Like all professional copyeditors, I try to keep up with news in my field, which means browsing the posts and articles of editors, grammarians, linguists, and lexicographers online. I do this both through RSS feed subscriptions—Feedly is my reader of choice—and also by bookmarking
The announcement of a new edition of The Chicago Manual of Style always prompts rejoicing—along with a few worried queries about how much the citation styles are changing. Never fear! The forthcoming 17th edition of CMOS entails few changes to our notes, bibliography, and reference list citation styles. After all, we’ve had over a hundred years to work on getting them right. Instead, the updates and revisions
It’s not always obvious whether a word should be capitalized. We know to cap proper names of people, holidays, cities, and countries. But what about words like dad, state, or president? Confusion arises when the same word is capped in one context and lowercased in another:
Philip Gerard’s new book is The Art of Creative Research (University of Chicago Press, 2017). He teaches in the Department of Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Shop Talk invited Gerard to talk about an example of what he means by “creative research.”
Since the announcement that the 17th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style will arrive in September, there has been a lot of buzz about some of the announced changes to the Manual. We’ll be looking closer at some of the changes over the coming weeks. First up is the pronoun they when it refers to a singular antecedent.
Many quotations end with a period or comma:
“He’s gone.” She turned away.
“Indeed,” he said.
Others end with a question mark or exclamation point, in which case
Today we launch a new series written by . . . you! If you have a story about your editing life, send it to us here and we’ll consider it for posting. Gael Spivak works in communications for the Government of Canada. She specializes in plain language writing and editing. Gael sent us her editing story.
Can you spy anything wrong with the following sentences?
This month’s workout, “Word Usage, Part 2,” again centers on section 5.220 of CMOS. Writing and editing are more efficient when you never have to look up biennial or dither over between and among.
We’ve all read those bossy directives from advice mongers: “Do rock a ripped T with a bright floral skirt.” “Don’t chew gum during an interview.” “Do practice blending eyeshadow with your brush.” “Don’t yank electrical cords from the wall.” Aside from being either fatuous and trendy or obvious and unhelpful, such lists actually pose some editorial dangers.