Should governments launch new programs or programmes? Should public servants be focused on their work or focussed? And should reports be embargoed until January 12 or 12 January?
All these careful questions of language and more will be answered in a new, digital version of the government style manual, which has set out rules for being clear and concise since 1966.
Ethos CRS has been appointed by the Digital Transformation Agency to re-imagine the Style Manual for Authors, Editors and Printers for the digital era, in partnership with the ANU's National Dictionary Centre, Oxford University Press Australia and New Zealand and Principle Co.
Early editions explained the relationship between quarto and broadsheet paper sizes, long since superseded, and how to mark up typescripts for printers, but the update will need to set out guidelines for email and Twitter.
Ethos CRS chief executive Chas Savage said typos were something that kept him up at night and that the project should not aim for anything less than producing the world's best style manual.
"Through the history of the different editions, the Commonwealth has tackled and led [on] things like sexist language and non-discriminatory language in a way that has actually set the standard and raised the bar," he said
Mr Savage said the new manual would help give confidence to people for their writing.
"There's huge organisation gains to be made in the public service just by giving people that authoritative source ... because it's, in my experience, astonishing how much time is spent arguing," he said.
Director of the Australian National Dictionary Centre Amanda Laugesen said the centre, which had a full-time staff of three, would bring to the manual its expertise usually focused on producing different editions of the Australian Oxford dictionary.
"The work is looking at questions around usage, making sure that our language is inclusive, that we're reflecting the contemporary, cutting-edge research into Australian English, that we're actually taking into account community concerns, and so forth.
"So that's something that's really important to what we do, and we'll be bringing that expertise to the style manual," Dr Laugesen said.