Chicago Manual passing the torch

Editing and Writing

Chicago Manual passing the torch

Chicago Manual of StyleWell, editors of North America and beyond, The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition, is being put to bed as the new 16th edition comes out to replace it.

The online site already had a What’s New in the 16th Edition summary, covering more general topics. (For example, promising us an “Expanded section on bias-free language” or “More tips for citing blogs, podcasts, and other electronic sources” – and how I love that they use the Oxford comma! Ahem.)

But now they’ve also published a page entitled Significant Rule Changes in The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition. And now they’re giving us samples of the real nitty-gritty. For example, “Brand names that begin with a lowercase letter followed by a capital letter now retain the lowercase letter even at the beginning of a sentence or a heading. 8.153.” That’s going to feel a bit odd, but it also looks odd to see “IPhone.”

And I’m also very interested in how Chicago recommends making possessives of names ending in “s,” whether that letter is pronounced or unpronounced, or names ending in “eez” sounds (Xerxes, for example).

These are matters only an editor could love. But they are what make people’s documents clear and understandable when we pick up our beloved Chicago Manuals and apply their guidelines.

I’ll continue using my 15th Edition for a while yet, until I can manage to buy a copy of the 16th. It’s exciting to see the new, most up-to-date version coming out, but my faithful orange book has a lot of mileage in her yet. As long as I keep track of the new recommendations in certain areas.


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