When you read a book that includes source citations, do you prefer footnotes or endnotes? Publishers usually assume that the average reader will prefer endnotes, on the principle that they’re less distracting than footnotes.
Since long before the days of email, the Manuscript Editing Department at the University of Chicago Press has had the honor of replying to comments and questions from users of The Chicago Manual of Style, usually typed but sometimes written in longhand or even called in by phone.
There’s more to nouns than people, places, and things. Some nouns are countable, and some are not. Most nouns are common, but some are proper. There are mass nouns and collective nouns, attributive nouns and nouns that can function as verbs. Some even take on adverbial roles.
A “the” at the beginning of a word or phrase that would normally be capitalized—including the name of an organization or the title of a work—presents a dilemma. When is the “the” capitalized? In Chicago style, the answer comes down to a few rules that can help you decide in each case.
Over the last year and a half (beginning in April 2021), Microsoft has been rolling out its “modern comments” to Word 365 users on both Windows and Mac platforms. If you use Word, and unless you have your updates turned off, there’s a good chance you have them by now, or will soon.
Q. Would you add a comma before the quotation marks in the following sentences?
Verb tenses are all about establishing the time that something happened: past, present, or future. They can also specify whether an action has been completed or is ongoing.
In the writers’ groups where I hang out online, these queries are evergreen: How do I know if I need a copyeditor before I submit my work to an agent or editor? How do I find a good copyeditor? How much does copyediting cost?
Even the most straightforward rule will be subject to an exception sooner or later. That’s why CMOS qualifies so many of its rules with usually or generally. But some exceptions are so common that they deserve to be called rules themselves.
Ellen Jovin is a cofounder of Syntaxis, a communication skills training firm based in New York City. The author of several books for business professionals, she has a BA in German studies from Harvard and an MA in comparative literature from UCLA.