Tag Archives: Chicago Manual of Style

#WordUse Series:
Compound Interest

You may have noticed in some of my previous entries I have used the noun best sellers (“my mother’s collection of best sellers from the ’40s and ’50s”). Not bestsellers. Nor best-sellers. Best seller, a noun, is an open compound, friends, and frankly I’m tired of seeing it misused. Misspelled, actually. (Best-selling, on the other […]

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On the Same Page: You, Me, and the Style Guide

I really love the left-brain/right-brain duality of editing. It’s both prescriptivist and descriptivist. It’s a puzzle and yet has the same elements. Every project’s different … and every project’s the same—in that it has a need for a style guide. You’ve heard me talk about the Chicago Manual of Style. If you have a question […]

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Have You Found Your Voice Yet?

In the same way that it’s hard to define what makes a great book, or what makes great writing, it is nearly impossible to get a definition of narrative voice in writing. Impossible missions, however, have never frightened Your Editor. Stand back. What you hear most often is your voice is you. Your true self […]

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Don’t Be Trolling: “A Typo Is Just a Typo”

Every so often I read something one of my friends has written and think, Man, I wish I’d written that! Which is exactly how I felt when I read this one from writer/editor Beth Bates. :) And with the Read Play Edit Blog Recovery Plan still in effect, I had the perfect excuse to borrow […]

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Short Saturday: Editor Humor

Oh, gosh, I love John McIntyre! His humor, his knowledge, his writing voice. Enjoy! The Old Editor Says … The AP Stylebook is a set of guidelines, not dictation from Jehovah to Moses or a substitute for editorial judgment. Stylebooks are useful things for accomplishing consistency of practice, to minimize distractions for the reader. But […]

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Resistance Is Futile

The Borg are in charge over at the AP, it seems. The AP Stylebook has just announced a change: over is now interchangeable with more than in reference to numbers. That is, There are more than five dozen dandelions blooming in my backyard … can now be stated as There are over five dozen dandelions […]

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The Manuscript, the Editor, the Thief, and Her Grammar Nazi *

My friend author/editor Ramona Richards has a monthly column over at CFOM** and this month she’s declared she’s a reformed Grammar Nazi. What changed her? She got into publishing. :) That’s right. If you work in publishing you learn very quickly there’s no such thing as a perfect book. Try as we might to make […]

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Let’s Talk About Notes

No, no. I don’t mean passing notes. (Or margin notes; I’ve already talked about those.) You’ve probably called them footnotes—you see these mostly in scholarly works—or endnotes, which you’ll see (ahem) at the end of a text. When do you need a note? That’s easy: • if something or someone is being quoted* • when […]

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Breaking Into the Biz

People ask me how to get into the publishing business all the time. Nice, sincere people with an affinity for words and, perhaps, a degree in English. I don’t even know what to say other than Run! Run! Run away fast! (Wait, did I just say that out loud?) Honestly, kids, I don’t know what […]

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Have You Hired Your Editorial Assistant?

Awhile back I found myself wondering how I could best tell the author of a manuscript I was working on that I was his editor, not his editorial assistant. There’s a difference—and, as an aside, I’m not talking about the position a publishing house calls “editorial assistant.” No, I’m talking about Important Author and his […]

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