A - Z

The words we use and how we write them


If you feel like anything needs to be added to our list, or spot something on the site that needs changing, email content@giffgaff.co.uk

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

Abbreviations

Not for us

  • BFF
  • OMG
  • Fab

Agents

As in “giffgaff agents”, should be written with a lowercase “a” unless at the start of a sentence

Airtime

Let’s not use this word, use “credit”, where we might have said “airtime credit” in the past

Anytime

One word

And

“And” at the start of a sentence is perfectly fine

An “a” or “an” before a silent h

If the “h” word starts with a vowel sound, use “an”. So, it’s “an hour” and “an honest person” but “a historic victory”

Always On

Always uppercase

  • Always On
  • Always on
  • Always ON
  • always ON
  • AlwaysOn

Ampersand (&)

Avoid this awkward little symbol

Auto top up

It’s written without the hyphen

  • Auto top up
  • Auto top-up

B

Backup

This is all one word, no hyphens

  • Backup
  • Back-up

Build-up / Build up

Add a hyphen when it’s being used as a noun: “a build-up in SIM pack orders”. No hyphen is needed if it is being used as a verb

Business day

Preferred over “working day” or alternatives, as it’s clearer to people that it refers to Monday to Friday

  • Business day
  • Working day

C

Checkout

“Checkout” can be used as both a noun, as in the place where you buys things: “I queued for the checkout in the supermarket” and as an adjective, as in “checkout time”

Check out

“Check out” is one of those tricky verbal phrases that means to sign for or observe something: “I’ll meet you after I check out of the hotel.”

Community

This is written with a lowercase “c” unless it appears at the start of a sentence, or in a menu or footer

Contractions

A handy way to giffgaff up a sentence is to employ some contractions. So “it’s that time again” rather than “it is that time again”. Although overusing them (there’ve, for instance) is to be avoided

Covid-19 and coronavirus

Write Covid-19 as lowercase with a capitalised first letter. For coronavirus, only capitalise it at the beginning of a sentence. This is for readability following the style of major newspapers (rather than writing COVID-19 in the style of more science focused organisations).

Credit / debit

Not “credit / debit” or “credit or debit” or other alternatives

  • Credit/debit
  • Credit / debit
  • Credit or debit
  • Cedit/Debit

CTAs (Calls to action)

These are written in the same way as page titles, with a capital at the start of the first word and the rest of it being lowercase: “Calls to action”, “Buy credit”, Start your goodybag”

D

Dates

Go with “21 July 2016” (day, month, year; no commas, no ‘th’s’ etc) and xx/xx/xx when necessary. However in the latter cases go with x/x/xx, so it’s 1/9/18, and not 01/09/18

  • 21 July 2016
  • 1/9/18
  • 21st July 2016
  • 01/09/18

Decades

Use figures, so “1980s”, “the swinging 60s” etc

Dashes (-)

We don’t use these. Unless there’s no other option

Dual-core

Written as “dual-core”. Not “Dual Core”, “dualcore”, “dual core” etc. Don’t capitalise it unless it’s being used at the start of a sentence and make sure to use the hyphen

  • dual core
  • Dual core
  • Dualcore
  • Dual core

E

Every time

This is two words. Always two words

EU

Go with “EU” rather than “European Union”. It’s informal, shorter and lends itself nicely to wordplay

Exclamation marks (!)

These aren’t for us. If you do see any rogue “!” around the site, alert a content crew member immediately

Ellipsis (… )

Avoid these, but if you really need to use them, ellipses are three dots (…), not two dots, not four dots and definitely not eight dots. And an ellipse should always be followed by a space. ex. “So I said to Shirley, I said… “

F

FAQs

It’s “FAQs”, no apostrophe between the “q” and “s”

  • FAQs
  • FAQ’s

First-class

As in “first-class post”

  • First-class
  • First class

Full stops

No full stops on form headers, page titles or lists

G

gameplan

Another giffgaff product that loves a little “g”. It takes a lowercase “g” even at the start of a sentence

  • gameplan
  • Gameplan
  • Game plan

giffgaff

“giffgaff” is one word. It’s always one word. Whether you’re writing it on a whiteboard, or a post-it note, or a KB article or anywhere, it’s one word. It’s also always written entirely lowercase, whether at the start of a sentence, or the end of a sentence, or in the middle of a sentence

  • giffgaff
  • Giffgaff
  • GiffGaff
  • giff gaff
  • Giff Gaff

gigabag

Always written with a lowercase “g” even at the start of a sentence. It’s also one word. Always. And forever. Even if it no longer exists

  • gigabag
  • Gigabag
  • Giga bag

GB

Short for gigabytes and always written uppercase and with a space between the number and the amount.

  • 6 GB
  • 6GB

goodybag

Always written with a lowercase “g” even at the start of a sentence. It’s also one word. Always. And forever

  • goodybag
  • Goodybag
  • Goody bag

The “g” rule

A handy way to remember if a proper noun takes a capital is whether or not it starts with a “g”. So “giffgaff”, “gameplan” and “goodybags” are all lowercase, while “Run by you” and “Payback” take a capital

H

Hey, hi and hello

We’re not big fans of using “hey”, so in general stick with either “hello” or “hi” for SMS and emails

Hexa-core

Not “Hexacore”, “hexacore”, “Hexa-Core” etc. Don’t capitalise it unless it’s used at the start of a sentence and always chuck a hyphen in there

  • Hexa-core
  • hexacore
  • Hexa-Core
  • Hexa core

Hurrah

“Hooray” and “hurrah” are both perfectly acceptable

Hooray

“Hooray” and “hurrah” are both perfectly acceptable

I

Internet

Capital “I”, at least when referring to the Internet, if you’re referring to more generic “internets” then make that “i” bitesize

iPhones

“iPhones” and “iPads” come with a little “i” and no hyphen, so never “i-phones” or “Iphones”

  • iPhone
  • iPads
  • i-phone
  • Iphones

Italics

We don’t use italics on the site. It’s not for us

J

K

KB

Like it’s larger cousin (MB) these bytes are written uppercase and with are generall preceded by a space, so it’s 400 KB, and “kilobyte” when written long-form

Kick-off

Knowledge Base

One of the rare exceptions to us liking to keep things all nice and lowercase. It takes both a capital “K” and a big “B”

  • Knowledge Base
  • Knowledge base
  • Knowledgebase

L

Labs

“Labs” takes a capital “L”

  • Labs
  • labs

Login

“Login” is a noun or an adjective. You log in with your login information

  • Login page
  • Login button

Log in

“Log in” is a verb (well a verbal phrase) so use it when you’re talking about an action “Log in here”, “Log in to your account”. This is different to when you’re talking about a member who forgot their “login”, which is a noun, or occasionally an adjective, for instance: “login page”

Lowercase

No hyphen, so it’s “lowercase” not “lower-case”

M

Minutes

Try to use “minutes”. Avoid “mins” if you can. If you absolutely have to use “mins” then use it consistently across the rest of the page

Member name

This is written as two words, with no hyphen

MB

Always leave a space after the number e.g. 6 MB not 6MB, and it’s written “megabyte”, long-form

My giffgaff

Written with an uppercase “M”

Micro SIMs

A mini “m” for the mini SIMs, and no hyphen

N

Numbers

We like numerals, so it’s ok to stick with “1 day”, “3 months” or “6 GBs” , which is a little different than how a lot of places work, but it’s how we roll

Nano SIMs

A nano “n” for the nano SIMs and no hyphen

O

O2

Capital “O”, regular sized “2”

Octa-core

Not “octacore”, “octo-core”, “Octco-core”, “Octacore”, “Octa-Core” etc. Don’t capitalise it unless at the start of a sentence and drop a hyphen in there like it’s hot

ok

We like these lowercase, so it’s not “OK”, or “okay” and definitely not “O.K.”

Onboard

So, “onboard” is an adjective which comes before a noun, as in “onboard computer” or “onboard toiles”.

On board

“On board” though is a prepositional phrase which means something is in or on something: “All the cargo was on board the ship.” A handy way to remember the difference is that “on board” and “aboard” are synonymous, but “onboard” is’t

Oops

This is used when we’ve done something wrong e.g. “payment failed because of a problem with the site”. For problems from the member’s side we tend to go with “uh-oh”

Ordinal numbers

Avoid using “ths” “nds” and so on for dates. So it’s “21 January 2052”. However it’s “our 10th birthday party”

P

Page titles

Capital at the start, lowercase everything else, unless the word is a proper noun. Also never add a full-stop to a page title: “Our great value goodybags” or “Start earning Payback”

Phone

Try to avoid “device” or “handset”, though it’s ok when you’re in desperate need of a synonym for “phone”

Personal SIM order page

A member’s personal MGM link. Not: “personalised SIM order page”, “personalised SIM order page link”, “personalised order link,” “personalised link, “personal URL” etc

Pay as you go

No hyphen and not capitalised, unless it’s used at the start of a sentence

Payback

Always written with a capital “P”

PayPal

This takes two capital “p’s”, because it’s so friendly

Pre-owned

Always written with a hyphen and a lowercase “p” unless it starts a sentence, though we generally prefer the word “refurbished”

Product names

Generally lowercase, unless otherwise specified

Q

Quad-core

This is written with a lowercase “q” and comes with a hyphen right in the middle. It’s not written as “Quad-core”, “Quad core,” “quad core,” “quadcore” etc

R

Recheck

Not re-check or re check

Run by you

Uppercase that “R”, as in the “Run by you awards 2017”.

S

Super Recruiter

Always written in capitals, to indicate how super they are

Supers

When we’re referring to our super Super Recruiters as “Supers” make sure we give them the capital “S” they deserve

SIM only

We’ve dropped the hyphen

SIM swap

We see the odd uppercase “swap” in this phrase. Keep the SIM uppercase and the “swap” lowercase, as above

Single quotes

Avoid single quotes unless absolutely neccesary. An example from our run by you page, where it’s perfectly fine to use them: giffgaff was getting noticed for the radical way we approached mobile. The press said: “giffgaff, the ‘bonkers’ mobile network, proves that the crowd can run your business for you”

SIMs

SIM is always written with a three capital letters. Its plural gets a lowercase “s” and is written as “SIMs”

T

Time

We don’t go in for the 24 hour clock and it’s “10pm”, rather than something wild like “10:00pm”. “Am / pm” are written lowercase we use a colon rather than a full-stop to seperate the minutes from the hour. So it’s 10:25pm

Top-notch

This takes a hyphen. So it’s a “top-notch deal”

Top-up

Use “credit” instead. We don’t use “top-up” as a noun anymore, as it’s proved quite confusing in the past as members have to “top up their top-up”. Credit is a simpler way to refer to it. Also, don’t use terms like “airtime credit”, “airtime top-up” and “top-up credit”

Top up

Using “top up” as a verb (or verbal phrase) is fine, just make sure you don’t add any phantom hyphens in there. So, it’s “top up your credit”

Traffic Flow

The T and F are always uppercase

Tube

Tube is uppercase

U

Uh-oh

This is used when a member has a problem on their end e.g. insufficient funds in their account or incorrect card number

Unlimited

Use “unlimited”. Use “ultd” if you absolutely have to (for example in banners), but we’d really prefer it if you stuck with “unlimited”. Don’t use “unltd”

Uppercase

Drop the hypen, so it’s “uppercase”

uSwitch

Lowercase “u” and captial “s” regardless of where it appears

V

Voicemail

One word

W

WiFi

Capital “w” and capital “f”

Working day

Use “business day” instead, “working day” is not specific enough

Woohoo

One word. One “h”

Whilst

Go with “while” not “whilst”. Whilst would be great if it was 1874. It’s probably not 1874. Unless time is cyclical

X

Y

Z