I’ve used this space before to caution copyeditors against scrubbing voice and character out of fiction manuscripts by adhering too closely to a style manual.
For this month’s quiz we return to the grammar chapter—specifically, paragraphs 5.172–95, which cover prepositions. The main job of prepositions is to set up other words, an important job that usually goes unnoticed (except, maybe, at the end of a sentence).
If you work with words, you’re probably familiar with the related but supposedly antithetical concepts known as prescriptivism and descriptivism. And people take sides. Either you’re a stickler (you’re a prescriptivist) or you go with the flow (you’re a descriptivist).
Do you sometimes dither over whether to put a comma between two or more adjectives? Although the guidelines for deciding in CMOS work well for any kind of writing, there are times when creative writers prefer to ignore them.
This month we return to chapter 5, on grammar—specifically, paragraphs 5.156–71, which cover adverbs. Adverbs are not only amazingly versatile; they’re also incredibly useful. Find out how useful by taking this quiz.
Grammatically speaking, “appositive” is a fancy word for “equivalent.” For example, when we refer to your dog Smurf, “Smurf” and “your dog” are appositives—or the same thing (or animal, in this case) restated in different words.
How definite is your knowledge of articles? Find out by taking this month’s quiz, which will test your knowledge of paragraphs 5.70–78 of CMOS 17, on articles, a small but essential trio of adjectives. (We’ll also be taking a brief detour into chapter 8 and titles of works.)
Ready for more action? This month’s workout, “Verbs, Part 2,” focuses on paragraphs 5.117–43 of CMOS 17, which cover mood, tense, number, and other useful concepts.
In light of recent announcements elsewhere in publishing, many of our readers have been asking us whether we continue to recommend lowercase for terms such as black and white to refer to a person’s race or ethnicity, “unless a particular author or publisher prefers otherwise.”
Verbs are famous for their ability to show action, but they can also express a condition or a state of being. You might even say (an action) that verbs are (a state of being) the most important part of speech.