Many of us who write or edit for a living spend a lot of time in a word processor, typically either Microsoft Word or Google Docs (or both). It’s only natural, then, that we know a lot about these programs. But it’s always good to brush up on the basics.
For this month’s quiz we return to the subject of capitalization—specifically, the names and terms covered in chapter 8 of CMOS. In general, proper nouns are capitalized, whereas terms derived from or associated with them may not be, depending on context and other factors.
Coordinating conjunctions join pairs of words, phrases, or clauses, but when such a conjunction is interrupted by an intervening phrase or clause, it can be difficult to know where to put the commas. This is especially true when the conjunction joins the parts of a compound sentence.
If you’ve ever had to learn how to use commas with relative clauses—especially clauses introduced by which or that—you may have also encountered the word restrictive and its opposite, nonrestrictive. What do those two words mean, and what do they have to do with commas?