Style means all kinds o' things.
At its grandest, it means everything about your way
of presenting yourself in words, including grace,
clarity, and a thousand undefinable qualities that
separate good writing from bad. At its narrowest,
it includes mechanics such as spelling, punctuation,
usage, and grammar.
Questions about style have no definitive answers,
only competing standards used in different places.
There are differences in spelling and punctuation
in various countries. In fact, each publishing house
develops what it refers to as "house
style"—the choices about (mostly minor)
matters that it sets on its own. Newspaper publishers,
for instance, often use different rules than book
publishers do. It's not a question of which is "right" or "wrong";
you need to learn to suit your mechanics to the forum
for which you're writing.
Be aware that there are a good many differences within
written language, just as there are in spoken English.
Words and constructions vary a good deal in what we
read. It's important to become aware of the "standards"
of usage expected of a proficient technical writer;
to become sensitive to the style demands of the typical
genres used in technical writing.
The best way to
sensitize yourself to style is to read widely the
kinds of material you find yourself having to write
so that you develop a feel for what is acceptable.
There are a many well established references
on style. Some of the major ones are now available
Click here to
find links to some of the more significant online
resources on style.