In manuscripts of yore (centuries ago), the text would appear in one huge unbroken block. At some point breaks in thought or theme came to be indicated in the line of text with marks of various kinds, which in late medieval times included a pilcrow (¶), essentially the same symbol your word processor hides at the end of a paragraph in your documents today.
The seventeenth edition of CMOS was the first edition to rule explicitly on whether “too” in the adverbial sense of “also” should be set off by commas. The rule applies also to “either,” which as an adverb can play a similar role in a sentence or clause.
Everyone makes mistakes, but if you goof online at your author website or in social media, the potential for ruin these days is downright scary. That doesn’t mean you should hide in fear or shame.
Ready for more action? This month’s workout, “Verbs, Part 2,” focuses on paragraphs 5.117–43 of CMOS 17, which cover mood, tense, number, and other useful concepts.
In light of recent announcements elsewhere in publishing, many of our readers have been asking us whether we continue to recommend lowercase for terms such as black and white to refer to a person’s race or ethnicity, “unless a particular author or publisher prefers otherwise.”
Your author website probably has a nice banner image, and if you blog, you probably look online for eye-catching artwork to illustrate or decorate your posts or pages. Maybe your About page features a professional headshot or images from book signings or other events. When you borrow images from another creator, whether you found them…
An en dash can function either as a strong hyphen or as an ordinary dash. As a strong hyphen, it can connect numbers or words. As an ordinary dash it’s nothing special.
Verbs are famous for their ability to show action, but they can also express a condition or a state of being. You might even say (an action) that verbs are (a state of being) the most important part of speech.
Chicago’s main system for citing sources—and the subject of chapter 14 of CMOS—consists of numbered notes in the text and a corresponding list of sources in a bibliography.
A great many common abbreviations behave perfectly well in any fiction or nonfiction context, including dialogue, when the general guidelines in CMOS are observed: Mr., Ms., CEO, p.m., PhD, UFO. Editors should have no quarrel with them, as long as they’re styled consistently.
It may not be possible to go to a café or a boîte right now for pie à la mode, but there is an alternative. You can take this month’s quiz and test your knowledge of accents and other diacritical marks.