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The importance of our Style Guide

News 14 June, 2012

* Author: Loreto Sánchez Álvarez-Arenas *

A couple of months ago, there was some debate on a report written by members of the Royal Spanish Academy on Sexism in language and the visibility of women, offering a range of examples of different options available in the use of speech.

Well, you’re probably wondering what inspired me to write in this blog for Iberdrola.  It was the importance of having edited the Iberdrola Style Guide, which aims to preserve the elegance of the language, in line with the stated goal of the Spanish Royal Academy, always true to its motto Limpia, fija y da esplendor (Clears, specifies and polishes).

In this style Guide, written by the linguist and doctor of Philology, Jose Antonio Gonzalez, in addition to providing the linguistic rules of Spanish (for example, as regards considerations on gender and number that inspired the report), the style Guide is also useful for consulting correct usage.

But why exactly do I think the Iberdrola Style Guide is important?

On the one hand, because among the rules on usage are some of the main innovations from the most recent edition of the Ortografía de la lengua española (2010), and on the other, it streamlines the Iberdrola style and rules out possible alternatives, lending a unique personality to the various texts to be signed by the company in any location and by any of its representatives. Now we all know what the recommendations are when drawing up company documents.

Also, Iberdrola is synonymous with quality and quality should also be a constant in how our texts and news releases are written.  It is crucial to have a reference for queries about upper-case, lower case, typical mistakes or non-recommended language usage, so that we can all achieve simplicity and excellence in yet another facet of our daily activity, i.e. written communication in our work.

We can now also consult the Iberdrola Style Guide for linguistic recommendations and mistakes in English spelling and various aspects of the drafting of texts and documents prepared by Iberdrola in English. Most relevant to Spanish-speaking users is the section which addresses, in detail, the typical errors when writing in English.

I am convinced of the importance of the Iberdrola Style Guide, that it should be distributed to all and that everyone should be on familiar terms with it. I also believe this open forum – this blog – is a living system that gives us the possibility to develop and create, grow and improve; and enables us all to participate and keep an open mind. After all, which one of us never has any doubts when writing? Who among us never makes a spelling mistake or never gets confused when writing problematic passages?  From the most general to the most specific aspects of the electricity sector, our syntactic style becomes our style.

Author: Loreto Sánchez Álvarez-Arenas

Bio: I have a Law Degree from Madrid’s San Pablo – CEU University and an Executive MBA in Energy Business Management from Antonio Nebrija University. After starting my career in various companies and organizations, in 2004 I joined the General Secretary’s office of Iberdrola, and I now head the coordination unit of the businesses legal services.

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