For this month’s quiz we return to the grammar chapter—specifically, paragraphs 5.172–95, which cover prepositions. The main job of prepositions is to set up other words, an important job that usually goes unnoticed (except, maybe, at the end of a sentence).
When you write a book to send to an agent or editor, you are preparing a manuscript. And even if your ideas, characters, and plot twists are colorful and creative, your manuscript format should not be.
Grammatically speaking, “appositive” is a fancy word for “equivalent.” For example, when we refer to your dog Smurf, “Smurf” and “your dog” are appositives—or the same thing (or animal, in this case) restated in different words.
Starting a novel is an exceptionally personal affair, so I’m always amazed when someone decides to tell us all the best way to do it. Nonetheless, there are some basic guiding principles a struggling writer might find helpful. If you’ve been burning to begin but can’t seem to type the first word, read on.
CMOS supports two systems of source citation. Notes and bibliography, covered in a previous workout, consists of numbered footnotes or endnotes and, usually, a bibliography. Author-date, the subject of this workout, relies on parenthetical references in the text and a corresponding reference list.
I often encourage creative writers to join one or more private Facebook groups where they can post questions and share resources with other writers. There are specialized groups for children’s book writers, romance writers, fantasy—you name it.
In editing as in life, things tend to come in pairs. Life has its ups and downs, left and right, sea and land, victory and defeat. In editing you have capitals and lowercase, justified and ragged right, insert and delete.
What does Halloween have to do with Chicago style? Not a lot, but that hasn’t stopped us from coming up with ten questions designed to challenge your editorial knowledge and stoke your curiosity about this quirky holiday and some of the words associated with it.
According to The Chicago Manual of Style, commas and periods are almost always placed before a closing quotation mark, “like this,” rather than after, “like this”. This traditional style has persisted even though it’s no longer universally followed outside of the United States and isn’t entirely logical.
Few readers will be puzzled by the capital D in the first example and the small d (and s) in the second. “Detective MacSwain” is treated like a name, a proper noun; “detective” (like “sleuth”) is a common noun. But what form would you choose in the following examples?
To some people, “Chicago style” is synonymous with a conventional system of numbered notes supported by a bibliography. That’s the subject of chapter 14, the longest chapter in CMOS. (Chapter 15, on the author-date system, will be covered in a future quiz.)