Whether you’re creating character dialogue or quoting nonfiction, writing speech can be a difficult job to tackle. Should you use double or single quotes? Do you need a comma? Where do you put the ending punctuation? Luckily, The Chicago Manual of Style is here to help. From the many types of discourse to faltering speech, the CMOS is your go-to …
As a summer of major cultural upheaval, partly spurred by the untimely deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbury, and Breonna Taylor, and the subsequent protests over racial inequality, continue, those of us in the editing world must ask, what, if any, changes we must make in our own work. While other industries address racism and diversity in their own ways, editing has its own issues to grapple with.
Few aspects of grammar are as confusing as the comma. What does it do? Where does it go? As with most grammatical conundrums, The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) has all the answers.
The difference between colons and semicolons can be challenging, and it is not uncommon to see them used interchangeably and hence, incorrectly. Let’s dive into the unique uses for each punctuation mark.
Get ready for National Novel Editing Month this March with these tips, originally published on February 2, 2019.
Blame Downton Abbey or Kate Middleton’s beautiful wedding, or the fact that we owe over 1,700 English words to Shakespeare. Anglophilia (or love of all things English) is alive and well in much of the United States, and many British rules and styles have crept into common usage in our writing. Let’s take a look at some of the differences between American and British grammar, as explained by The Chicago Manual of Style.
After months of forcing yourself to write regularly, pushing through writer’s block, reconsidering plot points, and diving deep into your characters’ lives, you finally have a finished first draft of your novel.
You know what comes next: editing.
After many months of writing, receiving feedback, editing (and repeat), you are confident in the quality of your work and ready to publish, right? Well, let’s not forget the important last step of the final proofread. You’ve come this far. Honor your hard work by not skipping this step, and use these tips to breeze through the process.
Standards for writing titles, such as capitalization and italicization, make it easier for the reader to understand what the writer is communicating. Yet with the rise of easily published, unproofed text and social media that doesn’t allow for italics, a writer can miss a lot of these standards—or simply not know them. Check out the latest installment in our “Unpacking CMOS” series to find out what our favorite style guide recommends for dealing with titles of works.
CMOS 5.250, “Good usage versus common usage,” is one of the lengthiest sections in CMOS’s seventeenth edition. It illuminates tricky words and phrases that are commonly used incorrectly in American writing. Learning the proper style for these terms will ensure you don’t confuse your readers and embarrass yourself with erroneous word choice.
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