Many aspects of the English language are tricky to navigate for one reason or another, and possessives are one of them. But what is a possessive anyway? What is the best way to show ownership or relationship? As always, the Chicago Manual of Style has the answers.
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.
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.
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.
Time is such an integral part of our experience as humans . . . we run out of time, time is money, time heals, time flies. But there are often inconsistencies or variations in how we write about time. Review this guideline to brush up on accepted standards, and find out whether you should be using “daylight savings” or “daylight saving” time.
We often consider “good writing” to be a matter of simply following grammatical and spelling rules, but writing style guides provide broader advice for tricky topics, such as expletives.
Many authors struggle with writing concisely, but here are a few proven strategies for improving the quality of your writing and keeping your readers engaged.
Style guides are a critical element to help content producers keep their writing consistent and facilitate easier collaboration on documents. They provide guidance on everything from capitalization and punctuation to correct citation formats and use of numbers. But first you must decide which style guide is right for you.
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