A Chicago Style Halloween Quiz

What does Halloween have to do with Chicago style? Not a lot, but that hasn’t stopped us from coming up with ten questions designed to challenge your editorial knowledge and stoke your curiosity about this quirky holiday and some of the words associated with it.

Quotation marks, with comma and period

Commas and Periods with Quotation Marks

According to The Chicago Manual of Style, commas and periods are almost always placed before a closing quotation mark, “like this,” rather than after, “like this”. This traditional style has persisted even though it’s no longer universally followed outside of the United States and isn’t entirely logical.

Who Gets Capitalized in a Novel?

Few readers will be puzzled by the capital D in the first example and the small d (and s) in the second. “Detective MacSwain” is treated like a name, a proper noun; “detective” (like “sleuth”) is a common noun. But what form would you choose in the following examples?

Pilcrows

Paragraphing in Manuscripts for Submission

In manuscripts of yore (centuries ago), the text would appear in one huge unbroken block. At some point breaks in thought or theme came to be indicated in the line of text with marks of various kinds, which in late medieval times included a pilcrow (¶), essentially the same symbol your word processor hides at the end of a paragraph in your documents today.

Formatting Thoughts in Fiction

There are a few simple conventions for presenting thoughts in fiction, and these overlap with the conventions for setting off dialogue and other quoted speech or text—or anything that might normally take quotation marks.