In light of recent announcements elsewhere in publishing, many of our readers have been asking us whether we continue to recommend lowercase for terms such as black and white to refer to a person’s race or ethnicity, “unless a particular author or publisher prefers otherwise.”
It hasn’t reflected publishing standards since the Jazz Age. And it isn’t Chicago style. But some people continue to do it in their own documents—from manuscripts to emails. You’ll even see it occasionally on social media.
Switching to italics for the occasional word or phrase borrowed from another language—and not listed in a standard English-language dictionary—can be helpful to readers.
On a scale of 1 to 10, can you guess how big a stickler you are? (Your friends and colleagues probably can.) Just for fun, measure your peeving profile with this quiz.
The University of Chicago Press is pleased to announce that Russell Harper will become editor of the “Chicago Style Q&A” at CMOS Online and editor of the CMOS Shop Talk blog beginning January 1, 2019. Harper has
Like all professional copyeditors, I try to keep up with news in my field, which means browsing the posts and articles of editors, grammarians, linguists, and lexicographers online. I do this both through RSS feed subscriptions—Feedly is my reader of choice—and also by bookmarking
Bryan A. Garner is the author of the new book The Chicago Guide to Grammar, Usage, and Punctuation as well as the author of the “Grammar and Usage” chapter of The Chicago Manual of Style. His other best-selling books include
This month’s workout, “Word Usage,” centers on section 5.220 of CMOS. Writing and editing are more efficient when you never have to look up affect or effect or dither over whether it’s OK to write inasmuch.
CMOS: When we talk about using inclusive language, who are we talking about including? SG: Everyone—but especially readers from groups that have historically been excluded by the conventions used and the assumptions made in publishing. One of the earliest and most obvious examples would be
CMOS: How did you come to think about writing as “flabby”? HS: Many years ago, I read Richard Lanham’s book Revising Prose, which influenced me deeply as a writer. Lanham teaches you to identify the “lard factor” in your writing, based on the percentage of words that you could omit without significantly changing its meaning. The Writer’s Diet follows similar principles, but with