According to The Chicago Manual of Style, commas and periods are almost always placed before a closing quotation mark, “like this,” rather than after, “like this”. This traditional style has persisted even though it’s no longer universally followed outside of the United States and isn’t entirely logical.
Anyone familiar with the grammar and style rules and guidelines in CMOS knows they come with a lot of qualifiers: normally, in most cases, in running text, in regular prose, depending on the context—I could go on and on. In life, very few rules are meant to cover every situation. The same is true in CMOS.
The seventeenth edition of CMOS was the first edition to rule explicitly on whether “too” in the adverbial sense of “also” should be set off by commas. The rule applies also to “either,” which as an adverb can play a similar role in a sentence or clause.
An en dash can function either as a strong hyphen or as an ordinary dash. As a strong hyphen, it can connect numbers or words. As an ordinary dash it’s nothing special.
Chicago’s main system for citing sources—and the subject of chapter 14 of CMOS—consists of numbered notes in the text and a corresponding list of sources in a bibliography.
It hasn’t reflected publishing standards since the Jazz Age. And it isn’t Chicago style. But some people continue to do it in their own documents—from manuscripts to emails. You’ll even see it occasionally on social media.
Its generic name is the serial (or series) comma, but a lot of people refer to it by a fancier name: Oxford comma.
This month’s Chicago style workout focuses on the fourth and last section of our hyphenation table, “Words Formed with Prefixes.”
Anyone who learned to type on a QWERTY keyboard would be excused for thinking the semicolon is the most important mark of punctuation in English; why else would it be sitting right there on the home row?
In 1929, when the song “Ain’t Misbehavin’ ” became a big hit, composers Thomas “Fats” Waller and Harry Brooks probably weren’t too worried about that final apostrophe.