIRCUMBENDIBUS -or- STOP BEATING AROUND THE BUSH

The latter is mainly engaged in the operation of rail transit construction.
The latter mainly builds rail transit projects.


These new measures will aid in further promoting stabilization of the yuan-dollar exchange rate.
These new measures will further stabilize the yuan-dollar exchange rate.


The company will also provide support to China Nuclear E&C Group in overseas market development, business advisory, risk management and project finance.
The company will also support China Nuclear E&C Group in overseas market development, business advisory, risk management and project finance.


China only ranks six among the top 10 most cash-free countries on a list market research agency Forex Bonuses prepared, because cash payment is still prevalent in the country.
China only ranks six among the top 10 most cash-free countries on a list market research agency Forex Bonuses prepared, because cash payment still prevails in the country.


China's memory products have always been dependent on imports.
China's memory products have always depended on imports.


The share sale will have a positive impact on the listed company’s earnings and will help rationalize asset allocation and improve cash flow, per the statement.
The share sale will positively impact the listed company’s earnings and will help rationalize asset allocation and improve cash flow, per the statement.


The train’s maximum passenger capacity is 1,302 and the maximum operating speed is 100 km/h. Its cost is 33 percent less than the subway. 137 words
The train holds up to 1,302 passengers and tops out at 100 km/h. It costs 33 percent less than the subway. 127 words


The policy address states that the government will endeavor to drive scientific and technical innovation in an all-round way in order to inject new vitality into the economy and improve the life of the citizens.
The government will strive to drive comprehensive scientific and technical innovation to revitalize the economy and improve citizens’ lives, the policy address states.


The total DRAM market share of the three major firms takes up 94 percent of the global market.
The three major firms share 94 percent of the global DRAM market.


Donors Born in the 80s, 90s Make Majority of China’s Rising Online Charitable Contributions
Those Born in the ‘80s, ‘90s Contribute Most to China’s Rising Online Charity


ELLIPTICAL ‘CONSTRUCTIONS’

Construction waste refers to spoils, wasted materials and other wastes generated during construction.
‘Waste’ refers to scraps and other unusable materials generated during construction.


Temporary structures refer to temporary buildings, structures, and facilities for living and production that must be built by the constructor for the purpose of construction.
Temporary structures are one-off buildings and facilities for living and production that must be erected to prepare for actual construction.

The Yuan style guidelines revised in April 2024

“Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.” - George Orwell


The Yuan’s style guide comprises the language, usages, and journalistic conventions current in today’s world, as tailored to The Yuan’s own unique practical experience. These standards are not intended to be exhaustive, merely illustrative. An organic fabric, this manual of style will evolve and be rewoven as technology, society, attitudes, usage, and fashions change. Input from readers and contributors will be gratefully received.


Writing news

Be clear, to the point, and report events while still topical. The Yuan’s readers wish to learn the current status quo of a featured topic and its future developments. Write edifying, entertaining articles The Yuan’s readership can use, with quality information they can act on, be they data scientists, investors, information technology (IT) engineers, artificial intelligence (AI) artists, regulators, company bosses, or none of the above.


US English

Using everyday Standard American English spelling and usage, write from the heart, but do not detach your head in the process. Shoot from the hip, but aim well.


I/we

Do not write ‘I,’ ‘me,’ unless you actually feature as a character in your narrative. The Yuan also does not use the royal/conspiratorial ‘we,’ ‘us,’ except in a quote. Rather, gently persuade your readers they have a community of interest with you, or that their views coincide with your own using logic and rhetoric, not ingratiation.


Rhetorical questions

Eschew rhetorical questions. If you do pose one, answer it in the manner of Socrates or Martin Luther King. Refrain from philippics, polemics, tirades, diatribes, and rants (and tautologies). Your pet peeves are not everyone’s. Let substantiated facts presented in a plain tale spark outrage, not thundering oratory.


‘Facts’

Do not present ‘facts’ unsupported by citations. Avoid expressions such as ‘the fact that,’ except when adducing concrete authority to bolster the purported factuality of a claim/statement.


Acronyms/arcana

Define esoteric terms/acronyms, etc., since not everyone knows the meaning of ‘epigenetics,’ and many might think a ‘PET scan’ is an imaging device in a veterinarian’s office.


GenAI

Use your mind to write The Yuan’s articles, not a machine. Generative AI (GenAI) has many impressive capabilities, but still has nowhere near a human’s verbal prowess. GenAI uses algorithmic repetitions to generate ‘new’ content. This leaves a trail of repeated words/phrases/constructions that the trained eye can easily spot. GenAI may not be used to write articles for The Yuan, but may be employed in researching them, though contributors should be alert to the dangers posed by the ‘hallucinations/confabulations’ to which these applications are prone, and are therefore advised to carefully fact-check all their output.


Punctuation

Avoid semi-colons (;): Instead use colons (:), periods (.), or ‘n-dashes’ (-). Capitalize the first letter of the word following a colon if, a) the rest forms a complete sentence, or b) when it appears in a title or subheading. Both single (‘) and double (“) quotation marks go after the other symbols, e.g., “Prevention is better than cure”, Desiderius Erasmus, should be “Prevention is better than cure,” Desiderius Erasmus [though an n-dash with one space on either side would make the connection between speaker and quote clearer, e.g. “Prevention is better than cure” - Desiderius Erasmus]. The only exceptions are, always with colons/dashes/brackets ([]/()), but with exclamation/question marks only when the quoted text is embedded and does not form the main theme of the sentence. Do not use bullet points, but rather n-dashes [MS Word will auto-format them the same way it does bullets]. The Yuan uses the Oxford Comma.


Names of countries/their acronyms/nationalities

Write the names of major/well-known countries and political/trade blocs in full at their first appearance - e.g., the United States, the People’s Republic of China, the European Union, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates - then use the acronyms the US, PRC, EU, USSR, UK, and UAE exclusively thereafter with no need to define them as acronyms within round brackets [()]. Avoid using ‘American,’ ‘British,’ e.g., ‘US/UK companies…’ while, e.g. the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Kingdom of Sweden and such should just be ‘the Netherlands [even ‘Holland’], and Sweden. ‘Dutch,’ ‘Swedish,’ ‘Norwegian,’ ‘Polish,’ ‘Italian,’ ‘Korean,’ ‘Mexican, Nigerian’ are all fine as adjectives as these nations’ names do not lend themselves as well to use as adjectives as those of acronym countries.


Titles (headlines)

A title tells the story of your article as if it were a novel, newsflash, or witticism, in a complete sentence consisting of a subject and predicate, to impart action and vividness. The subject is the person or object the sentence describes, while the predicate conveys information about the subject. Use present tense in your title unless the context unambiguously indicates otherwise, e.g., ‘…last year.’ The first letter of the word in a title is capitalized, but all others are lower-case, except for proper nouns (e.g., ‘France’). Titles should be between 60-75 characters long, including spaces. Be careful that your efforts to craft an alluring title do not yield self-contradictory/oxymoronic results such as:

Homeless man in Anchorage uses homemade spear to kill bear https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/homeless-man-in-anchorage-uses-homemade-spear-to-kill-bear-1.3255668

Numerous news outlets strangely published this title/headline as is. It should probably be:

Homeless man uses handmade spear to kill bear in Anchorage

Note also that the more trivial (in Anchorage [and not everyone knows this is Alaska’s largest city]) displaced the more important information (uses… spear to kill bear). Also please be alert to the danger of mixed metaphors, e.g.: The woke mob is sleepwalking toward its doom.

Subheadings

Subheadings serve as way stations to revitalize a reader’s flagging interest. Just as headlines pique prospective readers’ curiosity and invite them to read on, subheadings prompt them to continue their perusal to the end. Subheadings should be spaced every four to six paragraphs to divide an article into even blocks, and take the same format as titles (see above), but should be limited to from one to six words. If you decline to insert them into your article, no worries: The Yuan’s editors will be happy to add them for you.


Standfirsts (for editors)

Each article has a standfirst which summarizes its main theme(s) and introduces the author with a recital of his/her credentials, e.g., ‘Public Policy Prof Diane Coyle of the University of Cambridge/Diane Coyle, a professor of Public Policy at the University of Cambridge.’ Standfirsts are 260-280 characters long (including spaces) for conciseness and ease of adaptation as social media posts.


Currencies

Use the international currency acronyms, e.g., USD1.3 billion. If an amount is not denominated in USD, convert it and add the USD figure after it in round brackets, e.g., JPY320 million (USD2.1 million).


Capitalizations

Capitalize Big Tech, Big Pharma, Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT). The internet and the metaverse are both lower case. Proper nouns are always upper case.


Acronyms

Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), large language models (LLMs) and other terms of art are to be written out in full at their first iteration and defined as acronyms in the foregoing manner, with the term as defined to be exclusively used thereafter, except in quotes. Also, spell out organizational acronyms in the first instance, e.g., the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Please double-check all names of persons and organizations - the latter are incorrect about half the time in article submissions to The Yuan, e.g., ‘the Center for Disease Control (CDC),’ rather than correctly ‘the United States/US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).’ Note that other countries also have CDCs - e.g., China - so ‘the United States/US’ should appear in the first defining reference. Do not define a term that does not later reoccur, e.g., ‘…said Machine Learning (ML) Prof Fuping Wang of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).’ The Yuan’s readers already have enough alphabet soup to ingest without adding gratuitous acronyms to their ration.


Words to avoid

Meanwhile - Insert it in the middle of a sentence to mean ‘at the same time.’ Do not start a sentence with it in a desperate bid to achieve transition between two juxtaposed but unrelated ideas.

Challenge(s) - obstacles, hindrances, snags, difficulties, trials, ordeals, tribulations, hurdles, problems, complications, roadblocks.

Significantly - Instead employ greatly, vastly, hugely, much.

However - Use but (they have the same meaning and the second is less than half as long and is much less of a speed bump).

Increase - Substitute rise, grow, swell, balloon, mushroom.

Decrease - Replace with drop, fall, shrink, sink, contract.

Outcome(s) - Use result, fruit, consequence, upshot, product.

Individual - Gloss as person.

Solution(s) - (To mean products or services). Use products or services, to avoid sounding like a promotional pitch for a product or service.

People - Use ‘those,’ or nothing at all when the context makes plain the reference is not to, e.g., gibbons, giraffes, or guppies - usually the case - e.g., “In the summer of 2000, Icelanders celebrated the Millennium of Christianity with a 2-day festival at Þingvellir at which thousands of people gathered.”

Citizen - Substitute resident, inhabitant, dweller.

Thing(s) - Any writer unable to adduce a precise, concrete term to label the subject matter of his/her discourse should immediately lay down his/her quill.

Something - See Thing(s), above.

Some - In the sense of not none, ‘some’ is a virtually meaningless word when used in an attempt to quantify a quality. Worse, it is a waste of Earth’s resources. Use a number - or a less anodyne word/phrase - a few, a trickle, a pittance, a smattering, a dollop - to convey to the reader how much/little, e.g., 0.00013 percent, USD9.98 trillion - either of which ‘some’ might conceivably reference. Do not use some people.

Sometimes - Use at times, periodically, occasionally, every so often, sporadically, from time to time, intermittently.

Given the/that - as, because of, since.

Aforementioned - Media articles should not read like legal documents. Use as noted, the above, the foregoing.

Disrupt/disruptive - These two expressions have become so over-used to describe AI that they have long since shed any evocative power they may once have had. Fortunately, they are fading fast. Try upend, transform, transfigure, shake up, remake, reconfigure, recontour or their adjectival forms, where applicable.

Cutting-edge - Use leading, advanced, the latest.

, etc. - Replace with, .e.g., before a sequence of nouns or among others after it.

Phrases to avoid (habitual expressions/verbal crutches)

When it comes to - for, as to, with.

In terms of - in.

With respect/regard to - about.

As far as… goes - for, as to, with.

Play a (key/major) role in - be instrumental/pivotal/crucial/critical in.

Make a contribution - contribute.

Be dependent/reliant on - depend/rely on.

Things like - Substitute a specific noun for ‘things.

Countries like - This go-to to precede every sequence of countries listed can at times appear ridiculous, e.g., ‘Countries like Bolivia, Iceland, and Cameroon are all accelerating their integration of AI into weather forecasting.’ These three nations seem to have little in common at first blush, but the statement starts to take on sense when a/the common denominator is introduced, e.g., ‘Countries like Bolivia, Iceland, and Cameroon are all accelerating their integration of AI into forecasting volcanic eruptions.’

Insofar as - to the extent/degree that.

Be incumbent on - must.

Make amends for - compensate, rectify, make up for, set off.

Make allowance for - allow for, factor in.

Make a mistake, an error - err.

Make a decision - decide.

Make a choice - choose.

Draw a distinction - distinguish.

Pass judgment on - judge, adjudge, adjudicate, decide, rule on.

Be applicable to - apply to.

Pay attention/heed to - attend to, heed, regard.

Be of benefit to - benefit, aid, help.

Be dependent on - depend, rely on.

Be sufficient - suffice.

Lay stress upon - stress, emphasize, underscore, highlight, accentuate.

Take action - act.

Take into account - account for, factor in, allow for, consider, include, foresee.

Be committed to - commit to.

Attach (great) importance to - value, honor, esteem, venerate, appreciate

love, adore, worship, dote on.

A diversity of - diverse.

Be obedient to - obey.

Play a (leading) role - act as/serve as/function as/be/perform.

Give offense to - offend/insult.

Draw a distinction - distinguish.

On the part of - of, by.

On the basis of - of/by/through/via/because, since.

By virtue of - through, via, because.

Through the auspices/aegis of - per, through, on behalf of, thanks to, due to, for the sake of, by the goodness of.

An abundance of - abundant/rich/fruitful.

In order to - to.

Not a - no.

Has/have no - lacks/lack.


Buzzwords/current cant

Buzzwords are, quite simply, an abomination. Their ephemeral nature is their sole virtue (though this also means one has to absorb a new generation of these drones every few months/years as the older ones die off). Whether talking about ‘talking points,’ ‘pushing/clapping back’ on claims, ‘reaching out,’ ‘woke’… beware! The natural proclivity of these flimsy constructs to gravitate towards disinformation itself speaks volumes. Avoid them like chlamydia.


Active vs. passive voice

The rule here is simple: The passive voice must never be used in The Yuan’s articles. The Yuan may soften this stance when:


1. A clear need to evade responsibility is present, e.g., a politician magnanimously conceding ‘Mistakes were made.’

2. The result is more important than the actor, as in scientific/technical studies, e.g., ‘A survey was conducted of more than 1,950 text datasets used to train LLMs.’

3. No subject is readily apparent, e.g., ‘The ancient oak tree was knocked down in the night, but the cause remains unknown.’

4. Use of the active voice separates two objects (nouns or verbs) at too great a distance for proper back-reference, e.g., ‘These products are made by the company, which is based in Salmon Gums, Western Australia.’

5. Use of the active voice produces an awkward or wordy construction, or shifts the focus away from key information, e.g., ‘Many users download the apps she creates.’ Better (perhaps): ‘The apps she creates are downloaded by many users.’

6. The passive usage is in a quote.


Phantom subjects/objects

They are impostors, false prophets, mendicants, illusions, and worse. Not even nouns, they masquerade as such to muddy the waters and sow confusion.

Original:

There [phantom subject] are two possibilities here. Either Rishi Sunak and his Home Office ministers are all secret agents working for the Refugee Council and are using tough talk as cover for what they are really trying to achieve [phantom object]. Or they are simply incompetent, lily-livered and too intellectually feeble to take on the human rights blob.

Edited:

There are Two possibilities [true subject] suggest themselves here: Either Rishi Sunak and his Home Office ministers are all secret agents working for the Refugee Council and are using tough talk as cover for their true goals [true object] they are really trying to achieve. O, or they are simply incompetent, lily-livered, and too intellectually feeble to take on the human rights blob.

Edited, without strikethrough text, interpolations:

Two possibilities suggest themselves here: Either Rishi Sunak and his Home Office ministers are all secret agents for the Refugee Council using tough talk as cover for their true goals, or they are simply incompetent, lily-livered, and too intellectually feeble to take on the human rights blob.


Exorcising the phantoms in this passage lays bare and pokes holes in the writer’s argument, e.g., a contrarian might argue that a disinclination to “take on… [a] blob” is scarcely a sign of feeble-mindedness. This is thus a warning to the wise to re-examine the logical consistency of your every utterance. That consideration aside, ridding a writing of these specters also trims it of the superfluous (and self-obvious) verbal clauses they spawn, while drastically shortening its length, and so rendering its content easier to read and clearer. [Note also that sentences should never start with conjunctions (‘and,’ ‘or’) or the disjunctive ‘but.’]


It’ is time for ‘It’ to step in at this juncture. No one knows exactly who or what It is because, until now, no one has dared to try to unmask It - and with good reason: It apparently holds the power to drown you in rain, bury you in snow, roast you with heat waves, desiccate you in Its droughts, and blow you off your feet with Its tempests (and these are among the mildest of the chastisements and ordeals It metes out), e.g.: It is hot/cold, It is difficult/miserable/thundering/dangerous/murderous. You definitely do not want to get on this unbeing’s bad side, so you have to propitiate it, like a volcano god (It’s erupting!). In an uncharacteristic burst of cheerfulness, It does occasionally part the clouds and let the Sun shine (‘It is sunny!), but It generally prefers to drizzle. It is thus not only a gloomy companion to your writing, but also a will-o’-the-wisp that may lead you down a deep dark rabbit hole.


Below is an example of one of these interloping wraiths mangling grammar and logic:

Original:

The British were landing what for that time was enormous quantities of fish.

Edited:

The British were landing enormous quantities of fish by the standards of that time.

This instance of faulty parallelism (FP) stems from the writer’s apparent confusion over whether the British were catching ‘what’ or catching ‘quantities of fish.’ This is as much a problem of faulty logic as FP, as all too often happens when one opens the door to these shadowy tricksters.


Accordingly, please do not begin sentences along the lines of, e.g.:


Original:

It is standard practice in many countries for governments and academia to cooperate closely to preserve national technological competitiveness.

Edited:

Close cooperation between government and academia to preserve national technological competitiveness is standard practice in many countries.


Notice how Its insistence on assuming pride of place in the preceding example has bumped the true subject to its back and generated a superfluous verbal clause easily replaced by the noun - and true subject - ‘Close cooperation…’? If ‘It’ does start a sentence/clause, ‘It’ should clearly and directly refer back to a discoverable object (not in the grammatical sense) in the preceding sentence(s)/clause(s), or serve as a forward reference, à la:


It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. - Jane Austen


The ‘It’ in the foregoing example is no phantasm, but a prospective reference to ‘a single man in possession of a good fortune.’


Strive to only employ who, what, where, when, why, how as interrogative pronouns at the start of a sentence which ends in a question mark (but see Rhetorical questions, above) and limit their use as relative pronouns, which [real relative pronoun] is often unnecessary, e.g., ‘The reason why the AI black-box problem is so unsolvable is because even algorithms themselves seem at times not to know what they are doing.’ This could be recast as: ‘The reason the AI black-box problem is so unsolvable is that even algorithms themselves seem at times not to understand their own functions.’


Personal/possessive pronouns

The Yuan is deeply committed to fostering a world of kaleidoscopic diversity and inclusivity. The Yuan recognizes and fully respects the inalienable right of all humans to define their own identities (when this does no harm to others - e.g., identifying as a werewolf or vampire, and acting out the part), but nonetheless employs as the third-person generic pronouns ‘s/he’ and ‘one,’ and the possessive pronouns ‘his/her’ for the sake of simplicity and consistency. Therefore, do not use ‘they/them/their’ in instances in which these refer to an individual person (or other animal). Contributors are encouraged to pluralize such usages whenever possible.


Professional titles/honorifics

Use, e.g., Prof/Dr when relevant to establish a figure’s authority/credentials on the first appearance of the referenced name - appearing in full or as commonly used, e.g., ‘Winston Churchill,’ not ‘Sir Winston Spencer Churchill’ - with further references using the person’s last name only, e.g., ‘Churchill.’ Note that surgeons in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries bear the professional title ‘Mr’ for historical reasons, and this should be used at the first mention in the same way as Prof/Dr. Generic honorifics - Mr/Ms/Mrs/Miss - should never otherwise be used except in quotes. Lower-case ‘professor of/at…’ should be used as a descriptor - rather than a professional/academic title - when following such person’s name, likewise, e.g., chief executive, board chairman. Note that ‘founder’ should never be capitalized as it is a descriptor, not a title.


Layman’s terms

Please bear in mind as you write that many among The Yuan’s diverse audience lack specific expertise in the AI field and various readers may only have some superficial knowledge of technical matters in general. Therefore, please use simple vocabulary whenever possible and explain any technical language so it can be understood by our general audience. Strive to use technical jargon sparingly and explain matters in plain terms whenever practicable.


Short words

Always choose the shortest word from among a set of synonyms except for fixed/set terms of art or when this produces an awkward result. Resort to longer synonyms to avoid repeating shorter ones.


Word echoes/stultifying repetitions

English boasts the largest lexicon of any language, by far, with more than number two (German) and three (French) combined. Avail yourself of this abundance. Substitute synonyms to avoid soporifically repeating the same words and thus sending your readers to sleep.


References

References to support assertions appear as endnotes after the body of an article, are numbered - e.g., 1, 2, 3 - with each set at the end of a sentence in this manner. The Chicago Manual of Style standards are recommended, but optional. Whichever format you do choose, please be consistent. See the example below:


References:

1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18288193/

2. https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200121-sitrep-1-2019-ncov.pdf


Ask us

Please ask us if you have any questions: contributor@the-yuan.com.

The Yuan style guidelines revised in June 2022

The Yuan uses US English, so please write in its standard form. Below are 12 simple style tips for your reference.


1. Headlines are all lower case, except for the first letter and proper nouns. Headlines must be full sentences (subject+verb+object/subject+predicate).

2. Write currencies as $, pounds, euros, yuan, yen, rials, pesos, francs.

3. Do not use ‘…etc., including…’ = use such as...

4. In order to/in terms of = to/in

5. We/you/I = banned; use I/we if you feature in your story, otherwise not. Use oneas a generic pronoun in preference to you.

6. Acronyms are written out in full at the first iteration, thereafter in shortened form, e.g., ‘…according to the Food and Drug Administration. the FDA said. Explain all technical terms the average reader might be unfamiliar with.

7. References are to endnotes, not footnotes, using the Chicago Manual of Style. Their numbers appear after the object to which they refer and its punctuation, if any, with no space, e.g.:

‘…clients who are operating on their business platforms. 

becomes:

‘…clients who are operating on their business platforms.1

8. Avoid introductory clauses = put them at the middle/end without a comma, thus:

In recent years, the growth of AI has spawned a host of industries servile to it.becomes:

The growth of AI has spawned a host of industries servile to it in recent years.

9. Use the shortest n-dash (-) with one space on either side. This is preferable to brackets/commas in brief asides.

10. Use e.g.,’ ‘i.e.,instead of for example,’ ‘for instance,’ ‘that is to say.

11. Only use double quotation marks for actual quotes. Use single ones otherwise.

12. Avoid use of passive voice and keep sentences/paragraphs short.




1Bank for International Settlements (2019). “Big tech in finance: opportunities and risks”, BIS Annual Economic Report, Ch. III, June.