There are two different kinds of apostrophes: smart and straight. To use them correctly, it helps to understand how they work. . . .
Many of us write or say “12 p.m.” (or “12:00 p.m.”) when we mean noon and “12 a.m.” when we mean midnight. This seems reasonable enough, at least intuitively. . . .
When words are left out of a quotation, an ellipsis of three dots (. . .) takes their place. When this works correctly, the reader can skip over the dots and the sentence . . .
An epigraph is a short quotation at the beginning of a book or chapter or article that sets the tone for what’s to come. It’s often from a famous source, but it doesn’t have to be. The source of an epigraph is usually given on a line
Abbreviating number ranges according to The Chicago Manual of Style (per section 9.61 in the 17th ed.) is easy if you can remember these three rules:
We all know that a singular noun subject requires a singular verb, and a plural subject requires a plural verb: My favorite is the giraffe. My favorites are nasturtiums and dahlias. And we usually aren’t thrown by a plural subject with a singular predicate:
Although it seems simple enough to include the author’s name as the first element of a citation, CMOS users have questions about how to do it. Here are a few pointers from paragraphs 14.73–74 of the Manual.
In a typed document, each new paragraph should begin with a first-line indent, applied either with the Tab key or with your word processor’s indentation feature rather than the Space bar. One-half inch is the traditional measure for an indent. Exceptions:
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: