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This website has received permission from the Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076, UGLE, to reproduce articles from their annually published transactions. The Quatuor Coronati Lodge, warranted by the United Grand Lodge of England, is the premier lodge of masonic research, having been founded in 1884. Membership is by invitation and is limited to forty. Membership in the Correspondence Circle is open to all Master Masons in good standing.

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For further information, visit their website.



Ars Quatuor Coronatorum - A Style Guide

For the assistance of brethren seeking to make submissions for possible inclusion in AQC, the following Style Guide has been reprinted with certain emendations and the inclusion of a setting guide in the form of an endnote for the many writers and researchers who have the use of a personal computer.
All copy (for papers, reviews, letters to the editor intended for publication etc.) should be typed in duplicate, (not hand-written) on one side of the paper, double spaced throughout as

are these three lines, (not one and a half line spaced).1

There should be a margin of at least 1 inch at each side of the printed material.

Flimsy paper ('bank' or air-mail) should not be used; it is too easily torn and is more difficult for the compositor to work from. Any necessary manuscript additions or amendments should be perfectly legible.
Sheets should be numbered serially throughout at the top right-hand corner. Later additions should be inserted as extra pages, numbered with an 'A', 'B' etc. for example, 25A, 25B.
Short insertions or substitutions may be on slips of paper, firmly stapled to the relevant page, clearly marked in red 'A' (or 'B', 'C', as necessary for that page), with marginal indications on the page itself, also in red; Take in A (B, C, etc.). All such insertions or substitutions should be perfectly legible.
Copy should conform to the AQC style-guide attached.
If the author has difficulty in getting his material typed, Q.C.C.C. Ltd. may be able to arrange for this to be done at the author’s expense.


Abbreviations are often appropriate and necessary in (end)notes and tabulated appendices and indexes, but they are rarely correct in the main text of a paper. Among the common offenders is 'viz.', always to be given as 'namely'. The phrase 'for example' is preferred to 'e.g.'; likewise 'that is' to 'i.e.'
Masonic abbreviations such as G.L., or L. (for lodge), G.M., D.G.M., W.M., P.M., S.W., J.W., Can. (or Cand.), M.M., F.C., E.A., W.T.s, F.P.O.F., and even Q.C. should all be spelt out. An exception is that, immediately after someone’s name, his masonic rank may be given in the prescribed abbreviated form; 'John Smith, PJGD', but 'John Smith was invested with the rank of Past Junior Grand Deacon'. Note should be taken of the instruction printed in the Masonic Year Book, (page 558, 1988-9 edition) and the abbreviations against the names of Grand Officers, particularly the absence of full-stops; PAGDC is now correct; P.A.G.D.C. is incorrect.

Note Especially

c.(in italic)about (circa) - when associated with a year
n(in italic)note
C.(roman cap.)century (as in '20th C.')
op. cit(italic)in the work quoted
ibid.(italic)in the same book, chapter, passage etc.
[sic](italic)calls attention to something anomalous or erroneous in the original

but, with the exception of the first and the last, they should not normally appear in the text but only in notes, appendices and indexes.


'27 years old', 'at the age of 27', but 'in his twenty-seventh year'.

Biblical References

Give name or book of Bible in full; do not use words 'Chapter' or 'verse'.

Examples; Ruth 2: 19
1 Kings 6: 21-30; 7: 13-21
1 Chronicles 2: 11-16; 34: 8-13
Ecclesiastes 12: 1-7
2 Peter 1: 7

When the references appear within the text they should be spelt out, as in: 'It is explained in the eighth verse of the fifth chapter of the Book of Exodus'.

Bibliographical References

Show name of author, title of book, publication and where appropriate, page numbers.

Examples;Worts, F.R., 'The Use of the Word Landmarks', AQC 75 (1962).
Knoop, Jones & Hamer, The Early Masonic Catechisms (2nd ed. 1963).
Adding where necessary 'pp. 10- 14' (for example).

It will not normally be essential to indicate the names of publishers of works quoted; if it is, these names should appear before the year of publication, within the same parentheses. The location of a British publishing firm will seldom be required, but may be included if an author wishes it. The place of publication of foreign works should always be given.


Do so only where word genuinely needs it or to avoid ambiguity. Examples;

'the chairman said...'; 'the north of England'; 'the West Country'; 'the continent of Europe' (but 'the Continent', when referring to Europe).

In the terminology of Freemasonry AQC prefers as follows:

Book of Constitutionsalways
brother except before a surname or to avoid confusion with blood relationship
chair'the Master’s chair'
chapterexcept in the title of a chapter ('the chapter met at Bolton'; 'the Chapter of Aspiration')
Charteras noun; to charter, chartered, as verb
committeeexcept in a title such as 'Committee of Charity
Consecrationas noun; consecrated, etc., as verb
Constitutionas noun; constituted, etc., as verb
Craftwhen referring to Freemasonry, but' the craft of the operative stonemason'
degreeCraft degrees, Mark degree, first degree (not 'Ist degree' except in appendices)
Deputationas a document or authority
Dispensationas a document or authority, but 'by dispensation'
freemasonicavoid the use of this word
Grand Chapter/Lodgealways
Grand Councilalways
Initiationas noun; initiated as verb
Librarian/Librarywhen referring to Freemasons' Hall, London
Librarian and CuratorThe term 'Grand Lodge Library' is an official designation.
It is incorrect to use such expressions as 'the Library at Great Queen Street' or 'the Library at Freemasons' Hall'
lodgeexcept in the title of a lodge ('this lodge met at Bolton'; The Lodge at the Queen’s Head, No. 5(A); The Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076)
Masonry'Freemasonry' is to be preferred since it avoids ambiguity.
'Masonry' is to be capitalized unless the word refers to the product of an operative mason’s craft. But 'operative Masonry' as distinct from ’speculative Masonry'.
Masteralways when referring to the Master of a lodge. Similarly 'Installed Master', 'Past Master', 'Wardens', 'Deacons', and other officers of masonic bodies.
Minute(s), Minute Bookas nouns; minuted, as verb
Museumwhen referring to that at Freemasons' Hall, London (see also Librarian, etc.)
Orderas in 'Order of the Temple' and 'the various orders of Freemasonry'
Passingas noun; passed as verb
Raisingas noun; raised as verb
Proceedingswhen referring to printed reports
Registersof Grand Lodges, etc., only
Ritewhen referring to a series of degrees such as the Antient and accepted Rite; rite, in connection with a particular ceremony
Transactionswhen referring to a printed publication
Vote of Thanksalways
Warrantas noun; to warrant, warranted as verb
Certain words and phrases related to masonic symbolism should be capitalized, such as Three Great Lights, Movable Jewels, Plumb Rule; others in common use need not (regalia, apron, collar, jewel).


23 Januarynot 'the 23rd of January' or 'January 23rd'
From 1940 to 1946not 'from 1940-6'
In the 1940sno apostrophe
18th centurynot XVIII century; 18th-century as an adjective

See also Figures for spans of years


In the text spell out up to one hundred and express in figures thereafter except when the two categories appear in the same passage. In such a case a logical choice will have to be made. If it is necessary to spell out 'hundreds', 'thousands' or 'millions' then the quantitative number must be spelt out also ('eight thousand').
Insert hyphen for 'twenty-one', 'one-hundred-and-one', etc.
Spans of figures, including those relating to years, should follow these examples;
1916-19(not 1916-9);
1927-9(not 1927-29)
1786/7 is incorrect unless used to indicate an alternative dating.


Words to be italicized should be typed in italics if possible; if not, they should be underlined.
Italics should be used for the names of books, periodicals, stage works, films and longer musical works. The English title of articles and papers in books and magazines, an of songs, should be in roman in single quotes (for example Hughan’s 'Mason’s Marks' (AQC 4)). The names of ships should also be italicized (as in H.M.S. Revenge).
Italics should be used for foreign words and phrases that have not become part of day-to-day English usage (aide-mémoire, raison d'être, but cliché, bourgeois, bona fide, entrée, résumé, gratis - all with necessary accents).
Lodge names should be italicized only if they are in a foreign language; Lodge (or La Loge) des Neufs Soeurs; Lodge (or Loggia) Italia; Lodge ( or Loge) zur wahren Eintracht (note that in German only the noun is capitalized).
Italics should be very sparingly used to emphasize a word or phrase. If a sentence is properly constructed the emphasis will fall where it should. Although, especially in tabulated material, italics may be employed to act as headings, sub-headings etc., other possibilities (such as small capitals) should be considered.


The Oxford and Cambridge University Presses firmly settle for 'ize', 'izing', 'ization' for those words in which 'ise is not etymologically prescribed (advertise, devise, revise, surprise, etc.), and AQC will seek to follow their excellent examples.


Whenever possible, the use of footnotes should be avoided by incorporating the relevant matter into the text. In some instances however notes are essential and it is now the practice in AQC for these to be collected at the end of each paper rather than at the foot of each page. The numerical reference in the text should be raised above the line (superscript) and, for greater clarity in the typescript should be marked thus;

... quoted by Gould.1V


It is not intended to set out the lengthy rules for each mark but certain comments seem to be worth making in the light of experience.

Commas Reduce their number so far as is consistent with good sense. For example do not hedge such words as 'however', 'of course', 'also', and 'too' with commas round about. What is essential is to see that all commas are in the right place. A frequently occurring mistake arises in such passages as

... the lodge, and as the Master said,
the by-laws were clear

which should appear thus;

... the lodge and, as the Master said,
the by-laws were clear

It is often possible to check one’s correct positioning of commas by reading a sentence aloud and noting where the natural pauses for breath should come.

Colons In former times the colon was regarded as ’stronger' than the semi-colon and is still occasionally so used by writers. In general however it has now the function of delivering the goods that have been invoiced in the preceding words; an example is: 'There are three theological virtues: faith, hope and charity.'
The colon should in no place and in no circumstances be followed by a dash.

Dashes In pairs, these are becoming over-used and tedious as a method of parenthesis and are often wrongly used. Much care needs to be taken to ensure that the sense of a passage and its correct punctuation are preserved. There will be instances in which a parenthesized phrase preceded by a dash will have to be followed by a comma, semicolon or full stop.
In typescript it is helpful to indicate a dash with a double hyphen (—)

Square Brackets [ ] are disconnective; their principal use is for an explanatory interpolation within quoted material. On rare occasions they have to provide for parentheses within a passage already enclosed in round brackets.

Ellipses Only three points ( ... ) are required to indicate breaks or matter omitted, even when three points are in substitution for the words bringing a sentence to a close. An ellipsis representing the opening words of a sentence will be additional to but spaced from the full point at the end of a preceding sentence.

Quotation Marks Although it remains a matter of disagreement between some publishing houses, most regard ’single quotes' as the normal and resort to "double" only when an interior quotation occurs.
Smith wrote that, in his view, 'the Grand Lodge’s decision on "the Brown Report" was wrong'.
AQC follows this practice.
There is further disagreement on the positioning of a quote mark at the end of a clause or sentence. AQC prefers the use of logic:
If the entire sentence or clause is within quotes the 'full stop or the mark of punctuation which ends it precedes the final quote mark.
If the matter quoted is only the latter part of the sentence or clause the full stop or other mark of punctuation follows the final inverted comma.
The logic needs to be carefully considered in a case where an exclamation or a question mark ends the sentence or clause.

Apostrophes Whatever earlier custom may have been, it is now regarded as correct (other than in poetry) for the possessive of a singular word or name ending with ’s' or ’ss' to be written thus: Jones’s; princess’s.
In masonic writing the words 'Antients' and 'Modems' call for especial care. It would seem preferable to refer to 'the Antient Grand Lodge' or 'the Antients' rather than to 'the Antients' Grand Lodge'. It is in any event recommended that the Grand Lodge of 1717 be described as 'the premier Grand Lodge' rather than that of the Moderns.

Spelling, etc. (see also -ize/ise)

It may be helpful if attention is directed to one or two 'problem' words.

abridgement, acknowledgement, lodgementall thus
balloted, -ingthus; the 't' is not doubled
cabbalais the Hebrew tradition and is the Oxford choice but in some masonic contexts, 'Kabbala' is customary
enquiry/inquiryAfter a period in which the latter spelling was supported by many authorities it now seems to be agreed that the former is correct in general use and the latter when an investigation is implied. ('He enquired after her health. ' 'A Court of Inquiry is to be convened.')
inasmuchThis is one word but, for its modern usage ('...inasmuch as it was intended to...'), the alternative ’since' is less pompous.
judgementthus for normal use; judgment only in legal matter
medievalThis modern spelling is now preferred to 'mediaeval'.
practicethe noun; 'practise' is the verb
so far as, in so far as(always separate words)have supplanted the original use of 'inasmuch as' to mean 'to the extent that'


1. If you are using a PC to produce your work, please set your submission in "Word' (or one of its textfile compatible variants) and send it on floppy disc or CD-ROM with a 'hard copy' accompanying the disc.
The font is 'Times New Roman'; Main titles are 18 point bold. Author’s name 12 point italic, emboldened, text is set in 10 point regular and endnotes (not footnotes please) are set in 8 point regular with superscript numbering in Arab numerals, as is this example.
There should be no space between paragraphs, which should be distinguished by an indent at the sentence except under an illustration, a quotation or at the start of a headed section.
Quotations should be set in 9 point type and indented from both margins to distinguish them from main body of the text.

F.H.S. August, 1982.
Re-typed with minor differences July, 1989.
Re-set with inclusions for personal computer users January, 2000. P.H.C.

Reprinted from Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Transactions of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076. vol. 113 for the year 2000. (October, 2001) Peter Hamilton Currie, ed.. ISBN: 0 907655 50 5. pp. 249-55 [minor typographical corrections].


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