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.
Its generic name is the serial (or series) comma, but a lot of people refer to it by a fancier name: Oxford comma.
This month’s Chicago style workout focuses on the fourth and last section of our hyphenation table, “Words Formed with Prefixes.”
Anyone who learned to type on a QWERTY keyboard would be excused for thinking the semicolon is the most important mark of punctuation in English; why else would it be sitting right there on the home row?
In 1929, when the song “Ain’t Misbehavin’ ” became a big hit, composers Thomas “Fats” Waller and Harry Brooks probably weren’t too worried about that final apostrophe.
To celebrate the end of another decade, we’ve put together eleven questions designed to test your knowledge of some random editorial facts.
Chicago style doesn’t require commas when “Jr.” or “Sr.” follows a name. Until just a few decades ago, however, commas were the norm.
One of the goals of Fiction+ has been to encourage writers and editors to leave the stylebook behind whenever it gets in the way of creative expression.
When it comes to punctuation, there’s a difference between formal prose and creative writing.
A few months ago in a conference session, a group of novelists digressed into good-natured complaints about being copyedited. One writer drew a lot of laughs saying, “I mean, I got A’s in English! I know where the freaking commas go!”