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Terminology Terminology

The following conventions of spelling and terminology apply to the manuals, web pages, comments, and (except where they require spaces or hyphens to be used) function and variable names, although consistency in user-visible documentation and diagnostics is more important than that in comments and code. Also don’t forget that the Code Reference is auto-generated from the code. The following table lists some simple cases:

Use… …instead of Notes
American spelling (in particular -ize, -or) British spelling (in particular -ise, -our)
“a user” or “a URL” “an user” or “an URL” #31894, #36218
“Ajax” “ajax” or “AJAX” “The name [Ajax] is shorthand for Asynchronous JavaScript + XML, and it represents a fundamental shift in what’s possible on the Web.” (Source)
“back end” (noun) “back-end” or “backend” #34887
“back-end” (adjective) “back end” or “backend” #34887
“backward compatibility” or “back-compat” “backwards compatibility” or “backwards compat” #36835
“Customizer” “Theme Customizer” or “customizer” The Customizer isn’t necessarily theme-specific, #29947
“email” “e-mail” #26156
“front end” (noun) “front-end” or “frontend” #34887
“front-end” (adjective) “front end” or “frontend” #34887
“JavaScript” “Javascript” or “javascript” #30569
“meta box” “metabox”
“oEmbed” “embed”
“retrieve” “retreive” or “retrive” “retreive” or “retrive” aren’t words, [2465]
“term meta” “termmeta”

Inspired by the GCC Coding Convention.

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Capitalization Capitalization

  • Labels
  • Button labels
  • Actions

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Abbreviations and Acronyms Abbreviations and Acronyms

Use abbreviations and acronyms only when they are familiar.

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Quotation marks Quotation marks

In DocBlock comments use the straight sin­gle quote (') or the straight dou­ble quote ("). In strings, which are visible to users, use curly quotes: The open­ing sin­gle quote (), the clos­ing sin­gle quote (), the open­ing dou­ble quote (), and the clos­ing dou­ble quote ().
See also Butterick’s Practical Typography.