What’s your Chicago style fitness level?
Does your résumé claim that you are familiar with The Chicago Manual of Style? If a potential employer decided to test you on that claim, would you come out looking strong—or would you be left dangling halfway up the rope?
Today we’re launching a new monthly feature at Shop Talk that will give you regular opportunities to evaluate the strength of your knowledge of Chicago style. If you’re a beginner, exercise with us! Build some editorial muscle.
Each Chicago style workout focuses on a small part of CMOS. Advanced editors might tackle the exercises cold; learners can study the related sections of the Manual ahead of time.
One important caveat: the workouts are all about Chicago! If you’re an expert in MLA, AP, or New York Times style, you might be surprised to find that your instincts don’t quite match Chicago’s. That doesn’t mean that your answer is necessarily “wrong”—it just means it isn’t Chicago style.
Today’s workout zeroes in on the section of the Manual called “Series and the Serial Comma,” specifically sections 6.18–6.21 (16th edition). (Subscribers to The Chicago Manual of Style Online may click through to the linked sections of the Manual. For a 30-day free trial of CMOS Online, click here.)
[Editor’s update: These styles did not change in the 17th edition, although their section numbers may have changed.]
Chicago Style Workout 1: Series and the Serial Comma (CMOS 6.18–6.21)
Note: These questions are designed to test knowledge of The Chicago Manual of Style. Other style guides may have different rules and guidelines. The first five items are true/false statements, and the last five ask you to judge whether the example does or does not follow Chicago style.
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P.S. We welcome discussion! Please use the comments feature below.
(Spoiler alert: commenters may discuss the workout and their answers!)