Readers are sometimes puzzled by Chicago’s recommendations of when to lowercase or drop an initial the from the title of a work in running text. Sections 8.167 and 8.168 of CMOS (16th edition) lay out the rules. For a bonus, we’ll also cover the use of the in titles of websites (8.186) in running text. Chicago guidelines for the use of the
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:
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
Can you spy anything wrong with the following sentences?
Frequently, writers to the “Chicago Style Q&A” express the belief that when an abbreviation is introduced in a document, it must be introduced once and once only (when the term first appears) and that thereafter the spelled-out term must never be used again.
Readers might well wonder what use people have today for handwritten proofreading marks, but in publishing, the marks are still widely used. Although writers and editors checking typeset pages sometimes use PDF markup tools, there are plenty of times when it’s faster and easier to mark with a pencil.
How many times have you wavered over putting hyphens into an expression that combines numbers with some kind of measure? Is the child six-years-old or six years old?
“Oozing slowly across the floor, Marvin watched the salad dressing.” “I smelled the oysters coming down the stairs for dinner.” Most of us don’t have to worry about overlooking gaffes as obvious as these, but more subtle danglers—or misplaced modifiers—sometimes sneak by even the most careful
When putting items into alphabetical order, which comes first: Albert the Great or Albert of Saxony? HMD or H&N?
CMOS receives regular queries from readers asking whether greetings like “Hi, Elsa” really need that comma. Especially in e-mail messages, we hear, it looks fussy. And it takes so long to type!