Home « Forum « Author Hangout

Forum: Author Hangout

Style Guides

Switch Blayde

People keep saying the CMoS is used for academic writing because it's origins are with the University of Chicago. Check out what they say here:
https://www.thebalance.com/which-style-guide-should-i-use-1360722

Chicago Manual of Style. CMS is the standard for book publishing, both fiction and non-fiction. It is not generally used for scholarly publishing (journals and research), although it is sometimes used for history. CMS is currently in its 15th edition. For a more compact approach to CMS, take a look at the Turabian style, below.

MLA. The Modern Language Association style is almost exclusively used in the academic world, and applies mostly to literature and humanities. This is likely the style first introduced to most writing students and undergrads. It does carry some similarities to CMS teachings.

Switch Blayde

I love this from Writer's Digest:
http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/questions-and-quandaries/dealing-with-editors/should-i-use-the-chicago-manual-of-style-for-my-book

The key to writing any manuscript is to be consistent—in other words, no matter what style you are using (Chicago, AP-style, your sixth-grade English teacher's rulebook), stick with it. Publishers and editors tend to be forgiving when reading a manuscript that doesn't embrace their style, but are less forgiving when the formatting is all over the place (e.g., using a comma in a parallel sentence structure sometimes and not using it other times; italicizing book titles in the first few chapters but underlining it others.) This lack of consistency looks unprofessional and lazy—two traits that could potentially cost you a deal. To a writer it may seem like nitpicking, but to an editor it shows discipline and an author who values the craft.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking
Updated:

@Switch Blayde

Well said. But as you've pointed out previously, some publishers mandate a particular style guide. Authors should research their target publishers in advance and tailor their work to meet those publishers' submission guidelines.

Having said that, most publishers no longer vet stories with a fine toothcomb. The last three novels I've borrowed from my public library, all best sellers (and I don't mean in the New York Times sense), have contained several glaring errors, some of which would have been picked up by even the most basic spellcheck.

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

Check out what they say here:


I'll accept that CMOS is written with fiction in mind when you can produce a statement to that effect from it's publisher.

That someone in publishing industry decided to use CMOS for fiction is of no relevance to me.

EzzyB
Updated:

I long ago gave up.

English grammar and usage is too diverse.

I once had a week long discussion with a professor at the University of Washington over the word "dampner". He insisted the word absolutely, positively, must involve moisture.

He never acknowledged that it might have a usage in vibrations.

It's too diverse, pick one or don't. Just be consistent.

Between me and my editors, never to be released to the public, there is actually an "EzzyB's Style Guide."

Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

I'll accept that CMOS is written with fiction in mind when you can produce a statement to that effect from it's publisher.


I don't believe anyone involved with writing/updating the CMOS would say it was written with fiction in mind. They simply wrote a style guide.

It's who adopts the style guide — who uses it — that answers your question.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

It's who adopts the style guide — who uses it — that answers your question.


No, that doesn't. I don't care who uses it, I care about the intended audience for which it was written.

awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

I care about the intended audience for which it was written.


I think that's a little simplistic. CMOS may not have been originally written with fiction in mind, but it's a continually evolving standard which is now capable of fulfilling that function. Some would say it does it a little too well and has become over-paternalistic, the modern trend being for descriptive guides rather than prescriptive.

I don't use CMOS, but I wouldn't condemn anyone who does, just as long as they don't claim it represents the rules of grammar and punctuation.

AJ

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

Readers should research their target publishers in advance and tailor their work to meet those publishers' submission guidelines.

Sorry to nitpick, but you meant "authors". Readers don't particularly care, as long as the story is consistent and they don't have to keep question what the punctuation and grammar means.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Dominions Son

@awnlee jawking

CMOS may not have been originally written with fiction in mind, but it's a continually evolving standard which is now capable of fulfilling that function.


If so, you should be able to provide some actual evidence from the authors of the latest edition that they gave some consideration to fiction in writing it.

That people use something for other than it's intended purpose does not necessarily say a damn thing about it's actual usefulness for that purpose.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Dominions Son


It's who adopts the style guide — who uses it — that answers your question.

No, that doesn't. I don't care who uses it, I care about the intended audience for which it was written.


D.S., we keep covering the same ground, time and time again, never making any headway. No one is insisting that you MUST use the CMS Style Guide. Use it, don't use it, none of us give a friggin' fig. But stop crapping all over those of use who choose to, or who might ask which style guide is more appropriate.

The discussions were never intended for you, and are not a personal criticism directed at you and you alone. If you hate discussions of style guides, under any pretext so much, then write the SOL moderators and request they create a separate Forum dedicated to Style Guides and then NEVER, EVER visit it to bitch about it's existence!!!!!!

We get it, you don't want anyone to tell you how to do anything! Get over it already. The rest of us are sick to death of your continually bitching about something which doesn't impact you in the slightest.

Geez! Flame the frig' off! (Sorry, that was a poorly worded "Flame Off" statement signifying that my rant was complete, but I was too frustrated to phrase it appropriately.)

Dominions Son

@awnlee jawking

I don't use CMOS, but I wouldn't condemn anyone who does


Neither do I. I will however, blow off anyone who suggests I should use it on the basis of who else uses it rather than that the purpose for which it was written matches what I am doing.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

But stop crapping all over those of use who choose to, or who might ask which style guide is more appropriate.


I am not crapping over anyone who does use it.

awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

Well spotted, I'm very grateful. I'm going to go back and edit that post.

AJ

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

We get it, you don't want anyone to tell you how to do anything!


You are very wrong. I'll listen as long as they will tell me why I should do it that way.

awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

If so, you should be able to provide some actual evidence from the authors of the latest edition that they gave some consideration to fiction in writing it.


You win!

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/qanda/data/faq/topics/ManuscriptPreparation/faq0001.html

AJ

Dominions Son

@Dominions Son

But stop crapping all over those of use who choose to, or who might ask which style guide is more appropriate.


You are complaining about me crapping all over those who choose to use CMOS, but I said absolutely nothing about anyone who uses CMOS.

What I did say is that I prefer to evaluate style guides bases on the purpose for which they were written rather than by who uses them.

For that I have half a dozen people jumping down my throat.

You are confused about who is crapping on whom.

Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

should be able to provide some actual evidence from the authors of the latest edition that they gave some consideration to fiction in writing it.


Sure, their guidelines on dialogue (vs quoting someone).

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

Sure, their guidelines on dialogue (vs quoting someone).


Actually, from the link awnlee jawking posted above, this is what the publishers/authors of CMOS have to say about it.

The Chicago Manual of Style does not include guidelines for submitting manuscripts of works of fiction. Following a long tradition, the manual provides guidelines for editing and writing and publishing works of nonfiction. Most of our rules on punctuation and capitalization apply to all writing, and we do include recommendations for styling such things as direct and indirect discourse, but the "nuts and bolts" information about publishing and editing is primarily geared toward nonfiction articles and books.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@Dominions Son

I'll accept that CMOS is written with fiction in mind when you can produce a statement to that effect from it's publisher.

I doubt this will satisfy you, but it contains quite a lot of comments suggesting things are acceptable in informal writing, but not formal writing, or visa versa. I counted 16 such comments in just its sections on grammar (5) and punctuation (6).

EDIT TO ADD:
But after the last quote you just provided, I agree with your assertion, "CMOS is NOT written with fiction in mind."
I will be delighted when you suggest anything better for writers of fiction in American English.

Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

I doubt this will satisfy you, but it contains quite a lot of comments suggesting things are acceptable in informal writing, but not formal writing, or visa versa. I counted 16 such comments in just its sections on grammar (5) and punctuation (6).


Formal vs Informal is not equivalent to non-fiction vs fiction.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

Formal vs Informal is not equivalent to non-fiction vs fiction.

I may accept that when you can produce any statement to that effect.

Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

I will be delighted when you suggest anything better for writers of fiction in American English.


I am under no obligation to suggest anything.

Look, at no point have I recommended, suggested, stated or implied that other people should not use CMOS.

All I have said is that I see no reason for me to adopt a style guide not written specifically for fiction and CMOS isn't it.

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

Look, at no point have I recommended, suggested, stated or implied that other people should not use CMOS.
All I have said is that I see no reason for me to adopt a style guide not written specifically for fiction and CMOS isn't it.

I respect that as a reasonable attitude for an author to have.

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

@Ross at Play: I will be delighted when you suggest anything better for writers of fiction in American English.
@Dominions Son: I am under no obligation to suggest anything.

It was something of a forlorn hope on my part.
As primarily an editor, I do need to use some style guide for authors who require consistency in their writing. I wish I could find something better. It really is the most awfully written and structured piece of crap I've ever had the misfortune to use. :(

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

It really is the most awfully written and structured piece of crap I've ever had the misfortune to use. :(


Clearly you have not read Strunk & White's The Elements of Style which from what I have read, doesn't even follow it's own advice consistently.

Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

All I have said is that I see no reason for me to adopt a style guide not written specifically for fiction and CMOS isn't it.


All I can say is if I found a style guide specifically written for fiction but no publishers used it, I wouldn't use it. That's what I meant by the importance of those using it.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

All I can say is if I found a style guide specifically written for fiction but no publishers used it, I wouldn't use it. That's what I meant by the importance of those using it.


I have no intentions at this time of every trying to publish anything other than here at SOL, so what the publishers use just doesn't matter to me.

Replies:   REP
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


Chicago Manual of Style. CMS is the standard for book publishing, both fiction and non-fiction.


From:

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/about16_history.html

The History of The Chicago Manual of Style

The history of The Chicago Manual of Style spans more than one hundred years, beginning in 1891 when the University of Chicago Press first opened its doors. At that time, the Press had its own composing room with experienced typesetters who were required to set complex scientific material as well as work in such then-exotic fonts as Hebrew and Ethiopic. Professors brought their handwritten manuscripts directly to the compositors, who did their best to decipher them. The compositors then passed the proofs to the "brainery"—the proofreaders who corrected typographical errors and edited for stylistic inconsistencies. To bring a common set of rules to the process, the staff of the composing room drew up a style sheet, which was then passed on to the rest of the university community. Even at such an early stage, "the University Press style book and style sheet" was considered important enough to be preserved, along with other items from the Press's early years, in the cornerstone of the new Press building in 1903.

That sheet grew into a pamphlet, and by 1906 the pamphlet had become a book: Manual of Style: Being a compilation of the typographical rules in force at the University of Chicago Press, to which are appended specimens of type in use—otherwise known as the 1st edition of the Manual. (See a facsimile of the 1st edition in PDF format.) At 200 pages, the original Manual cost 50 cents, plus 6 cents for postage and handling. Now in its 16th edition, The Chicago Manual of Style—with more than a thousand pages in print or more than two thousand hyperlinked paragraphs online—has become the authoritative reference work for authors, editors, proofreaders, indexers, copywriters, designers, and publishers. This hundred-plus-year evolution has taken place under the ongoing stewardship of Chicago's renowned editorial staff, aided by suggestions and requests from the Manual's many readers.


The original manual is titled:

Manual of Style

Being a compilation of the typographical rules

in force at the University of Chicago Press.


and its Preface starts with:

The present work is a codification of the typographical rules and practices in force at the University of Chicago Press.

When the CMoS started its intent was to bring uniformity to the typesetting of the manuscripts of the academic books written by the university's professors.

Another telling point is the advisory board they now have:


Advisory Board for The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition

In creating the 16th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style, the Press solicited the recommendations of an external advisory board, composed of a distinguished group of scholars, authors, and professionals from a wide range of publishing and academic environments. The advisory board members, listed below, reviewed the original proposal for and outline and complete first draft manuscript of the 16th edition. Their insights and expertise were instrumental in shaping the final content of this edition and ensuring it reflects the best practices of the broader publishing industry.

David Bevington, Department of English, University of Chicago

William Germano, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

John Hevelin, Publications Consultant

Alex Holzman, Temple University Press

Beth Luey, Editorial Consultant

Evan Owens, Portico

Margaret Perkins, New England Journal of Medicine

Nancy Perry, Bedford/St. Martin's

Oona Schmid, American Anthropological Association

Sem Sutter, University of Chicago Library

Robert Wald, Department of Physics, University of Chicago


edit to add the text from AJ's link:

Q. Hello. Are there any samples of manuscript formats for fiction writing in your new updated book?

A. The Chicago Manual of Style does not include guidelines for submitting manuscripts of works of fiction. Following a long tradition, the manual provides guidelines for editing and writing and publishing works of nonfiction. Most of our rules on punctuation and capitalization apply to all writing, and we do include recommendations for styling such things as direct and indirect discourse, but the "nuts and bolts" information about publishing and editing is primarily geared toward nonfiction articles and books.

REP

@Dominions Son

I have no intentions at this time of every trying to publish anything other than here at SOL


If Lazeez were to get his self-publishing sideline going, might you consider publishing there?

Dominions Son

@REP

If Lazeez were to get his self-publishing sideline going, might you consider publishing there?


Probably not, at least not before I'm retired from my day job.

Replies:   REP
StarFleet Carl

If I'm writing non-fiction - a technical manual, or a history of something (had some papers published back decades ago on the history of law enforcement) - then I'll consider using a manual of style.

For the most part, what we're writing here is conversational fiction. That means so long as you use the proper word in the context for the sentence and don't make too make egregious spelling errors, who really gives a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut whether or not a comma is properly placed?

This isn't Mrs. Meschen's English class - this is an adult porn site. All you guys who are writing things that get published somewhere, with or without cum spurts, great, good for you. Here's a ladder, climb out of the ass of the rest of us. Do we want to get better? Sure, or at least I'd hope so.

But as I said - conversational PORN. We're not writing user manuals for computers, and if you look at some of the more popular dead tree books out there, you'll see that many of those rules you hype on here are ignored by those authors. So who is right? The guy who has 114 NYT best sellers and has a bunch of three page chapters, or the nit-pickers on here?

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@StarFleet Carl

this is an adult porn site.


Actually, SoL is a story site that accepts porn as well as non-porn, while most other sites accept only one or the other.

Replies:   StarFleetCarl
StarFleetCarl

@Ernest Bywater

Okay, I'll grant you that one, Ernest. And IMHO, the best damn STORY site online.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@StarFleetCarl

And IMHO, the best damn STORY site online.


I second and third that, which is why I've made a point of making sure all the stories I've had any involvement with are here.

Well, except for those that are supposed to be factual financial reports which aren't on-line.

REP

@Dominions Son

retired from my day job


My mental image of you has been a retired old fart like me.

Dominions Son

@REP

My mental image of you has been a retired old fart like me.


Nope, I'm only 47, I'll turn 48 later this year.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

Clearly you have not read Strunk & White's The Elements of Style which from what I have read, doesn't even follow it's own advice consistently.

CORRECT.
I have not read that absolute piece of crap!
I purchased both it and CMOS at the same time. They were not available locally, so I arranged for both to arrive by mail in Australia while I was visiting there.
I scanned The Elements of Style for about 5 minutes before deciding I would never read it. I haven't opened it since.
Want to buy a second hand copy? ... as new condition ... going cheap

Ross at Play

@REP

My mental image of you (@DS) has been a retired old fart like me.

I usually use the expression 'old fart' to describe an attitude of mind, rather than a function of age.
I've known a lot of retired oldies I do not call old farts.
I've also known too many unretired thirty-somethings I do call old farts. :-)

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

Nope, I'm only 47, I'll turn 48 later this year.

So I guess this means 'until MY death we do part'. :(

awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

Didn't it used to be held in the same regard as CMOS now is? I remember the name from long ago.

AJ

awnlee jawking

@REP

If Lazeez were to get his self-publishing sideline going, might you consider publishing there?


I would give it strong consideration. I have concerns about the mechanics of the site. Will credit card companies and Paypal process payments for books with a strong orientation towards adult content?

AJ

Replies:   REP
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

Didn't it used to be held in the same regard as CMOS now is? I remember the name from long ago.

10 million fucking copies sold. I think I saw a figure that the third highest selling book on writing had only sold about 1 million.
Two fantastic books on writing, by Steven Pinker and Roy Peter Clark, both mention it in the first paragraph of the forward.
In the Second Forward of his book on writing Stephen King said this:

I figured the shorter the book, the less the bullshit.
One notable exception to the bullshit rule is The Elements of Style, by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White. There is little or no detectable bullshit in that book. (Of course it's short; at eighty-five pages it's much shorter than this one.) I'll tell you right now that every aspiring writer should read The Elements of Style.

It obviously contains fantastic advice on how others should write, but it's awfully written, zero structure, no table of contents, and it's absolutely impossible to look up anything.

Go figure. I can't.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

Didn't it used to be held in the same regard as CMOS now is?

The link you're thinking of is it was written by the same pair that went on to write CMOS.
This contains advice such as: use the active voice, eliminate excessive words, etc.

Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

It obviously contains fantastic advice on how others should write,


According to a review of it from a professor of English in the UK, it also contains some astonishingly awful advice as well as some self contradictory advice.

Replies:   Ross at Play
REP

@awnlee jawking

I have concerns about the mechanics of the site.


If you decide to publish for profit, does it really matter how you get paid, as long as you do get paid.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

That does not surprise me.
What does surprise is the number of otherwise apparently sane writers about writing who recommend it.

I recommend Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark as a good alternative. I think it covers most of the same ground, explains things clearly, and is well written. :-)

awnlee jawking

@REP

Actually I wasn't thinking of myself. I was thinking of some of the pitfalls lying in wait for Lazeez. He might well be selling the same material as available on Amazon, but does he have the clout to fight back if the credit card companies decide to blacklist him for selling porn?

AJ

Replies:   REP
REP

@awnlee jawking

if the credit card companies decide to blacklist him for selling porn?


Why would they do that when they didn't do that to Amazon and eBay? The stories plagiarized from SOL and Lushstories were sold on those websites with no complaint. If they object to Lazeez's site without objecting to Amazon and eBay, they open themselves up to a discrimination lawsuit.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@REP

Because Amazon and eBay are major companies which can fight back, and loss of their sales could have a significant impact on their bottom lines. By comparison, SOL is a tiddler, hardly worth bothering with if the Brain Dead Sanctimonious Movement were to threaten protests outside the headquarters of the credit card firms. When it comes to justice, might is right :(

AJ

EzzyB

No publisher is going to look at your work and say, "hey what a magnificent use of our style guide!"

They might look at your work and say, "awesome, needs some work to conform to our style guide."

awnlee jawking

@EzzyB

They might look at your work and say, "awesome, needs some work to conform to our style guide."


I have my doubts. The last three novels I've read from my public library have all contained glaring errors which proofreading should have picked up.

A UK agent (with several well-known authors in his stable) claimed, during a seminar he was giving, that publishers these days expect submissions to be virtually print ready. They'll probably spot the wrong font or incorrect spacings but I doubt their vetting extends to more than a perfunctory checking of conformity to a style guide, even if they're the American publishers who supposedly mandate CMOS.

AJ

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@EzzyB


No publisher is going to look at your work and say, "hey what a magnificent use of our style guide!"


As one of my quotes above said, they will look at consistency. If your manuscript is not consistent, they'll view it as being from an amateur. If you're consistent, whether you know it or not, you're following a style guide even if it's your own.

When you're reading a novel from a traditional publisher (at least a US one), they should all use an em-dash to indicate interrupted speech and an ellipsis to represent a trailing off voice. Why? Because that's how CMOS says to do it and they decided to follow CMOS.

So people who read traditionally published books know what those two punctuation symbols represent. Now you're free to do it any way you (a generic you) want, as long as you're consistent. But if you decide to use a slash to represent interrupted speech, chances are your reader will not understand what you're doing. If you use an ellipsis and your readers are accustomed to that representing a trailing off voice, but you wanted it to mean interrupted speech, you failed to reflect that.

That's all I ever said.

docholladay

All of those guides might be great in their own way. But do not forget that every storyteller/writer develops their own individual style or whatever you want to label it. Your fans will recognize your story by the individual style of the writer. The rest is just tools to improve your techniques.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@docholladay

The rest is just tools to improve your techniques.


It's frequently a matter of taste rather an improvement in technique. For example, UK and US English have differing opinions about comma usage (Americans like more, over and above the Oxford comma) and adverb placement.

If you adhere to CMOS, you might slightly improve your chances of a landing a major US publisher. And it will help you to write in a consistent fashion - as SB says, consistency is vital for your readers. But also you might slightly reduce your chances of landing a publisher in another country where American styling appears unnatural and irksome.

AJ

PotomacBob

@awnlee jawking

My two cents as a reader (not an author): If it's a good story, with characters drawn so that I care what happens to them, I will put up with a lot of misspellings, inconsistent style, etc, and I will gladly pay to read additional stories by that author.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

UK and US English have differing opinions about ... adverb placement.

I haven't noticed that, but I'm curious to know what you see those differences are.

awnlee jawking

@PotomacBob

I agree. First and foremost, an author must have a story worth being told. If the technical stuff's good too, even better.

AJ

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


UK and US English have differing opinions about adverb placement.


I suspect it may be a regional thing, because the few authors I've noticed putting the adverbs in the trail position all come from the same regional area of the USA. An example would be along the lines of:

John entered the room slowly, and said, "Get on with it."

While most others would have it as:

John slowly entered the room, and said, "Get on with it."

BTW: It's this same group of authors I see using the word 'that' when it should be 'than.'

Edit to add an example of the odd adverb placement from a story on SoL:

... the Captain had told the advance team he planned to get down river quickly ...

awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

Oddly enough, JK Rowling seems to like putting adverbs at the end too. I was a car passenger on a journey where the driver was listening to a Harry Potter audio book, and it felt as though every sentence ended with an adverb.

I also noticed that she uses a lot of em-dashes. Most Brits are like you - we use the hyphen to represent the hyphen, en-dash and em-dash all in one, but JK Rowling's em-dashes were definitely longer than her hyphens (and surrounded by a space on each side).

The Harry Potter novels are published by Bloomsbury, a British publisher, but I have to wonder whether their house style is mid-Atlantic. That would explain the unBritish em-dashes but not the adverbs.

AJ

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

I suspect it may be a regional thing, because the few authors I've noticed putting the adverbs in the trail position all come from the same regional area of the USA.


Which regional area of the USA?

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

Which regional area of the USA?


South-east

awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

I think it may be more widespread than that.

A few years back, I experimented with a mid-Atlantic style for my SF stories, using US terminology and spellings where I was aware of them. My US editor gave it a thumbs down, saying it looked false because my sentence structures were still British, especially the adverb positioning. I can't remember which state the editor hailed from but I can remember the complaints about several inches of snow in winter, making the South-East unlikely.

AJ

richardshagrin

"Free Customer Parking Only" is one of those placement issues. Strictly speaking it isn't free parking only for customers, it indicates, as I understand it, Slave Customers, customers on parole, perhaps married customers or any other person who might not be considered free must park elsewhere, only free customers can park in the signed area.

I wonder if there are any expensive customers?

Ross at Play

@richardshagrin

"Free Customer Parking Only"

I cannot agree with your interpretation.
As written, 'Customer' modifies 'Parking', and 'Free' modifies 'Customer Parking'.
To get what you describe, with 'Free' modifying only 'Customer', you need "Free-Customer Parking Only".

Replies:   graybyrd
graybyrd

@Ross at Play

Please define "Parking" as that can imply many states of being. For instance, Drive-in Parking, may not be an approved form of "Parking" as a customer activity.

Also, is a purchase required to qualify as a "Customer". If so, what minimum purchase? Or, if allowed to park without purchase, wouldn't that more properly by "Free Browser Parking Only" which... opens more questions. Can Firefox park there for free? After all... it's a free browser.

(and so on... and on... and...)

Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

I can't remember which state the editor hailed from but I can remember the complaints about several inches of snow in winter, making the South-East unlikely.


Depends on how far he moved after leaving home.

The authors I know who have the issue grew up in, and were educated in, the states of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina. Which is why I suspect a South-eastern source.

Dominions Son

@awnlee jawking

I can remember the complaints about several inches of snow in winter, making the South-East unlikely.


Sorry, but we in the north laugh at anything less than a foot of snow.

On the other hand, southern states have been known to declare a state wide state of emergency over just one or two inches of snow.

Replies:   rustyken
rustyken

@Dominions Son

And for good reason actually several. In the south the ground is warm enough to give a nice layer of water between the ground and the snow which makes it really really slick. The other is that they don't have the equipment to deal with it and it is pretty quick to melt off compared to up North.

Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

South-east


I grew up in the NE and live in the SW and often put the adverb at the end.

That is, when I use adverbs. LOL

awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

I tried, and failed, to relocate an article which explained the differences rather nicely IMO. However, I managed to find two others which touch on the subject:

https://www.englishgrammar.org/position-adverbs-difference-british-american-english/

https://separatedbyacommonlanguage.blogspot.co.uk/2009/07/adverb-placement.html

AJ

Replies:   Switch Blayde
awnlee jawking

@richardshagrin

My name is Rudolph Parking. Why are none of the other customers paying for their parking? ;)

AJ

Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

https://www.englishgrammar.org/position-adverbs-difference-british-american-english/


The person who wrote this just made things up. I stopped reading after

You certainly have made him angry. (US)
You have certainly made him angry. (GB)
You are always late. (GB)
You always are late. (US)
America has long been known as a land of opportunities. (GB)
America long has been known as a land of opportunities. (US)


I'm American and would write it the way the Brits do in his examples. Maybe he got them backwards.

Replies:   REP  REP
REP
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


Maybe he got them backwards.


The article sounds like the author noticed a few British authors did it one way, a few American authors did it differently, and jumped to the conclusion that the few cases noted were common to all British and American writers.

I remember being told the proper location for an adverb is with the verb it modifies (i.e., what is called the mid-position), but I have encountered many instances of it being at the start or end positions of a sentence. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, adverbs can be place at the start, end, or mid-position of a sentence. I think we as authors put the adverb where is seems most appropriate at the time.

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/grammar/british-grammar/about-adjectives-and-adverbs/adverbs-and-adverb-phrases-position

Bottom line for me is there is no supporting evidence, so the person who wrote the article is expressing a personal opinion as if it were a fact. I see a lot of that on the Internet, and I get annoyed at myself when I buy into what is being said without questioning it.

REP

@Switch Blayde

Maybe he got them backwards.


The article sounds like the author notice a few British did it one way, a few American authors did it differently, and jumped to the conclusion that the few cases noted were common to all British and American writers.

I remember being told the proper location for an adverb is with the verb it modifies (i.e., what is called the mid-position), but I have encountered many instances of it being at the start or end positions of a sentence. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, adverbs can be place at the start, end, or mid-position of a sentence. I think we as authors put the adverb where is seems most appropriate at the time.

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/grammar/british-grammar/about-adjectives-and-adverbs/adverbs-and-adverb-phrases-position

Bottom line for me is there is no supporting evidence, so the person who wrote the article is expressing a personal opinion as if it were a fact. I see a lot of that on the Internet, and I get annoyed at myself when I buy into what is being said without questioning it.

Back to Top