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Eric Ladner
06-05-2005, 02:16 PM
I think I remember a discussion some years back, in which some participants (Kathleen, I think you were one) were not completely happy with the Chicago Manual of Style. It didn't mean much to me then, but now I am about to finish a UC Extension copyediting workshop based on Chicago 15, and we've reached notes and bibliographies; this is driving me nuts.

Generally I enjoy picking grammar and punctuation nits (I know, that's just begging for a major error to show up in this message), but I can't see the point of no punctuation after the title and parentheses around the publisher in the notes, but a period after the title and no parentheses around the publisher in the bibliography. Why not be consistent--and simpler?

On a completely different part of the book, what possible reason can there be for American Civil War, but Spanish civil war?

--Eric, going to see whether a glass of wine helps or hinders trying to do this exercise . . .

Michael Rowley
06-05-2005, 02:53 PM
Eric:

a UC Extension copyediting workshop based on Chicago 15

You mean a workshop on copy-editing (or perhaps 'copy editing' . . . or 'copyediting'?), don't you? These things are completely arbitrary and sometimes depend on what the editor has had for breakfast. But the difference between footnotes and bibliographies is usually that references in the former are generally more concise, while bibliographies should enable the reader to buy or borrow the book etc. (and ought to include the ISBN, but they seldom do).

The difference between Civil War and civil war might be because there's only been one American Civil War (so far) and for all Americans (and Englishmen that are not well acquainted with history) know, a civil war may be an everyday occurrence in Spain. But does there have to be a reason for a style rule?

Eric Ladner
06-05-2005, 03:11 PM
I take your point about a workshop on copyediting, instead of a copyediting workshop. I'm actually a little uncomfortable with copyediting as a single word, but that's what Webster, Chicago, and the instructor of the workshop all use.

"But does there have to be a reason for a style rule?" Probably not, but I'd like a reason for an inconsistency. If we were talking about Spanish civil wars, I wouldn't see a problem, but here we have a list of specific wars, and all the others are capitalized.

Ain't it fun?

--Eric

ktinkel
06-05-2005, 04:01 PM
I think I remember a discussion some years back, in which some participants (Kathleen, I think you were one) were not completely happy with the Chicago Manual of Style. … but I can't see the point of no punctuation after the title and parentheses around the publisher in the notes, but a period after the title and no parentheses around the publisher in the bibliography. Why not be consistent--and simpler?

On a completely different part of the book, what possible reason can there be for American Civil War, but Spanish civil war?

--Eric, going to see whether a glass of wine helps or hinders trying to do this exercise . . .Oh, my dear (be still my heart)! I have actually decided that the Chicago Manual is an instrument of pure evil! <g>

Oh, no — I know that is hilariously exaggerated.

But whenever it gets close to matters typographic, it is wrong. And now you point out that it cannot even manage periods and parentheses!

Now, I ask you? What use is it?

Er. Did a glass of wine help? <g>

ktinkel
06-05-2005, 04:03 PM
But does there have to be a reason for a style rule?Now that is a provocative question.

I would say, speaking quickly, off the top of my head, after a glass or two or wine and some exhausting days, that, well, yes — of course there should be a reason!

Do you disagree? How else set these rules up?

Eric Ladner
06-05-2005, 04:07 PM
"Er. Did a glass of wine help? <g>"

I'm not sure whether it was the wine or the Miles Davis, but something helped!

--E

Michael Rowley
06-05-2005, 04:32 PM
Eric:

Ain't it fun?

Posssibly more fun after a bottle, rather than a glass, of wine. I wouldn't take these things seriously though: every paper's and every publisher's style book is different.

Michael Rowley
06-05-2005, 04:38 PM
KT:

How else set these rules up?

I shall interpret that as a rhetorical question, but if you press for an answer to it, I'd say as most rules are set up: the opinion of the setter-up counts most.

ktinkel
06-05-2005, 05:00 PM
"Er. Did a glass of wine help? <g>"

I'm not sure whether it was the wine or the Miles Davis, but something helped!Miles Davis always helps.

What did you listen to?

Eric Ladner
06-05-2005, 06:07 PM
Miles Davis always helps.

What did you listen to?

_Blue Moods_, especially "Summertime."

I guess the basic question about style rules is, if I change something and the author says "Why?" I'd like to have an answer that makes sense. A proper flat I'd look, coming back with "I dunno; Chicago says so."

--E

Molly/CA
06-11-2005, 04:12 PM
Copyediting is not a word in this house, to paraphrase Nero Wolfe, and it need not be a word elsewhere.

Where do you get the idea that MW considers copyedit a word? Here's what I got:

The word you've entered isn't in the Unabridged Dictionary. Click on a spelling suggestion below or try again using the search box at the top of this page.

Suggestions for copyedit: 1. cupidity (http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/unabridged?va=cupidity) 2. copiapite (http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/unabridged?va=copiapite)
3. cupidities (http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/unabridged?va=cupidities) 4. cupidon (http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/unabridged?va=cupidon)
5. copyist (http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/unabridged?va=copyist) 6. cooperid (http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/unabridged?va=cooperid)
7. copyists (http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/unabridged?va=copyists) 8. copied (http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/unabridged?va=copied)
9. cooperite (http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/unabridged?va=cooperite) 10. copiapites (http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/unabridged?va=copiapites)
11. copist (http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/unabridged?va=copist) 12. cuppiest (http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/unabridged?va=cuppiest)
13. cop it (http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/unabridged?va=cop%20it) 14. cupids (http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/unabridged?va=cupids)
15. cup drill (http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/unabridged?va=cup%20drill) 16. koppites (http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/unabridged?va=koppites)
17. koppite (http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/unabridged?va=koppite) 18. capitis (http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/unabridged?va=capitis)
19. coupist (http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/unabridged?va=coupist) 20. coupists (http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/unabridged?va=coupists)

Nor does the AP manual (mine's old) admit to the runonword. There is no reason to give in.

The AP manual is a good backup to Chicago, and inexpensive. Some of the writers, editors, publishers who helped me fight the severely incompetent copyeditors of the division of UC Press that was publishing our book consider it (variously) quirk in its recommendations, resulting in cumbersome constructions, or pedantic, or otherwise less rather than more readable results. For instance, the recommendation that all numbers up to 100 be written out is at variance with any other manual I know of and with common practice.

Other useful books, all recommended by members of this and other forums in the days when CS still had useful forums, are Words into Type (terrific!), Usage and Abusage, and Plain Words. I never did find a college-level grammar text to use, but there are some OK sites on the Web that deal with grammar (tip: don't use those in whose text you find obvious grammatical errors --even if they are printed by a college!). A lot of the "Chicago says so" is just grammar, and a lot of what you'll probably be dealing with is also just grammar.

It may not apply to anything you do, but scientific literature has slightly different forms sometimes. They are accepted and standard but don't always match what the style manuals say. The same may apply to other specialties --there are certainly a variety of measurement abbreviations used in cookbooks, any of which could be supported as standard. One of the--

ktinkel
06-11-2005, 04:38 PM
Miles Davis … _Blue Moods_, especially "Summertime."
Your comment made me think of a couple of holes in our CD collection, so I went looking for that Miles Davis album.

I found two: A transliteration of the original vinyl, and a later one, enhanced.

Any opinion?

Michael Rowley
06-12-2005, 07:55 AM
Molly:

scientific literature has slightly different forms sometimes. They are accepted and standard

Scientific literature usually pays particular attention to good English, although it does suffer sometimes from the author's writing in English when that is not the language in which he has been brought up. Usually, 'non-standard' forms result from stubborn adherence to antiquated notions, on the grounds that such-and-such is used 'only in scientific writing'.

Molly/CA
06-12-2005, 05:46 PM
Scientific literature usually pays particular attention to good English ... Usually, 'non-standard' forms result from stubborn adherence to antiquated notions, on the grounds that such-and-such is used 'only in scientific writing'.

<<although it does suffer sometimes from the author's writing in English

You could have stopped right there! Nothing in my incessant (and involuntary) searching and reading in biological literature (by which I mean journal articles and technical books) makes me think that scientists pay much attention to language.

By "different forms" I mean things like the use of numerals (2) rather than (two) in text as well as lists, which is proper in any scientific work. It's possibly the coming thing, as many if not most cookbooks and virtually all field guides use this convention for running text now.

The protocols for many abbreviations are somewhat different as well. Because of the many lists in some types of papers and books (particularly anything dealing with taxonomy), the rule about breaking lists (I've mercifully forgotten the jargon --something about "indents," maybe) is often broken, and so on. We had the most godawful time with the division of the university press that's supposedly doing three books that involve us, getting them to understand things like it's not necessary to write "(European Eel) Anguilla anguilla " EVERY time. The convention is to use both names the first time in the paper --in a book it is usually better to go for the first time in each chapter. After that, the first of the pair or an abbreviation (in journal articles or reports) is used: San Francisco Garter Snake (SFGS) the first time, SFGS from then on. This is quite different from the way that an essay which covered the same ground would normally be formatted.

Molly/CA
06-12-2005, 05:51 PM
Could you listen to each of them? Read detail on "enhancement?"

Taking out clicks and pops is one thing. Re-engineering to vastly separate the tracks and add echo and generally pervert is another. I have a Tallis Scholars album that is so over-engineered I can't bear to play it and it cost $17.50.

Sometimes cheaper is better (and sometimes not).

don Arnoldy
06-12-2005, 05:54 PM
San Francisco Garter Snake (SFGS)Is that the new mascot for the USF track team? <g>

John Spragens
06-12-2005, 09:19 PM
Well, the reason for a style guide is to maintain consistency, even when some of the rules are quite arbitrary.

The Chicago folks have a fairly lively discussion of their style conventions, frequently explaining the reasons behind them, on the Web (http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/cmosfaq/cmosfaq.html).

ktinkel
06-13-2005, 05:51 AM
Could you listen to each of them? Read detail on "enhancement?"

Taking out clicks and pops is one thing. Re-engineering to vastly separate the tracks and add echo and generally pervert is another. I have a Tallis Scholars album that is so over-engineered I can't bear to play it and it cost $17.50.

Sometimes cheaper is better (and sometimes not).Definitely an issue. On the one hand, the go-for-it techies who strive for mechanical perfection; on the other, the “golden ears” people who love what they call the warmth of some imperfections.

This discussion goes on in several categories of contemporary life, have you noticed? Type is another. On the one hand, sleek and smooth letterforms, perfectly aligned, etc. On the other, literal recreations of old types, warts and irregularities and all (such as the late Justin Howe’s Founders Caslon (http://www.desktoppublishingforum.com/bb/showthread.php?t=268)).

ktinkel
06-13-2005, 05:55 AM
Well, the reason for a style guide is to maintain consistency, even when some of the rules are quite arbitrary.

The Chicago folks have a fairly lively discussion of their style conventions, frequently explaining the reasons behind them, on the Web (http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/cmosfaq/cmosfaq.html).Thanks for that link — maybe I’ll look into that.

As for consistency, a “foolish consistency” is what we have been warned to avoid, and when the Chicago people start meddling with typography is one of the places where their consistency often seems pretty foolish to me!

But right about now, if he were still around, my father-in-law would probably pop up and say, “To a shoemaker, there’s nothing like leather!” (translated from the Yiddish). <g>

Michael Rowley
06-13-2005, 06:41 AM
Molly:

I mean things like the use of numerals (2) rather than (two) in text as well as lists, which is proper in any scientific work

I would challenge that. The use of numerals is confined to quantities, such as '55.7 km'; but if you're talking about 'seven pairs of . . .' the usual rule applies: spell out the number unless it's more than twelve (or ten: views vary).

But the biological sciences seem to have more publishers than, say, chemistry, so editorial practices probably vary more.

John Spragens
06-13-2005, 10:32 AM
As the Chicago folks say in one of their current responses, "And in any case, Chicago editors are quick to abandon a rule if it renders writing useless or incorrect. It is usually acceptable to do the sensible thing."

Michael Rowley
06-13-2005, 11:35 AM
KT:

Perhaps one shouldn't knock the Chicago Manualh, which is 'Clear, concise, and replete with commonsense advice, the fifteenth edition of The Chicago Manual of Style . . .' (it says here).

Hugh Wyn Griffith
06-13-2005, 11:35 AM
<< Now, I ask you? What use is it? >>

I thought I was the only one who disparaged it <g> At least for not adopting the only sane rules for punctuation when quotes are involved ..... those of the OUP!

Even in French!

http://www.oup.com/uk/booksites/content/0198603630/resources/writing/punctuation/

Goodness me -- I never knew that they differentiated between a stop and full stop ...

Molly/CA
06-13-2005, 12:25 PM
Why not?

I'll send a picture when I get to the other computer--

Molly/CA
06-13-2005, 12:29 PM
spell out the number unless it's more than twelve (or ten: views vary).

Chicago would have you write out all numbers from 1-99! One of several devices it's invented to make reading more cumbersome. AP still says one to nine, 10-- as far as I know, with another text break when you get to thousands.

Look in any field guide (or many cookbooks). And of course any journal article. New Scientist is still a bit schizophrenic --probably take their format from the text around which they've built the article?

Molly/CA
06-13-2005, 12:34 PM
It's actually not noise removal I'm thinking about, though if overdone some of the partials that give the music its liveness go with the hisses, especially. It's when the engineers separate the tracks and then fool around with them so that what you hear is so "enhanced" you can hardly stand it. Think of the photo you used to try out CS's new effects with!

Molly/CA
06-13-2005, 12:35 PM
So what's the Yiddish? I bet it's a nice dramatic mouthful!

ktinkel
06-13-2005, 01:21 PM
It's actually not noise removal I'm thinking about, though if overdone some of the partials that give the music its liveness go with the hisses, especially. It's when the engineers separate the tracks and then fool around with them so that what you hear is so "enhanced" you can hardly stand it. Think of the photo you used to try out CS's new effects with!Or some of Cher’s recent CDs, with echo piled upon reverb.

But even going too far against noise can ruin some music.

ktinkel
06-13-2005, 01:23 PM
"… It is usually acceptable to do the sensible thing."Gee, that’s magnanimous, isn’t it? <g>