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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

New Questions and Answers, May 2013 | Chicago Manual of Style

The Chicago Manual of Style has announced its Questions and Answers for May 2013. The renowned manual invites questions from users. Chicago prefers responding to questions that are not answered in past Q&As or in its manual and that can't be answered with a dictionary. People can register for monthly alerts about the Q&As, as I do.

Here are summaries of the new questions, some with the CMOS answer [and my comment]:
Q. My friend Ed says that there is a problem with the sentence “An error occurred while processing your request.” Is this a legitimate criticism?
Q. Under what circumstances should “per annum” be used preferentially to “per year”? A. They have the same meaning, but “per annum” is fancier. [I have a hunch CMOS prefers "per year."]
Q. In alphabetizing a list of donors, the foundation would typically be ordered by the first word, but names by the last word. What do you do when they are combined in the same list?
Q. How would I cite from a curator’s statement of an art exhibit and specifically note that the curator’s statement is included in the exhibit, and is not simply a statement made in an article or interview?
Q. I work for a company that insists when we address an email to one of our own clients whom we know well that we put a comma in hi, hello, or good morning, Joe. I have been told that this is a very formal way of addressing someone. Help!
Q. I have read section 14.29 on how to use the term ibid. in footnotes, but I would appreciate some clarification on the following: is it required to use ibid. rather than the shortened citation? A. If your professor says you have to use ibid., then, yes, it is required. Otherwise, it’s optional, and you can use the shortened style. [In other words, follow the direction of your professor ... or your editor or other person who evaluates your performance and OKs your paycheck.]
Q. CMOS recommends spelling out terms on first mention in each chapter. I’m considering spelling out my commission’s name on first mention in each section and subsection. Do you think that’s overkill?
Q. One of my professors insists on using the Chicago style when writing papers. The problem is that what he says often sounds like a CMOS truth from an edition that has not been in use for years. Any helpful suggestions on handling something like this?
Q. What do you say (or do) to an author who makes extensive revisions (without tracking) to his original manuscript after you have sent him the copyedited version? A. Please use your imagination; we would rather not say. [I like the CMOS sense of humor.]
CMOS also offers an online version of its entire manual, by subscription  For free, you can use my online writing guide, Garbl's Editorial Style and Usage Manual.
The latest CMOS Q&A is featured today, May 7, in my daily online paper, Garbl's Style: Write Choices, available at the Editorial Style tab above and by free email subscription.

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