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"Twenty-four/seven" in Dialogue

Crumbly Writer

A recent discussion with an editor causes me to ask, once again, what's the proper way of saying "twenty-four/seven" in dialogue.

The general rule is that dialogue, versus the narrative, focuses on what's said, thus you're capturing what's expressly pronounced, rather than what's commonly accepted. Unfortunately, many readers will insist that "twenty-four seven" is wrong, even though NO ONE says "twenty-four slash seven".

So, how does everyone else handle this, and has anyone ever gotten any pushback from it?

Jim S

@Crumbly Writer

As a reader, I'm most used to seeing it as numerals, i.e. 24/7.

Crumbly Writer

@Jim S

As a reader, I'm most used to seeing it as numerals, i.e. 24/7.

Again, that's what you'd see in articles and blogs, but NOT what you'd see in dialogue, as there's no way to "say" numerals. What would it look like? "numbers two-four dash seven"?

Also, there are established guidelines for stating numbers in print (generally, spell it out for any number under 100, write the numerals for anything larger. Thus you'd write "ninety-nine", but write "101".

Ross at Play
Updated:

Try searching at books.google.com/ngrams for:
twenty-four seven, 24/7
from the corpus 'English Fiction'.

You will overcome any squeamishness about using numerals very quickly.

After seeing that, I would have no problem with writing:
He said, "We are open 24/7."

awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

Unfortunately, many readers will insist that "twenty-four seven" is wrong


While I wouldn't complain if I found an author using '24/7', for my WIP I'm apparently going to incur the wrath of some readers :(

AJ

Ernest Bywater

Whenever I've heard it said or seen it in official documents it's been:

Said: twenty-four by seven

Documents: 24 by 7 or 24 x 7

But then, that's always been by Aussie and we say things like Two thousand and seventeen as against the US Two thousand seventeen

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Ross at Play


He said, "We are open 24/7."


first, dialogue is supposed to be spoken words, not numerals, second try that through a text to sound software you'll usually get two four slash seven (which will confuse people) as against twenty-four by seven if you use words.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

"We are open 24/7."


This came up before. I think it was on wattpad. The answer was not definitive. No one knew for sure.

In your example, I would have originally spelled out twenty-four seven, but I think it was my wife who said she'd prefer 24/7 as a reader.

So I don't have an opinion on this one. It would probably be how I felt at the time of writing.

In my first novel, I wrote:

"Okay, where to?"

"One zero four four eight North Willowbrook Road."

Jeff's jaw dropped. "My house?"


I didn't write "10448 North WiIlowbrook Road" because it just felt right to have her say one letter at a time.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

first, dialogue is supposed to spoken words

I am well aware of the general practice - as you well know.

Look at the evidence others cite for why a particular case might reasonably be treated as an exception before mouthing off as if they were complete morons.

Just look at this!

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

But then, that's always been by Aussie and we say things like Two thousand and seventeen as against the US Two thousand seventeen

Part of that is because Americans reserve the "and" for the decimal points, as in "The books costs nine dollars and ninety-nine cents on Amazon." I do the same thing when I write checks. I write out the full dollar amount, but then write "and" followed by the cents over "/" 00. But that last bit is mostly because I'm an odd bird, and learned to write dollars amounts by working in the banking industry.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

I didn't write "10448 North WiIlowbrook Road" because it just felt right to have her say one letter at a time.

In that case, virtually no one specifies that dialogue should be spelled out if the numbers are large (i.e. over 100, unless it's a round number like "ten thousand"). In your case, I'd have used numerals while still writing "twenty-four seven", despite the fact that no one ever says "dash" between the numbers.

There are general guidelines, but then there are the 'accepted standards' most of us follow instead.

It's nice knowing there isn't any standard way of writing it in this case, but I think I'll stick with "twenty-four seven" simply because it's consistent with my writing style (i.e. my readers are unlikely to think it's kinky if I've written things this way throughout the book and with all of my other books as well.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
samuelmichaels
Updated:

@Switch Blayde

I've written before that dialogue is not truly a transcription; it's written for the eye, not for the text-to-speech software (although the latter is very useful). It has to be parsed by the reader without confusion. I think "24/7", "twenty-four/seven", "24x7", "24 by 7", or "twenty-four by seven" are all clear. "Twenty-four seven" requires a moment of thought, but is still not bad.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

Look at the evidence others cite for why a particular case might reasonably be treated as an exception before mouthing off as if they were complete morons.

Just look at this!

Just a quick caveat: just because you found references to "24/7" in fiction doesn't mean it was part of the dialogue. Also, when you did the search, did you put "English Fiction" in quotes or without, as that would dramatically change the results?

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

'English Fiction' was the option for the language/corpus which I selected.

I would not suggest that "twenty-four seven" is wrong. Also, I know that ngrams results cannot be consider as any more than indicative, and not all uses counted would have been in dialogue. However, this result suggests that over a fifty-year period, in a representative sample of English fiction, the percentage of times that "24/7" was used instead of "twenty-four seven" was 99.999995%
In this case, I would ignore the general rule and follow the crowd.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Ross at Play

In this case, I would ignore the general rule and follow the crowd.

How very careless of you! Imagine all the damage and disaster a wrong advice could cause in such a delicate case.

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Fancy a laugh?

https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=lol%2Claughs+out+loud&year_start=1958&year_end=2008&corpus=16&smoothing=5&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Clol%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Claughs%20out%20loud%3B%2Cc0

robberhands

@awnlee jawking

That graph leaves me dazzled. I thought shortcuts like 'lol' are an internet and instant messaging occurrence. Who used such acronyms in 1960?

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ross at Play
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

Fancy a laugh?

Bridge players have used 'lol' for a long time as an acronym for 'little old ladies', typically to warn their partner to be careful of the next pair they would be up against, who were better than they may appear. My guess is that is the prior use that was fading away up until about 1980.

Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

I am well aware of the general practice


Then say so before you spout off with herd statistics.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

Just look at this!


But how much of what's in the count is not dialogue?

Replies:   Ross at Play
Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

(i.e. over 100, unless it's a round number like "ten thousand")


Although, it wasn't 10,448. It's an address. I remember a friend living part of the year in Mexico who learned Spanish to get by there. She was either in a hotel or apartment building and asked for room 321 except she said in Spanish, "three hundred twenty-one. The person she asked had no idea what she was talking about. It's because rooms are said, "three twenty-one" where 3 is the floor and 21 is the room on that floor.

So maybe my example has nothing to do with 24/7.

Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

Then say so before you spout off with herd statistics.

No! You should read what others actually before presuming to lecture them on very basic general practices.
Why should I explain the usual practice when CW had already done so in the OP?
My first post stated:

After seeing that, I would have no problem with writing: He said, "We are open 24/7."

That very clearly states the "that" provided a sufficient reason for me to do something I would otherwise have had a problem with.

Furthermore, I stated it was my preference and gave my reasons. I generally try to follow "standard practices" - except when I can see a compelling reason why something non-standard would be better. My assessments may not always be correct, but I will not do something thoughtlessly simply because some Nazi tells me it is a rule which must be obeyed.

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

But how much of what's in the count is not dialogue?

That doesn't matter if the count for the alternative is effectively zero.

Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

That doesn't matter if the count for the alternative is effectively zero.


If what you count is 99.99% narrative, then the dialogue count for what you measured is effectively zero as well. That's why it's important to know how much is dialogue and how much narrative.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

The general rule is that dialogue, versus the narrative, focuses on what's said, thus you're capturing what's expressly pronounced, rather than what's commonly accepted.

I don't want to continue arguing in favour of my preference regarding your question, but I ask, is it ALWAYS the case that you should "capture what's expressly pronounced" in dialogue. And I do agree it should ALMOST ALWAYS be done that way. Compare when "FBI" and "NASA" are used in dialogue. For one, readers will read as an acronym to be spelled out, and the other as if it was a word. I think in theory you should write "F. B. I." to capture the acronym being spelled out, but writers use "FBI" because the expression is so widely known they can be sure readers will know how it is pronounced.
Again, I'm not trying to continue an argument; I'm just mentioning it is not totally unprecedented to write something that is extremely widely known in dialogue in a way which is not as it is expressly pronounced.

awnlee jawking

@robberhands

Who used such acronyms in 1960?


It was something you might write in a note, meaning 'lots of love'.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

If what you count is 99.99% narrative

Everyone who has ever used ngrams will know only a complete idiot could think that is possible for a count over a period of fifty years and limited to "English Fiction".
It is an argument that you know is complete nonsense, made only because you enjoy being a pain in the arse.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

It was something you might write in a note, meaning 'lots of love'.

I think you're right, and that meaning was more common than bridge players using it to mean 'little old ladies'.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Ross at Play

Never mind; everyone feels lots of love for little old ladies.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

Everyone who has ever used ngrams will know only a complete idiot could think that is possible for a count over a period of fifty years and limited to "English Fiction".


If you don't have the count broken up into narrative and dialogue, there's no way of knowing what percentage of what you count is dialogue - you don't indicate what is what. If the past uses were all narrative it has no bearing on the question of usage in dialogue. Thus the answer has no relevance until you can show it has by the proper usage.

Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

99.999995% of the time "24/7" was favoured.
You suggest perhaps none of those were dialogue? Yeah, that's really believable.

Everybody else, just look at it for yourself

REP
Updated:

EB brought up 2017, which could be the year or a value. Here in the US we say both 'two thousand and seventeen' and 'two thousand seventeen' when referencing the year. When we are referring to a quantity, we usually say 'two thousand and seventeen'.

'24 x 7' and '24 by 7' are references to the measurements of a rectangular area. 24/7 is a reference to time; it does not mean 24 by 7.

In regard to writing 24/7 in dialog, 24/7 is shortened form of 'twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week'; therefore, 'twenty-four seven' or 'twenty-four/seven' is an abbreviation for 'twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week'. If I recall, abbreviations other than standard abbreviations are considered inappropriate in dialog. Writing out 'twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week' would be very awkward, so the use of the abbreviated form would be acceptable in my opinion.

CW, stated it was permissible to use numerals for values over 100. I forget how it came up, but in a prior thread, I was told to spell-out all numerals.

1. Now I can see spelling out numbers like 10 or even something like 19,762. But spelling out a number like 145,486,456,379 would be very intrusive to the flow of the dialog. Such a number would be better in dialog as numerals so the reader can more easily grasp the value without the words being intrusive.

2. In addition to numerals that express a quantity, we have numerals that are part of a title. SB brought up addresses such as "10448 North WiIlowbrook Road". One of my stories was set in San Diego, and I mentioned Highway numbers. In this area it is typical to say 'the 805'; rather than saying 'Highway 805'. When I used it in dialog and wrote it out as pronounced, I got the eight oh five, and since we use oh instead of zero, it just looked wrong to me. Then there are well-known, proper names here in the US like 'Saks 5th Avenue, 21st Century Insurance Company, or Century 21 Real Estate.

I'm to the point that following the rule of writing out numerals in dialog has become too complex. Every time I turn around, it seems like someone is suggesting we make an exception. While I can see many of the exceptions as valid, I have to ask, Where do we draw the line?

Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

You suggest perhaps none of those were dialogue? Yeah, that's really believable.


You're the one saying it's the most used, yet you don't provide the breakdown between dialogue and narrative. I gather, from the repeated failure to do so, that you can't. The chances of someone having a numeric value of 24 / 7 in narrative are a great deal higher than them having it in dialogue, but we won't know until you break it down.

Ernest Bywater

@REP

stated it was permissible to use numerals for values over 100. I forget how it came up, but in a prior thread, I was told to spell-out all numerals.


Most of the grammar books and style guides provide for writing numbers in both dialogue and narrative. All the ones I've read state you always use the words for numbers in all dialogue, however when putting numbers in narrative you use words for values below x and numbers for values above x - where they differ is some have x as ten and some have x as 100. Thus the use of numerals is reserved solely for narrative usage.

Thus you would say, "Saks Fifth Avenue," but narrative would have Saks 5th Ave. You would says, "Twenty-first Century Insurance Company," while the narrative would likely have 21st Cent. Ins. Co.

The line had been fairly definitively drawn in the past in regards to dialogue v narrative. However, a lot of people today want to change it so they don't have to work at as much, or because they never really learned the grammar rules.

BTW: with numbers like Highway 805 I would put that as "Highway Eight Oh Five" in dialogue, because that's how you'd say it but if I was giving it out as part of a phone number like 805-7689 I would say "eight, zero, five, ...." because each number is a single digit in the phone number and is given as such.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Unless I'm misunderstanding Google's explanations of ngrams, that shows that 46% of all 3-word combinations of every book in English fiction scanned by Google and covering a 50 year period is '24 / 7'.

Something, possibly the numerals, have fooled Google into producing a nonsensical answer.

I've just compared 24/7 (46.7%) with 24/6 (43.7%).

Duh!

AJ

Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

I've just compared 24/7 (46.7%) with 24/6 (43.7%).


Aj, you've just shown that the 24/7 being scanned may actually be the use of dates in UK format in the books, thus reducing the relevancy further.

Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

You're the one saying it's the most used, yet you don't provide the breakdown between dialogue and narrative. I gather, from the repeated failure to do so, that you can't. The chances of someone having a numeric value of 24 / 7 in narrative are a great deal higher than them having it in dialogue, but we won't know until you break it down.

I cannot provide a breakdown. I am making a wild guess.
What if only one of a hundred uses of "24/7" are in dialogue? Maybe it's one in a thousand? One in a million? One in TEN MILLION!
The result from ngrams still suggests "24/7" is more common in dialogue than "twenty-four seven".
I do not particularly trust ngrams data, but there does seem to be a wide-enough safety margin on this occasion to hazard a guess about which use is more frequent - in dialogue.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

The result from ngrams still suggests "24/7" is more common in dialogue than "twenty-four seven".


Which what you would expect for the narrative usages and for usage as dates and other numeric uses like that. While the issue is for dialogue use.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

I've just compared 24/7 (46.7%) with 24/6 (43.7%).

I realised the data ngrams was giving unrealisticly high results for "24/7", but I based my opinion mostly on how low "twenty-four seven" was.

I just did the same comparison using "twenty-four" and "twenty-four seven".
Link here
That shows "seven" follows "twenty-four" less than one in five thousand times.
That is still conclusive enough evidence for me.

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

I just did the same comparison using "twenty-four" and "twenty-four seven".


Deeper analysis, up to 2008, shows twenty-four seven suddenly increasing in usage by several orders of magnitude. I would expect that trend to have continued over the past ten years. Of course, twenty-four seven will never comprise more than a small percentage of the occurrences of twenty-four because of competing phrases like twenty-four hours.

AJ

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

But how much of what's in the count is not dialogue?

That doesn't matter if the count for the alternative is effectively zero.

The ngram chart I saw had the 24/7 reference at 49%, not 99.999%. That would be a normal breakdown, if 40% was used in the narrative.

Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

Never mind; everyone feels lots of love for little old ladies.

Especially the little old lesbian ladies (LOLL), who seem to becoming more common all the time.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

If you don't have the count broken up into narrative and dialogue, there's no way of knowing what percentage of what you count is dialogue - you don't indicate what is what.

Unfortunately, there's NO way to measure narrative over dialogue in an ngram. A better use, is to search individual Google books, as it lists each use of a phrase, even the one not available in the free read, with enough context to understand their uses. However, in that case you're making assumptions based on individual books, rather than statistical uses by millions.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@REP

CW, stated it was permissible to use numerals for values over 100. I forget how it came up, but in a prior thread, I was told to spell-out all numerals.

1. Now I can see spelling out numbers like 10 or even something like 19,762. But spelling out a number like 145,486,456,379 would be very intrusive to the flow of the dialog. Such a number would be better in dialog as numerals so the reader can more easily grasp the value without the words being intrusive.

The guideline to only spell out words to 100 is derived from the Newspaper Style Guides, but since they're so universally used, it generally extended to most uses. However, even in fiction, I find it a safe guideline, as you spell out the important ones, while avoiding the tedious ones where readers will give up before they ever finish reading the number.

As far as addresses and mile markers, I would use numerals in those cases, as the speaker and reader are both referring to what they'd reading at the time, rather than to a conceptual number. Thus you use the name associated with that location.

I'm to the point that following the rule of writing out numerals in dialog has become too complex. Every time I turn around, it seems like someone is suggesting we make an exception. While I can see many of the exceptions as valid, I have to ask, Where do we draw the line?

That's actually the main argument for following a particular Style Guide. If you adopt a single style guide, then you never have to question anything again, you just say "so-and-so Style Guide says so" and that's the end of the discussion.

It's the freethinkers who are left fumbling every time they encounter a new situation.

Replies:   REP
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

Unfortunately, there's NO way to measure narrative over dialogue in an ngram.

You can compare (presumably) dialogue beginning with 'Twenty-four' and 'Twenty-four seven' by putting quotation marks in front of the search strings. Only about one in a thousand of those has 'seven' following 'Twenty-four' - and not one single time from 1951 to 1975!

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

You're the one saying it's the most used, yet you don't provide the breakdown between dialogue and narrative. I gather, from the repeated failure to do so, that you can't. The chances of someone having a numeric value of 24 / 7 in narrative are a great deal higher than them having it in dialogue, but we won't know until you break it down.

That isn't what Ross's ngram stats. If you examine it, "24/7" was used less than fifty percent of the time. What isn't used is the precise "twenty-four seven". However, that doesn't state what makes up the remaining 49%. Maybe just plain old "twenty four seven"?

garymrssn
Updated:

@Ross at Play

Wired Magazine has an interesting article titled

"The Pitfalls of Using Google Ngram to Study Language".

https://www.wired.com/2015/10/pitfalls-of-studying-language-with-google-ngram/

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Maybe just plain old "twenty four seven"?

Not that. Ngrams, annoyingly, replaces hyphens in search strings with spaces.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

The line had been fairly definitively drawn in the past in regards to dialogue v narrative. However, a lot of people today want to change it so they don't have to work at as much, or because they never really learned the grammar rules.

I don't mind taking the extra time to type out a few more letters, but I refuse to force each of my readers to wade through the recitation of thirteen digits, because the vast majority will quit reading after the first five.

The "over 100" guideline makes sense for dialogue, though I'd use numerics in the narrative even IF they're under 100!

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

However, that doesn't state what makes up the remaining 49%. Maybe just plain old "twenty four seven"?


The other thing not stated is what the 24/7 was being used for. Was it 24/7 to designate 24 hours 7 days or maybe the UK way of saying 24th of July or the old typewriter style of designating 24 divided by 7. Or it could even have been a military unit designation of a combined regiment etc. We just don't know without taking a very long time to check all the books out.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

You can compare (presumably) dialogue beginning with 'Twenty-four' and 'Twenty-four seven' by putting quotation marks in front of the search strings. Only about one in a thousand of those has 'seven' following 'Twenty-four' - and not one single time from 1951 to 1975!

"24/7" is a very recent phrase, whereas "27/7" used as a date is much more common, for a much longer term.

I wasn't arguing with you, I was supporting your argument by suggesting the missing 50% is probably more instructive that the missing .0000000001%.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@garymrssn

Wired Magazine has an interesting article titled

"The Pitfalls of Using Google Ngram to Study Language".

From my days of using OCR professionally (in the financial field), I can assure you that numerics (both numbers and spelled out) are incredibly difficult for OCR software to manage. If you OCR anything, you've got to examine every SINGLE numeric, as the likelihood of errors in incredibly high. The same is for five digit words spelled out. The chance a single letter will be misinterpreted is much higher than it is for shorter, simpler words.

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

"24/7" is a very recent phrase

I really don't care, but if this doesn't convince you nothing will.
Look at this

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

CW, with the ngrams are the date sets on the bottom the links to the books they pulled the data from? If so, I wonder how accurate the limiting is, because when I open the ngram Link Ross gave out and then click on the dates at the bottom I get a lot of references that aren't fiction books, but lots of technical and maths books. If you run the same search with the time expanded to the 1800s you get a higher usage in the 1820s - interesting.

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

24/7 is allegedly much more common than 24:
https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=24%2F7%2C24&year_start=1950&year_end=2000&corpus=16&smoothing=50&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2C%2824%20/%207%29%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2C24%3B%2Cc0

And while we're laughing at results which obviously don't represent the information we're looking for:

https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=24%2F7%2Cthe&year_start=1950&year_end=2000&corpus=16&smoothing=50&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2C%2824%20/%207%29%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cthe%3B%2Cc0

AJ

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

You're the one saying it's the most used, yet you don't provide the breakdown between dialogue and narrative. I gather, from the repeated failure to do so, that you can't. The chances of someone having a numeric value of 24 / 7 in narrative are a great deal higher than them having it in dialogue, but we won't know until you break it down.


Given the extreme preference, dialog would have to comprise less than 0.5 percent of the totality of all the fiction in the entire "English Fiction" corpus before your objection would come anywhere near being valid.

Dominions Son

@REP

'24 x 7' and '24 by 7' are references to the measurements of a rectangular area. 24/7 is a reference to time; it does not mean 24 by 7.


My $0.02: If you are going to spell out 24/7, it should be "twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week"

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

My $0.02: If you are going to spell out 24/7, it should be "twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week"


Except it's dialogue. Who would say that? They'd say, "I'm available 24/7."

Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

Who would say that?


I didn't say anyone would actually say that, but if you are going to insist on spelling it out in dialog, that's what it should really be.

Capt. Zapp

@Switch Blayde

... "twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week"

Who would say that? They'd say, "I'm available 24/7."


It all depends on the situation. I have used both.I have also added "365 days a year" to the first and used "24/7/365" for the latter.

AmigaClone

@Capt. Zapp

twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week

I have also added "365 days a year"


When I worked retail at a location that only closed for about thirty-six hours on centered on noon Christmas day* I would say:

"twenty-four hours per day, 364 days a year".

*At the time, that location would close about 1800 hours on Christmas Eve and open at 0600 on Boxing Day.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@AmigaClone


When I worked retail at a location that only closed for about thirty-six hours on centered on noon Christmas day*


In NSW, Aust, up until about 15 years ago it was unlawful for any retail stores, except owner operated food operations, to be open on Christmas Day and Good Friday. Today few open on those days now it's legal, because the wages for many are triple time all day - it just isn't worth their cost to open up.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@Capt. Zapp

used "24/7/365"

At that point I'd start saying, "All day, every day," perhaps adding, "except Christmas."

awnlee jawking

@Capt. Zapp

and used "24/7/365" for the latter


I've just plugged 24/7/365 into Google's ngram viewer. The result should give any mathematician apoplexy.

Has anyone found a way to get a sensible value for 24/7 out of ngrams? It's surreal that some posters are talking about related ngram percentages as though those values are meaningful when clearly they're not.

AJ

Ross at Play
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

I've just plugged 24/7/365 into Google's ngram viewer. The result should give any mathematician apoplexy.

You can count me among the severely apoplexised.

I tried searching for just the slash character and got this message???

In compositions "*" [sic] is intepreted [sic] as multiplication and not as a wildcard.

Multiplication? WTF?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

I really don't care, but if this doesn't convince you nothing will.

Somehow, I find it incredibly difficult to believe that no book has ever used the term "twenty-four hours" or "twenty four hours". I've used both terms multiple times in various books. That doesn't prove that the terms are never used, only that you can't rely on the statistics that ngrams provide.

The research previously suggested shows that, while ngrams are a useful tool, they are highly questionable and highly skewed towards scholarly works.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Zom

@Capt. Zapp

24/7/365

Surely the 7 is redundant. 24/365 should be all that is needed. Twenty-four hours a day, three hundred and sixty-five days a year.

Replies:   REP  Switch Blayde
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

You can count me among the severely apoplexised.

While it may sound like we've been dumping on you personally, I think we're all shocked at just how unreliable ngrams are. But the entire discussion has been eye-opening, so I'm glad we had it. I think we'll all be much more cautious about discussing 'usage patterns' in the future.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

I think we're all shocked at just how unreliable ngrams are.

You can count me among the severely shocked too.

madnige

@awnlee jawking

Has anyone found a way to get a sensible value for 24/7 out of ngrams?


With mathematical operators Google guesses if the operator should be interpreted as text or used as an operator acting on two Ngram expressions - it looks like it's being interpreted as an operator in 24/7. The way to force non-operator interpretation is to us square brackets (and round to force operator) - see the Ngram Compositions section in this page

However, there must be other problems as [24/7] doesn't find anything

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

The research previously suggested shows that, while ngrams are a useful tool, they are highly questionable and highly skewed towards scholarly works.


They are also restricted to what has been scanned by the Google Books Project prior to when they established the database. When you look at the wikipedia article on Google Books it's soon evident the great majority of the material is scientific and academic works from journals and papers with the fictions books appearing to be a late addition. Also, the ngrams database doesn't seem to keep pace with the Google Books database, so while books may appear in Google Books they aren't necessarily in the ngrams database which only includes terms that appear in 40 or more books of the 5 million books that were in the database as of 2008. Note the system regards journal articles and academic papers as books.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
REP

@Crumbly Writer

you just say "so-and-so Style Guide says so" and that's the end of the discussion.


Yes that is true. However, I have a writing style that I am comfortable with that doesn't comply with all the rules of any single style guide. Thus, if I followed your advice, my critics would tell me that I fail to comply with the other rules of that style guide.

If you aren't willing to comply with ALL of the rules of a specific style guide, then you shouldn't quote that style guide as the authority of how to write.

Dominions Son

@Capt. Zapp

I have also added "365 days a year" to the first and used "24/7/365" for the latter.


That makes not sense in combination with the 7 days a week.

That construct should be "twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year" or 24/7/52

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@REP


If you aren't willing to comply with ALL of the rules of a specific style guide, then you shouldn't quote that style guide as the authority of how to write.


true, which is why I created my own style guide, and I give it away free.

All of the style guides I've seen focus on writing formal English while I focus on vernacular English, so I wrote my own guide to list where you should vary from the other guides.

edit to add: The only issue with that is I now have to revise all my stories to make sure I comply with the style guide I've developed, and wrote, since I started writing fiction about 20 years ago.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Also, the ngrams database doesn't seem to keep pace with the Google Books database, so while books may appear in Google Books they aren't necessarily in the ngrams database which only includes terms that appear in 40 or more books of the 5 million books that were in the database as of 2008. Note the system regards journal articles and academic papers as books.

Now that explains the 49% for "24/7". If you're only counting books written before the term was first coined, then only a few historical references would rank extraordinarily high.

Obviously, Google can't include any Google Books, as that would violate the copyright of every author selling books on the Google store!

The more we learn, the more questionable ngrams appear.

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

I've just plugged 24/7/365 into Google's ngram viewer. The result should give any mathematician apoplexy.
Has anyone found a way to get a sensible value for 24/7 out of ngrams?

The answer it is giving for '24/7' is "sensible" - just not the answer I was hoping for.
If you search for '24/7, 7/24' it's easy to see the results are telling you that '7' is just over twice as common as '24'.
The ridiculously huge numbers for '24/7/365' a the result of something being divided by the very small frequency of '365'.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
REP

@Zom

Surely the 7 is redundant. 24/365 should be all that is needed. Twenty-four hours a day, three hundred and sixty-five days a year.


If you applied the rule of only spelling out values under 100 in dialog, you would get - twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year. Now that looks odd to me.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@REP

If you aren't willing to comply with ALL of the rules of a specific style guide, then you shouldn't quote that style guide as the authority of how to write.

That's the key. Rather than saying "I'm following XXX Style guide on this issue", simply say "I've adopted the following style for my writing." Generally, as long as your uses are consistent, few readers will object. As we've observed in the past, the first few chapters are a grace period for authors where they're allowed to create completely unrealistic universes, but after that, any variation will be attacked as 'not fitting' into said universe. The same is true with Style. As readers get used to and adapt to your style, they'll generally accept your uses—unless you screw up and contradict it—at which point they'll pounce.

That's the price all of us 'independent publishers' face. Since we aren't beholden to a particular publisher, we pick and choose our own style guide. As long as we use it consistently, we're pretty well safe (hopefully).

Replies:   REP
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

That construct should be "twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year" or 24/7/52

That makes logical sense, but we're talking about familiar sayings, and no one says "24/7/52". They all say "24/7/365" (the few times they add that particular specification).

Replies:   REP  Zom
REP

@Crumbly Writer

Since we aren't beholden to a particular publisher, we pick and choose our own style guide. As long as we use it consistently, we're pretty well safe (hopefully).


I can agree and accept that. However, it also begs the question of why we as Forum posters keep looking for and quoting commonly accepted style guides such as CMOS.

Crumbly Writer

@REP

If you applied the rule of only spelling out values under 100 in dialog, you would get - twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year. Now that looks odd to me.

True, but it isn't often you combine such disparate numbers like that. Normally, you mix numbers with street addresses, or different prices (ex: "ten dollars as opposed to $397").

Again, it's not a perfect guideline, but it fits most cases. For those that don't, you learn to rephrase the few odd cases.

REP

@Crumbly Writer

They all say "24/7/365


I've never seen or heard of that format until this thread.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play

@REP

If you aren't willing to comply with ALL of the rules of a specific style guide, then you shouldn't quote that style guide as the authority of how to write.

What a load of codswallop! If someone states the source they are quoting from, are you incapable of deciding how much credibility to place in that source? And in particular, whether the segment quoted is appropriate for fiction. It's fine if you're not be interesting in what somebody quotes, but that doesn't give you the right to insist others who may be interested are not even entitled to see it.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@REP

I can agree and accept that. However, it also begs the question of why we as Forum posters keep looking for and quoting commonly accepted style guides such as CMOS.

I hate to say it, but the only one who keeps quoting CMOS seems to be Ross, who uses it as his go-to source, since it's more widely used than the other style guides (even though, most of those users are non-fiction based). Ross has his own reasons for going there (trying to find unity and starting from a known standard), but it doesn't mean the rest of us are tied to their particular standards.

Though, Ross also has a point, in that most of our (the small group of SOL independent-publishers) individual Styles are derived from CMOS, with scattered others applied as they fit our fictional writing better.

Frankly, for most of us, Grammar Girl has better cache than does CMOS.

Replies:   REP  Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Zom

Surely the 7 is redundant. 24/365 should be all that is needed.


Nope, 24/7 means all the time.
24/365 means you get a day off every 4 years (years with 366 days).

I'm just nitpicking. The more important is what expression people use. I believe it's 24/7.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@REP

I've never seen or heard of that format until this thread.

In the case that started this whole thread, the character said "twenty-four seven" because she was working all week, which is how the term originated. The latter, much rarer term, isn't a description of being overworked, but rather one a business uses (ex: "Our doors are open 24/7/365"). As such, it's more a marketing campaign than a statement of how busy any individual worker is. That means the terms are only marginally related to each other (essentially, the common term was stolen for nefarious purposes by a marketing agency).

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@REP

why we as Forum posters keep looking for and quoting commonly accepted style guides such as CMOS.


Because it's the basis for most if not all US publishers and many non-US publishers. They publish stories. We write stories.

Note, I said "basis." I'm sure each modifies it for their needs. I know I do.

Replies:   REP
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

What a load of codswallop! If someone states the source they are quoting from, are you incapable of deciding how much credibility to place in that source? And in particular, whether the segment quoted is appropriate for fiction. It's fine if you're not be interesting in what somebody quotes, but that doesn't give you the right to insist others who may be interested are not even entitled to see it.

I should qualify my previous comment. Authors should stick to their own style when working with readers, but when questioned by other authors about their decisions, then they should detail how they derived them, and what the basis for their decisions were.

I've never seen anyone here say "because CMOS says so!"

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@REP

I can agree and accept that. However, it also begs the question of why we as Forum posters keep looking for and quoting commonly accepted style guides such as CMOS.

BECAUSE, not everything that applies to formal writing is inappropriate for fiction.

I've asked time and again if anyone knows of any reference that is specifically aimed at writers of fiction. I'm not aware of any. If you insist that nobody here quotes any reference containing any elements unsuitable for fiction, we will be left with the blind attempting to lead the blind, and all of us wandering off in different directions. The only practical alternative is to accept that any point quoted here from a style guide needs to be assessed for possible reasons that point may not be suitable for fiction.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

The only practical alternative is to accept that any point quoted here from a style guide needs to be assessed for possible reasons that point may not be suitable for fiction.


In my opinion, that's backwards. Who ever quotes a point from a style guide ought to be justifying why it is suitable for fiction.

REP

@Crumbly Writer

I don't dispute what you say. I only mentioned CMOS as an example, and there are others that I could have cited.

The main problem with citing sources such as CMOS and Grammar Girl is there are times when their rules are in conflict. If you start picking and choosing rules from multiple sources, then you are being inconsistent in respect to both style sources. You are creating your own style guide.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
REP

@Switch Blayde

I'm sure each modifies it for their needs. I know I do.


I know. When I worked as a technical writer, I had to comply with a style guide. As a fiction writer, I no longer have a style guide that I must follow, so I have an unwritten style guide that I use. I am not always consistent with that guide, but it does give me a fluid structure in which to write.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

I've never seen anyone here say "because CMOS says so!"

THANK YOU!

To be more precise, I'm sure I have said here, "I choose this way because CMOS says so," but never, "Others should choose this way because CMOS says so."
My reasons for accepting what that bunch of dictatorial Nazis say is not because I regard them as any kind of authority. They are because:
* In circumstances when various options exist, with no logical reason to favour any particular one, the best way to achieve some level of consistency is by always relying on the same reference; and
* Because it is so ubiquitous, whatever choices CMOS specifies are likely to be the most familiar to readers.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

If you search for '24/7, 7/24' it's easy to see the results are telling you that '7' is just over twice as common as '24'.


Aha, it sort of makes sense now. Thank you.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@REP

I have an unwritten style guide that I use. I am not always consistent with that guide, but it does give me a fluid structure in which to write.

I have recently begun employing written style guides, specific to each work, which are modified and updated as any new choices are made. The initial templates may be similar but they diverge as works progress.
I understand your desire for a "fluid structure" - the same choices may not be appropriate for different works - but this approach does seem to enable both different choices according to specific needs of different works, while still achieving consistency within works.

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

Frankly, for most of us, Grammar Girl has better cache than does CMOS.


For grammar. Grammar Girl references CMS and other guides when it's a style issue.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

the character said "twenty-four seven" because she was working all week,


When I was on call, it was 24/7. That meant all the time, not just a week.

Twenty-four hours a day, 7 days a week.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

Aha, it sort of makes sense now. Thank you.

Madnige provided a link to the instruction manual which helped. (Why didn't I think of reading that first?)
The first of the FAQs at the bottom, Why am I not seeing the results I expect?, included this possible explanation:

Your phrase has a comma, plus sign, hyphen, asterisk, colon, or forward slash in it. Those have special meanings to the Ngram Viewer; see Advanced Usage. Try enclosing the phrase in square brackets (although this won't help with commas).


Note, someone has "tried" square brackets for '[24/7]', but that found nothing at all???

I;m not prepared to give up on ngrams because of some initial confusion in not realising when special characters where being treated as operands. Until now, the results when I've searched for words and phrases have all seemed reasonable enough.

Some have expressed skepticism about the results because the books chosen are overwhelmingly technical. With due care, I don't see that as a problem. For my purposes, I will mostly stick to using corpus 'English Fiction' and not go back any further than about 1950. At times I might compare the results between British English and American English.

If I want to compare how the use of something has changed over time I'll probably use the corpus 'English one million'. This uses the same number of books for every year, six thousands, selected for being a representative sample of books published during that year.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Ross at Play


whatever choices CMOS specifies are likely to be the most familiar to readers.


I agree 100%.

I chose CMS for two reasons, that being one. Since publishers use it, most traditionally published novels follow it, and therefore most readers are familiar with it.

The other is if I were to submit my manuscript to a publisher, I wanted to "impress" them so when I use an em-dash for interrupted speech they say, "This guy knows what he's doing." Or better yet, if I used an ellipsis for interrupted speech, they'd say, "This guy is an amateur."

Now if I were submitting freelance articles to newspapers and magazines, I would have chosen the AP Style Guide because that's what they use.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Bondi Beach

@Crumbly Writer

The general rule is that dialogue, versus the narrative, focuses on what's said, thus you're capturing what's expressly pronounced, rather than what's commonly accepted. Unfortunately, many readers will insist that "twenty-four seven" is wrong, even though NO ONE says "twenty-four slash seven".


I haven't read all (98 as of this writing) the replies so I apologize in advance if someone has already suggested this. The sainted Chicago Manual of Style always points out that if the grammatical or "correct" way of saying something is awkward, re-write the phrase to make it come out better.

"When are you open?"
"Seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day. We never close."

bb

Crumbly Writer

@REP

You are creating your own style guide.

That's precisely what we're doing. Rather than blindly accepting a random one, we're each evaluating each issue and deciding what the general consensus of opinion is, which often leads us to take different approaches to the same issue. That's precisely why we debate each Style point endlessly, because for us, it makes a lot of difference, not only understanding why we do certain things, but what's likely to happen if we don't use them in any given decision.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

For grammar. Grammar Girl references CMS and other guides when it's a style issue.

She does, but she also thoroughly researches her answers, and presents the alternatives and what they install. For those of us grappling with building out own, constantly evolving style guides, that's vital information of much more value of "do it this way, or else!"

I don't mind accepting CMOS usages, as Ross points out, it is the most widely accepted among fiction authors, but I prefer knowing why and evaluating the reasons myself.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

the character said "twenty-four seven" because she was working all week,

When I was on call, it was 24/7. That meant all the time, not just a week.

Logically, 24/7 consists of a week. It may consist of multiple weeks, but it's at least one solid week. It clearly doesn't cover a year or years, which is why they invented the cheesy, commercial alternative.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Logically, 24/7 consists of a week. It may consist of multiple weeks, but it's at least one solid week.


Um, no.

fully spelled out it's 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

The per week necessarily implies multiple weeks.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

Logically, 24/7 consists of a week.


Logic doesn't count. What it means is "all the time."

From the Cambridge dictionary:

24/7
adverb, adjective UK ​ /ˌtwen.ti.fɔː ˈsev.ən/ US ​ /ˌtwen.t̬i.fɔːr ˈsev.ən/ informal

24 hours a day, seven days a week: all the time:
We're open for business 24/7.
We offer 24/7 internet access.

awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

Since publishers use it


I've seen that claim on several forums but I'm not sure it's true.

I looked at the websites of several major publishers and, although it's difficult to find it stated explicitly because they don't accept unsolicited manuscripts, they each appeared to have their own style guide. The majority might be based on CMS, but I also found based-ons referring to the AP Style Guide, the NY Times and even the Economist.

AJ

Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

I've seen that claim on several forums but I'm not sure it's true.


According to Writer's Digest it is: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/questions-and-quandaries/dealing-with-editors/should-i-use-the-chicago-manual-of-style-for-my-book

A: According to Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript (and editors I've spoken to at conferences), most book publishers use The Chicago Manual of Style—or some variation of it—as a formatting guide for their books. So when writing your novel or nonfiction work, it's best to follow those guidelines. But if you haven't been using The Chicago Manual of Style or an editor comes back with changes that contradict it, don't panic.

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

@Switch Blayde

as a formatting guide for their books


That's the impression I got too - the publishers don't use CMS or whatever else is the basis for their style manuals for the linguistics but for the formatting.

Most UK authors I've spoken to are either unaware of CMS or have heard of it but never used it. Again I think that the Writer's Digest is right in that consistency is a far more important consideration.

AJ

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Zom

@Crumbly Writer

They all say "24/7/365

I must be living under a rock somewhere outside the US, because I have never heard that said, and can't say I have seen it written either. Ignorance is bliss I suppose ...

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

consistency is a far more important consideration.


Which is the only reason for a style guide. And that's why I don't understand people's objections to using them.

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

fully spelled out its 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

The per week necessarily implies multiple weeks.

Another regional usage, as I've always heard it as "24 hours a day, 7 days a week".

But really, at this point, who the fuck even cares anymore? In the context of my story, it was about someone seriously overworked, rather than describing the hours of operation for a business. Since I don't own a business (aside from publishing, which has no set hours), I could care less about the business aspects of the phrase.

Crumbly Writer

@Zom

I must be living under a rock somewhere outside the US, because I have never heard that said, and can't say I have seen it written either. Ignorance is bliss I suppose ...

Given the latest drift in the conversation, it seems "24/7" as originally used by individuals has been completely usurped by the Corporate, advertising use (i.e. "We're open 24/7").

I'd rather never use the term than to use it as a trite marketing phrase.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Given the latest drift in the conversation, it seems "24/7" as originally used by individuals has been completely usurped by the Corporate, advertising use


I've never seen it used once by individuals outside of a business context. Can you provide a cite for your claimed "original use"

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

as I've always heard it as "24 hours a day, 7 days a week".


Has the same meaning and still implicitly implies multiple weaks.

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

I've never seen it used once by individuals outside of a business context. Can you provide a cite for your claimed "original use"

Decades ago, I heard it frequently in a business environment by employees to describe how much stress they were under. It was shortly thereafter taken over by their employees (ex: "You need to be available 24/7", typically in relation to constantly carrying around a pager and later portable and then smart phones). So I guess the advertising takeover was inevitable, even from the start, but I'll be damned if I repeat marketing phrases in my novels.

Readers want to escape the constant onslaught of ads in fiction, not to be houded even there too.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Decades ago, I heard it frequently in a business environment by employees to describe how much stress they were under. It was shortly thereafter taken over by their employees


I, don't know where you are, but here in Wisconsin there were business offering 24/7 service 30-40 years ago. I'm pretty sure you have the causal sequence backwards.

PotomacBob

@Jim S

As a reader, I appreciate whatever I can easily understand and pronounce. The numerals, to me, are more easily understood than the words - even in dialogue.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

I'd rather never use the term than to use it as a trite marketing phrase.


Quite frankly, I don't see how an honest and accurate description of a business' hours of operation qualifies as a "trite marketing phrase".

Capt. Zapp

@Dominions Son

I've never seen it used once by individuals outside of a business context.


I've heard it used to let someone know you are available for them if they need you for support, whether it is financial, physical, or emotional. Not often, but I have heard it. It's often used in conjunction with 'rain or shine', 'day or night', 'come hell or high water' and other such phrases.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Capt. Zapp

I've heard it used to let someone know you are available for them if they need you for support, whether it is financial, physical, or emotional. Not often, but I have heard it.


It's such an odd construction for personal interactions, that I am certain such uses derive from the business use for describing always open business hours rather than the other way around.

AmigaClone

@Crumbly Writer

In the context of my story, it was about someone seriously overworked


I might consider actually using twenty-five hours a day, eight days a week in that situation.

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Readers want to escape the constant onslaught of ads in fiction, not to be hounded even there too.

I think 'all-day, everyday' would solve that problem. And yes, dictionaries do agree that 'all-day' should be hyphenated.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Switch Blayde

@PotomacBob

As a reader, I appreciate whatever I can easily understand and pronounce. The numerals, to me, are more easily understood than the words - even in dialogue.


Which, I believe, was my wife's point when she said she prefers 24/7.

richardshagrin

@AmigaClone

twenty-five hours a day


Why daylight savings time converts back to standard time, there is a 25 hour day, the Sunday it happens. And in Spring when time goes forward, there is a 23 hour day.

Replies:   REP
Ross at Play
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

The majority might be based on CMS, but I also found based-ons referring to the AP Style Guide, the NY Times and even the Economist.

Do they differ about anything that really matters to us?

The one difference I am sure exists is that CMOS recommends serial commas and the others do not. The reason is that newspapers are very concerned about minimising their usage of space. By not using serial commas, they will be able to squeeze a few extra words into some articles within the same space allocations. Saving print space really matters to them.

I am aware of some differences between The Economist style guide and New Harts Rules compared to the others, because those two use British English.

Then there is a whole range of formatting and style issues where I expect significant differences exist between style guides - but they should not bother us as authors of fiction. Does it really matter if we use italics for the name of a newspaper but roman for the title of an article from that newspaper? There is no logical reasoning to guide decisions like that. What matters is that we are internally consistent with whatever such choices we make. I prefer to use one guide, it hardly matters which, and becoming familiar with how to look up details as required. It constantly bemuses me when, for questions of this type, I quote what CMOS says and others object because CMOS is not an authoritative source. Well, duh! All of us here already know that! Objections like that only serve to deny others the right to make informed decisions. Some here, like Switch, say they generally follow what CMOS says because they know it will be a choice readers are familiar with.

Then there issues of punctuation and grammar where I expect style guides, those which cover such points, would virtually always agree – but authors of fiction should quite frequently beg to differ!

The guides would all be specifying exactly the same rules, which are required in formal writing, but we know there are frequent situations where it is better for authors to disregard them. I wish we could discuss those types of issues here calmly, i.e. specifically, the when and the why fiction may be made better by disregarding some of the rules of formal writing. But we can never reach that point if whenever someone quotes what those rules are – as the starting point for a discussion – they are howled down with objections the source is not explicitly directed at authors of fiction.

Personally, I loathe the dictatorial tone of CMOS - but it is not intended to be interpreted absolutely literally. When they specify what the "rule" is, they expect it will always be obeyed. Its originator, Strunk, said authors should generally follow the rules – except when they know that doing otherwise is better. CMOS doesn't add that as a caveat to almost every point in the entire tome; it assumes those who use it will exercise some common sense, knowing what it says are recommendations, not inviolate dictates. I guess they didn't envisage how bloody- and narrow-minded authors of fiction could be, and some would interpret any statement not including an explicit list of exceptions as dictates others must obey in all and every possible situation!?

Also, CMOS is not entirely devoted to the needs of formal writing. It contains quite a lot of notes explicitly stating the point being made is not necessarily relevant to informal writing. It does not, however, go a step further to consider needs specific to fiction, which could reasonably be considered a specialised subset of informal writing.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

The majority might be based on CMS, but I also found based-ons referring to the AP Style Guide, the NY Times and even the Economist.


Yes, the NY Times internal style guide is based on the AP Style Guide. My guess is the Economist is too. Why?

AP = Associated Press. Journalists.

The NY Times and Economist are newspapers/magazines. They always followed the AP Style Guide. It was written for them in mind.

For example:

CMS = twenty-four-year-old.
AP = 24-year-old.

Why the difference? Print space in the newspaper/magazine is expensive so have a style guide that uses less of it. Same for the ellipsis:

CMS = x . . . x
AP = x...x

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Ross at Play


it contains quite a lot of notes explicitly stating the point being made is not necessarily relevant to informal writing.


Informal writing is not the same thing as fiction.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

Informal writing is not the same thing as fiction.

Would you consider fiction a subset of informal writing?
I take your point that the last paragraph of my post could be reworded to more specific about what it contains.

Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

Would you consider fiction a subset of informal writing?


Yes, but fiction doesn't even account for the majority of informal writing.

Replies:   Ross at Play  REP
Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

I've revised my post above to reflect the point you made.

helmut_meukel

@Switch Blayde

For example:

CMS = twenty-four-year-old.
AP = 24-year-old.

Why the difference? Print space in the newspaper/magazine is expensive so have a style guide that uses less of it. Same for the ellipsis:

CMS = x . . . x
AP = x...x


I doubt print space is the main cause for the difference with the ellipsis. Using the ellipsis sign will save print space, but CMS's preference for ". . ."
is rather caused by typewriters inable to provide the ellipsis sign. Adapting to modern computer writing programs will probably need another one or two decades.

Switch, does CMS really suggest period-space-period-space-period for the ellipsis? May I assume you wrote it this way to enhance the difference between three periods and the ellipsis sign?
If they really propose spaces between the periods, then it's IMO idiotic. Automatical formatting will put line breaks into the ellipsis. To avoid this you have to use the Unicode sign U+2007 instead of a normal space.

HM.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@helmut_meukel

Sorry HM, however bizarre it may be, the answers to your points are 'Nope' and 'Nope'.

The style guides of newspapers are specifically designed to minimise the space used - because of the cost of paper, etc. Before SB made his post, I identified saving space as the reason none of those guides use serial commas.

And yes, CMOS does insist on internal spaces within ellipses. This is from the monster, at 13.48:

If they prefer, authors may prepare their manuscripts using the single-glyph three-dot ellipsis character on their word processors (Unicode 2026), usually with a space on either side; editors following Chicago style will replace these with spaced periods.

That followed a lengthy explanation on how to avoid awkward line breaks within ellipses.

awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

CMS = twenty-four-year-old.
AP = 24-year-old.

Why the difference? Print space in the newspaper/magazine is expensive so have a style guide that uses less of it.


I disagree. The majority of style guides I've seen recommend or mandate figures rather than words for numbers over ten.

Same for the ellipsis:

CMS = x . . . x
AP = x...x


I was brought up not to leave spaces. I wasn't aware CMS recommended anything else. It seems perverse - it's not as if ... could possibly have any other meaning.

AJ

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

And yes, CMOS does insist on internal spaces within ellipses.


That explains SB's claim of a preference for the archaic m-dash - because CMS's rules for the ellipsis are utterly barking :(

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

The majority of style guides I've seen recommend or mandate figures rather than words for numbers over ten.

AFAIK, most British style guides suggest numerals for numbers beyond ten and American guides for beyond one hundred, but on both continents the guides for newspapers exploit almost every opportunity possible to minimise space.

Is there a trend emerging in what those here think about how CNOS suggests ellipses should be formatted?: HM said idiotic, you perverse, me bizarre, ... barking, WTF?, YGTBKM, ...

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Is there a trend emerging in what those here think about how CNOS suggests ellipses should be formatted?: HM said idiotic, you perverse, me bizarre, ... barking, WTF?, YGTBKM, ...


I've just checked four dead-tree novels, by world-famous authors, which I currently have checked out of my local library.

Two of the books seem devoid of ellipses, the authors using m-dashes where you might expect them. Two of the books use ellipses quite liberally (including cases where SB would use m-dashes to prove he wasn't an amateur). As far as I can tell, there are spaces between the dots of the ellipses but, because of the proportional fonts used, it mostly looks as though each ellipsis only occupies three character positions.

Perhaps there is logic behind CMS's ruling if, without the spaces, the three dots would be horribly scrunched up.

I still don't like it though :(

AJ

Ross at Play
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

Perhaps there is logic behind (it.) I still don't like it though :(

Perhaps there is logic behind it. I still don't like it though :(

without the spaces, the three dots would be horribly scrunched up.

There are times and fonts where I'll insert a space between a lowercase 'f' and a comma or full stop. Without it I get a feeling of Dracula swooping down about to devour the innocent little punctuation mark.

Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

When I was experimenting with making e-pubs I found not all the readers will display some printer marks properly. The two that stood out to me were the m-dash and the ellipsis. I rarely use either of them, so it was no trouble for me to forget all about using the m-dash and just use the normal hyphen style dash of ( - ) when I want a dash, but I have a space on either side of it. I limit the use of the ellipsis to when dialogue is fading out or cut off, then is display it by using three full stops (or what the US people call periods) in a row with a space at the start and the end ( ... ). In this manner the dash and the 3 dot ellipsis is like a word of their own to the system and they're usually displayed correctly in all the e-pub readers I tested on.

Switch Blayde

@helmut_meukel

If they really propose spaces between the periods, then it's IMO idiotic. Automatical formatting will put line breaks into the ellipsis.


That's one change I made to "my" style guide from CMS. I use the ellipsis code. However, if I were to use the CMS method, I would use non-breaking spaces.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

I disagree. The majority of style guides I've seen recommend or mandate figures rather than words for numbers over ten.


This instance with a number is talking about a specific adjective. Maybe Ross knows for sure, but my understanding is CMS says to write out the number in that adjective, as in:

He was a twenty-four-year-old man.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Zom

@AmigaClone

I might consider actually using twenty-five hours a day, eight days a week in that situation.

I'd give that 110%.

Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

The two that stood out to me were the m-dash and the ellipsis. I rarely use either of them


I use the em-dash for interrupted speech. I used to use it often to emphasize something at the end of a sentence, but I found with my latest novel that I instead separate that part of the sentence into a fragmented sentence for effect.

I basically use the ellipsis for trailing off voice. But I do, on rare occasions, use it for a longer pause than a comma. And on very rare occasions, to leave out words. For example, I ended a chapter with an ellipsis when the POV character fell asleep. This is how I used it to end a chapter:

It did feel nice. Home, in his own bed after a long day. Cherry had been right. Going to Romanov's was foolish without resting first. He managed to pull it off, but it was stupid. Steele wiggled his head on his pillow. His bed felt so good, so warm…

Zom

@Switch Blayde

CMS = x . . . x

Interesting. I have always understood that an ellipsis is a single character formed of three dots (…), at the line level or mid line. Despite CMoS being the oracle for many, using three periods, especially with spaces between them, invites a myriad of formatting issues. The single character ellipsis is always the safest.

Replies:   Switch Blayde  REP
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Switch Blayde

Maybe Ross knows for sure, but my understanding is CMS says to write out the number in that adjective

I'm sure CMOS says write out all numbers up to one hundred, but the equivalent for British English, New Harts Rules, says only up to ten.

I've never looked into what the style guides for newspapers suggest. It would not surprise me if some listed specific situations, say hyphenated adjectival phrases, when they allow numerals for smaller numbers than they usually would.

Some of these in-house style guides have been around for a very long time with no particular reason to change them. At the time the NY Times and The Economist devised theirs, the cost of paper, ink, and type-setting were significant - thus they found every possible way to eliminate every character that were not essential.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Switch Blayde

@Zom

Interesting. I have always understood that an ellipsis is a single character formed of three dots (…), at the line level or mid line. Despite CMoS being the oracle for many, using three periods, especially with spaces between them, invites a myriad of formatting issues. The single character ellipsis is always the safest.


Which is why I don't follow CMS for the ellipsis. I use the font character. But when I first saw what they suggested I checked my print novels. I was shocked to see them with spaces around all the dots.

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

The main point I was making in my post was that I found the e-book readers and their software don't always display the special characters for an m-dash or an ellipsis properly. To avoid that problem I avoid the m-dash and use the 3 dot form for an ellipsis which does display properly in every item I tested it on. I'm not trying to suggest anyone else do what i do, must I am suggesting they check to make sure they're happy with how that affects the presentation of their story - not everyone is as picky as I am about how it should present.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

forget all about using the m-dash and just use the normal hyphen style dash of ( - ) when I want a dash, but I have a space on either side of it.


That was what I was taught in school and seems to be the standard practice in UK-specific publications. But having seen the number of m-dashes used by transatlantic publications, perhaps my description of the m-dash as archaic is premature.

AJ

Capt. Zapp

@Ross at Play

The style guides of newspapers are specifically designed to minimise the space used -


Except in the case where they have to stretch words because there is not enough room for the surrounding words to fit on the same line of a column. :)

Dominions Son

@awnlee jawking

Perhaps there is logic behind CMS's ruling if, without the spaces, the three dots would be horribly scrunched up.


The Chicago Manual of Style is written by the Chicago University Press and it's primary focus is formal academic writing.

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

The Chicago Manual of Style is written by the Chicago University Press and it's primary focus is formal academic writing.

I disagree that its focus is on academic writing. It has sections covering everything that should be included between the front and back covers of all types of books.
You might be confusing it with the ubiquitous place Strunk's other effort, The Elements of Style, has within American academia. I saw a figure once that it is included in the reading list for 90% of all university courses across the country.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

it's primary focus is formal academic writing.


Actually, the MLA Style Guide is the main one for academic writing.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

I disagree that its focus is on academic writing.


CMOS was created by the Chicago University Press for use in the academic journals they publish. Disagree all you want it won't change reality.

Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

Actually, the MLA Style Guide is the main one for academic writing.


So what? CMOS is a product of an academic publisher, Chicago University Press, originally created for use primarily in academic books and journals published by the Chicago University Press.

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

So what? CMOS is a product of an academic publisher, Chicago University Press, originally created for use primarily in academic books and journals published by the Chicago University Press.

Correct, and the key words you got right are "originally created".
The original 200 page version was focused on academic publications but the 1,100 page version now is intended for use for all types of publications.

Replies:   Dominions Son
awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

I think the CMS pronouncement on ellipses shows it has moved far beyond its original scope. No doubt I'll be proved wrong as soon as I post this, but I can't imagine any requirement for an ellipsis in an academic paper.

"And therefore, three squared comes to ... nine!"

AJ

Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

The original 200 page version was focused on academic publications but the 1,100 page version now is intended for use for all types of publications.


Sorry, but that doesn't mean that academic publishing isn't still the primary focus. If the Chicago University Press switched to an outside style guide for it's own publications, they would likely stop publishing CMOS at all.

Dominions Son

@awnlee jawking

No doubt I'll be proved wrong as soon as I post this, but I can't imagine any requirement for an ellipsis in an academic paper.


Academic papers often quote other papers, and if you have a longish quote with material in the middle not relevant to your paper, that's reason to use an ellipsis.

Replies:   helmut_meukel
Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

I can't imagine any requirement for an ellipsis in an academic paper.


The original intent of an ellipsis.

When you're quoting someone and leave out words, you do it with an ellipsis.

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

I can't imagine any requirement for an ellipsis in an academic paper.

But I can imagine it being used in all of the fiction UCP publishes.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

But I can imagine it being used in all of the fiction UCP publishes.


While the UCP does publish books, as far as I can tell from their web site, they do not publish any fiction.

http://press.uchicago.edu/books/subject.html

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Dominions Son

While the UCP does publish books, as far as I can tell from their web site, they do not publish any fiction.
http://press.uchicago.edu/books/subject.html

WRONG!

Only their non-fiction catalog is divided by "subject".

Replies:   Dominions Son
Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

If the Chicago University Press switched to an outside style guide for it's own publications, they would likely stop publishing CMOS at all.

I've seen you make a lot of moronic, irrelevant statements here, but that one tops them all.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Ross at Play


Only their non-fiction catalog is divided by "subject".


Sorry, but that list comes from a browse by subject link on their main books page http://press.uchicago.edu/books , top right.

It's odd, you say I'm wrong, yet you don't point to a single work of fiction published by UCP. If they published fiction, I would expect "Fiction" to show up in the browse by subject list, but it doesn't.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

It's odd, you say I'm wrong, yet you don't point to a single work of fiction published by UCP.

You are wasting the time of others pursuing a stupid argument and I feel disinclined to make that easier for you by handing you evidence on a platter.

A single work of fiction published by UCP?
A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean was published by UCP. With my emphasis ...

During 1977 the Pulitzer Prize committee for fiction (aka "fiction jury") recommended A River Runs Through It be awarded the prize for that year. The Pulitzer Prize Board, which has final say for awarding the prize, chose to override their recommendation and decided not to award for fiction that year.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_River_Runs_Through_It_(novel)

Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

A River Runs Through It and Other Stories is a semi-autobiographical collection of three stories by author Norman Maclean


Fiction? Maybe not.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

You are wasting the time of others pursuing a stupid argument and I feel disinclined to make that easier for you by handing you evidence on a platter.


I tried searching the UCP site for "fiction". There are a few results that might be actual fiction, but the vast majority are academic books about fiction in general or specific genre.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

Fiction? Maybe not.

And all of the other UCP has published as "fiction"?

I wondered a while ago what you looked like. I'm going to try a search for "clutcher at straws".

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

I tried searching the UCP site for "fiction". There are a few results that might be actual fiction, but the vast majority are academic books about fiction in general or specific genre.

They have a list including a significant number of books described simply as "A Novel".

Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

And all of the other UCP has published as "fiction"?


Again, there doesn't seem to be much of any actual fiction. Mostly books that are academic reviews of various areas of fiction.

Replies:   Ross at Play
REP

@Crumbly Writer

It clearly doesn't cover a year or years,


But the implication is the speaker is referring to the current and all future weeks, not a specific week.

Ross at Play

@Ross at Play

I'm going to try a search for "clutcher at straws".

Hey, guys. Does this sound like anyone we know?

a clutcher at straws. Hardly able to get off the beach - struck dead-stuck, emotionally and physically. As live as, yes, a piano. Deserted by friend, relative and foe alike

REP

@richardshagrin

And in Spring when time goes forward, there is a 23 hour day.


There is this woman I know who believes, and cannot be convinced otherwise, that setting the clock forward 1 hour results in her losing an hour a day until the clock is set back an hour. ????????

Replies:   Bondi Beach
REP

@Dominions Son

Yes, but fiction doesn't even account for the majority of informal writing


I would disagree. To me, informal writing is me writing a letter to a friend.

REP

@awnlee jawking

I was brought up not to leave spaces.


You need to remember that elementary schools teach grammar, not style guide formatting.

REP

@Zom

The single character ellipsis is always the safest.


Not exactly true. I write my stories using MS Word. Word has a single character for an ellipse. However, SOL's converter program has a problem translating this single character. The result is garbaged text. I now use three periods (full stops) without spaces.

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

Again, there doesn't seem to be much of any actual fiction.

Again, I see hundreds of works of actual fiction.

Dominions Son

@REP

To me, informal writing is me writing a letter to a friend.


True, and that is the majority of informal writing, but fiction is certainly not formal writing.

Bondi Beach
Updated:

@REP


There is this woman I know who believes, and cannot be convinced otherwise, that setting the clock forward 1 hour results in her losing an hour a day until the clock is set back an hour. ????????


Her alarm clock is set for 7:00 am. She goes to bed at midnight. She's an organized person, and so rather than wake up at 2:00 am (when the time changes in the U.S.), to re-set her clock, she re-sets it from midnight to 1:00 am before she goes to bed.

The alarm remains set at 7:00 am. Bingo ipso facto quod erat demonstrandum, she's lost one hour of sleep.

Your friend is correct, at least with respect to that first 24-hour cycle. ETA: And she'll gain an hour in that first 24-hour cycle after the next time change, so she's correct there, too.

bb

Replies:   REP
Switch Blayde

@REP

I now use three periods (full stops) without spaces.


Can those end up being broken, like 2 dots at the end of a line and 1 dot on the next line?

Replies:   robberhands  BlacKnight
awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

If the Chicago University Press switched to an outside style guide for it's own publications, they would likely stop publishing CMOS at all.


Judging by how much they charge, particularly for the latest edition, I would imagine CMS represents a significant source of income. As such, they would have to be very, very stupid to stop using it, and very, very, very stupid to stop publishing it.

However, as a significant moneyspinner, it's possible they might sell it.

AJ

robberhands
Updated:

@Switch Blayde

Can those end up being broken, like 2 dots at the end of a line and 1 dot on the next line?

I use three periods as an ellipsis all the time - I dare say I'm the uncrowned king of the ellipsis - and SOL's wizard never broke them apart.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
REP

@Bondi Beach

Your friend is correct,


You seem to have misunderstood my friend's belief.

She turns her clock forward 1 hour. Per her belief, she will lose 30 hours during the next 30 days because the days are now only 23 hours long.

Replies:   robberhands  Bondi Beach
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

a significant moneyspinner

Unless they ate the turkey that lays the golden eggs over Thanksgiving.

robberhands

@REP

She turns her clock forward 1 hour. Per her belief, she will lose 30 hours during the next 30 days because the days are now only 23 hours long.

Isn't the passing of time relative for all of us?

Replies:   Bondi Beach
PotomacBob

@Switch Blayde

The NY Times and Economist are newspapers/magazines. They always followed the AP Style Guide. It was written for them in mind.


Not true. The AP Style Guide was NOT written for the NY Times and Economist, and they DO NOT "always" follow the AP Style Guide.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@PotomacBob

Not true. The AP Style Guide was NOT written for the NY Times and Economist, and they DO NOT "always" follow the AP Style Guide.


Never said it was written for the NY Times. The AP Style Guide was written for journalists. The NY Times Style Guide started with the AP and was modified for their needs/quirks. I don't know about the Economist, but my guess is it's the same.

And that's true for publishers and the CMOS. I'm sure each one has their own, but the foundation is CMOS.

Dominions Son

@awnlee jawking

Judging by how much they charge, particularly for the latest edition, I would imagine CMS represents a significant source of income.


Not necessarily. The high price could also be a result of not printing that many copies so there are fewer economies of scale to bring the unit cost down. Which would imply that it's not a significant profit source.

Even if they have a high profit margin on each copy sold, that says nothing about the aggregate amount of income they get from CMOS without also knowing how many copies they sell.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

The NY Times Style Guide started with the AP and was modified for their needs/quirks.


Can you cite a source for that? According to what's on Wikipedia for the AP manual of style and the NYT manual of style, the AP style guide was first created in 1953, but the NTY style guide was created in 1950, three years before the AP guide.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AP_Stylebook
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_York_Times_Manual_of_Style_and_Usage

Even if there is such a direct relationship as you suggest, the timeline for both that Wikipedia has would suggest that the AP Stylebook started from the NYT Manual of Style rather than the other way around.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

Can you cite a source for that?


I read it somewhere, but I don't have the source to cite.

Bondi Beach
Updated:

@REP


You seem to have misunderstood my friend's belief.

She turns her clock forward 1 hour. Per her belief, she will lose 30 hours during the next 30 days because the days are now only 23 hours long.


I suspected such was the case, which was why I pointed out she was correct only for the first 24-hour period. ETA (Actually, I thought she meant she'd lose all the hours until the next time change.)

bb

Replies:   REP
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Dominions Son

Not necessarily. The high price could also be a result of not printing that many copies

OH, SHUT THE FUCK UP!

The various editions have sold over one-and-a-half million copies.

Do you really think they have sold that many by "focusing" on "academic writing"? Perhaps, somewhere along the way, they shifted their focus to become relevant to all types of nonfiction publishing - to sell more copies, dumbass.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Ross at Play


The various editions have sold over one-and-a-half million copies.


CMOS was first published in 1906, 111 years ago. 1.5 Million/111 = 13.5K copies/year. Am I supposed to be impressed by that?

At a $70 price tag, that's just $95K in gross revenue. Not exactly a big profit center for a University that claims to be a $5 billion enterprise.

https://budgetoffice.uchicago.edu/page/operating-budget


Or perhaps, somewhere along the way, they shifted their focus to become relevant to all types of nonfiction publishing to sell more copies.


That they expanded to cover other areas of writing doesn't prove, or even imply that academic writing doesn't remain the primary focus of the publisher in producing it.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Dominions Son

CMOS was first published in 1906, 111 years ago. 1.5 Million/111 = 13.5K copies/year. Am I supposed to be impressed by that?

YES! How many books about writing can you find which have sold more copies? I assure you, excluding other works by Strunk, there are not many.

A more relevant calculation would be total sales of about one million for editions 14 through 16, since the 14th edition was published in 1993.

You assert:

That they expanded to cover other areas of writing doesn't prove, or even imply that academic writing doesn't remain the primary focus of the publisher in producing it.

Have a taste of your own medicine ... You find anything they have said suggesting their focus is academic writing.

Crumbly Writer

@AmigaClone

I might consider actually using twenty-five hours a day, eight days a week in that situation.

The entire story unfolds over the course of eight days, with the final day the wrapup of the story. So she was busy on seven days, cleaned up on the eighth, and promptly retired to start on new business immediately afterward.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

I think 'all-day, every day' would solve that problem. And yes, dictionaries do agree that 'all-day' should be hyphenated.

The term was used by a police detective in a fit of anger trying to justify taking a single day off (Saturday) in the midst of an intense political investigation. The "twenty-four seven" works (as would "24/7"), but "all-day, every day" just doesn't carry the emotional impact necessary for the scene.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

Have a taste of your own medicine ... You find anything they have said suggesting their focus is academic writing.


http://www.press.uchicago.edu/press/about.html

Since its origins in 1890 as one of the three main divisions of the University of Chicago, the Press has embraced as its mission the obligation to disseminate scholarship of the highest standard and to publish serious works that promote education, foster public understanding, and enrich cultural life. Through our books and journals, we seek not only to advance scholarly conversation within and across traditional disciplines but, in keeping with the University of Chicago's experimental tradition, to help define new areas of knowledge and intellectual endeavor.

In addition to publishing the results of research for communities of scholars, the Press presents innovative scholarship in ways that inform and engage general readers. We develop reference works and educational texts that draw upon and support the emphases of our scholarly programs and that extend the intellectual reach of the Press.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

Informal writing is not the same thing as fiction.

Would you consider fiction a subset of informal writing?

It depends. Normally, but not always, the narration is formal whereas the dialogue depends on how each individual character speaks. However, recently the trend is to make the narrator informal as well. In my case, I always identify the narrator precisely so I KNOW how they'll speak and which inflections they'll use, which helps guide me in these choices.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

That explains SB's claim of a preference for the archaic m-dash - because CMS's rules for the ellipsis are utterly barking :(

Technically, the punctuation is called an "em-dash". It's only referred to as an "m-dash" in html code.

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

Perhaps there is logic behind CMS's ruling if, without the spaces, the three dots would be horribly scrunched up.

The other caveat is that CMOS requires work submitted to follow these rules, but the book's formatters and designers often manipulate it beyond that (such as modifying fonts or even substituting other characters). The key, though, is to take the formatting decisions out of the author's hands, leaving it up to the designers to decide what's most likely to sell more books. (Though personally, I doubt many designers would substitute a different font for each use of a text ellipse.)

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

When I was experimenting with making e-pubs I found not all the readers will display some printer marks properly. The two that stood out to me was the em-dash and ellipsis.

The reason for that, is many computers (PCs and Macs) use different characters for each, and they won't display properly on the other. The best fix for this, since epubs support most html commands, is to use the html commands — and &amp:hellip;. Those will display properly!

Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

A more relevant calculation would be total sales of about one million for editions 14 through 16, since the 14th edition was published in 1993.


That's impressive, but where are you getting those figures from? I'm not finding total sales numbers for 15 or 16 on either the University of Chicago press website or on http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/help-tools/about.html does indicate total sales of 500K for the 14th edition, though that's over more than a decade, it's impressive for a reference work.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

That's one change I made to "my" style guide from CMS. I use the ellipsis code. However, if I were to use the CMS method, I would use non-breaking spaces.

For you html noobies, that's " . . . ". (you ucan see why most prefer the much shorter "…", though if you cut and paste, you can convert everything at once and be done with it either way).

Ernest Bywater

People there's no need to argue about the Chicago Manual of Style.

Yes, it was originally developed for writing academic works (papers, journal articles, and books) and has since been expanded into other areas while its main focus is still academic works. It sells lots of copies simply because it's the main choice of almost all the US tertiary education institutions for students to use when preparing assignments and other documents for their studies. because so many people are taught to use it in their tertiary studies many of them carry that over as the main or only source for where they work later. That bodes well for CMoS being in demand.

While CMoS is very good for academic and business writing it's not so good for fiction writing due more to its focus on formal and technically correct English than the looser styles of English best suited for fiction stories, than it's focus on academic works.

Thus CMoS is a good start point I don't regard it as being all that great for fiction writing.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

The reason for that, is many computers (PCs and Macs) use different characters for each, and they won't display properly on the other. The best fix for this, since epubs support most html commands, is to use the html commands — and &:hellip;. Those will display properly!


Except that means you have issues with having to do extra work to make different versions, something I wish to minimise, so I don't use those options.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

I basically use the ellipsis for trailing off voice. But I do, on rare occasions, use it for a longer pause than a comma. And on very rare occasions, to leave out words. For example, I ended a chapter with an ellipsis when the POV character fell asleep. This is how I used it to end a chapter:

When you end a sentence with an ellipse, you lead it with a single space. The em-dash is also used (only in fiction) to separate and highlight thoughts separate from the rest of the sentence. I find this particularly useful in foreshadowing. By throwing in a short divergence, the em-dash drills it into the reader's mind, then they're more likely (slightly) to remember after the fact than if you merely use commas.

The other use of the ellipse is when someone hesitates during dialogue (ex: "I was about to say — where did I put that thing?"). That's distinct from a 'longer pause than a comma', as it's specifically a dramatic pause' for effect, and deserves to be treated separately.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

Some of these in-house style guides have been around for a very long time with no particular reason to change them. At the time the NY Times and The Economist devised theirs, the cost of paper, ink, and type-setting were significant - thus they found every possible way to eliminate every character that were not essential.

That's true, but the only time that commas significantly impact cost was back when they required their own type block, and then it was additional labor cost and not paper or ink costs.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

The main point I was making in my post was that I found the e-book readers and their software don't always display the special characters for an m-dash or an ellipsis properly.

They must be VERY old e-book readers, as the ebook standard states they must support those features. They don't support every html command, and offer some that html doesn't (ex: "", but they support most of the main ones (i.e. the e-readers must predate the last several epub standards).

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

The Chicago Manual of Style is written by the Chicago University Press and its primary focus is formal academic writing.

That's it's primary usage, but most major publishing houses use it as their go-to source, and so it's also used in most fiction too.

The problem is, CMOS, until recently, conflated and confused the fiction and non-fiction uses of different uses, so it was hard to figure out which to use. However, they've cleaned up many of those issues over the years.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

That's true, but the only time that commas significantly impact cost was back when they required their own type block, and then it was additional labor cost and not paper or ink costs.


That makes me curious, was there ever a time where block type was used and commas did not require their own block?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

but most major publishing houses use it as their go-to source, and so it's also used in most fiction too


That says nothing about the focus or concerns of the people who make it. That's what I'm interested in. Personally I don't care what the dead tree publishers do.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

I think the CMS pronouncement on ellipses shows it has moved far beyond its original scope. No doubt I'll be proved wrong as soon as I post this, but I can't imagine any requirement for an ellipsis in an academic paper.

Wrong. In academic and newspaper uses, the ellisis is used to denote missing text, such as when you cut out parts of quoted speech which don't directly apply to the topic. The uses are different for fiction and non-fiction, but the punctuation is still used in both.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

I've seen you make a lot of moronic, irrelevant statements here, but that one tops them all.

Now, now, play nice boys. Ross, you just finished saying you wished we could discuss issues without jumping down each other's throats. That works in both directions.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@REP

I would disagree. To me, informal writing is me writing a letter to a friend.

Also, most blogs, facebook posts and twitter tweets.

Crumbly Writer

@REP

Not exactly true. I write my stories using MS Word. Word has a single character for an ellipse. However, SOL's converter program has a problem translating this single character. The result is garbaged text. I now use three periods (full stops) without spaces.

I have NO problem using them. But then, I convert my WORD documents to html, and have WORD substitute the proper html commands for the punctuations marks. I've been publishing that way for years, including foreign language using various non-English punctuation marks and alternate alphabets.

SOL is very forgiving.

Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

I use three periods as an ellipsis all the time - I dare say I'm the uncrowned king of the ellipsis - and SOL's wizard never broke them apart.

Until recently, the SOL processor would CHANGE ellipses into three dots. However, Lazeez finally allowed SOL to print the … command, so now there's no problem using them (aside from the "Reply to" function, which still doesn't support html commands.

helmut_meukel

@Dominions Son

Academic papers often quote other papers, and if you have a longish quote with material in the middle not relevant to your paper, that's reason to use an ellipsis.


Right, but that's done this way: [...]
Using just an ellipsis would be ambivalent.
If already used in the original paper it's ... , to denote you ommitted some original text in your quote you have to use square brackets around the ellipsis.

HM.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@helmut_meukel

Right, but that's done this way: [...]
Using just an ellipsis would be ambivalent.
If already used in the original paper it's ... , to denote you ommitted some original text in your quote you have to use square brackets around the ellipsis.


No, you wouldn't do that. Academic papers don't quote quotes from other papers, only material that is original to the paper being quoted.

In the kind of situation you describe, in an academic context, you would be expected to quote the original paper.

Replies:   helmut_meukel
Zom

@REP

Word has a single character for an ellipse

It is an ellipsis (plural ellipses), not an ellipse.

An ellipse is a curve in a plane surrounding two focal points such that the sum of the distances to the two focal points is constant for every point on the curve, not three dots.

Replies:   REP
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

"all-day, every day" just doesn't carry the emotional impact necessary for the scene.

I can see that.

helmut_meukel

@Dominions Son

No, you wouldn't do that. Academic papers don't quote quotes from other papers, only material that is original to the paper being quoted.


Did I write the quoted text was a quote?
There are even in academic papers uses for an ellipsis in the original text e.g. using an ellipsis as last entry of an enumeration.
To distinguish my ommitting of text from an ellipsis already in the quoted text I use square brackets around my ellipsis.

HM.

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

That's impressive, but where are you getting those figures from?

As I said before:

You are wasting the time of others pursuing a stupid argument and I feel disinclined to make that easier for you by handing you evidence on a platter.

I somebody else asks me nicely enough, I'll point out the figures to them.

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

It depends. Normally, but not always, the narration is formal whereas the dialogue depends on how each individual character speaks. However, recently the trend is to make the narrator informal as well.


I'd say, LESS formal. Like contractions are allowed.

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

The best fix for this, since epubs support most html commands, is to use the html commands — and &:hellip;. Those will display properly!


Does Calibre convert them to their HTML equivalents?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

the only time that commas (really mattered) was additional labor cost and not paper or ink costs.

I've no reason to doubt that labour was the most significant of those costs back then.
The point of my post was that the choices for in-house style guides of some newspapers were made for historical reasons, when the cost of extra commas would have been significant. They still tend to be miserly about every extra character used because there's no necessity to change their style.
That's why I would not consider using the style guide of any newspaper for fiction.

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

but the only time that commas significantly impact cost was back when they required their own type block, and then it was additional labor cost and not paper or ink costs.


Not sure if the costs were all of the above. From http://www.arcticllama.com/blog/writing-tips/grammar/ap-style-oxford-comma/

The only explanation for the Associated Press to continue this charade is consistency. The guide is 60 years old, and when they first started publishing it, every character cost money to print. If there was any way to eliminate one it was worth it. So, the serial, or Oxford comma, was eliminated and money was saved without anyone being able to complain about it being wrong.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

@DS
If the Chicago University Press switched to an outside style guide for it's own publications, they would likely stop publishing CMOS at all.

@Ross at Play
I've seen you make a lot of moronic, irrelevant statements here, but that one tops them all.

@CW
Now, now, play nice boys. Ross, you just finished saying you wished we could discuss issues without jumping down each other's throats.

CW, that ship sailed long before I gave up on playing nice.

I make no apologies for using sarcasm when someone is repeatedly making statements with no concern for their accuracy: just the latest idea that pops into their head that seemingly supports their argument and has an air of plausibility. When that becomes systemic, I regard it as showing malicious intent and I respond accordingly when it is directed at me.

This exchange with DS has not angered me as some in the past have; it has amused me to see how many blatant falsehoods I could gather by continuing to return every I receive from the bear. If DS insists, I am ready to put a list of statements he has made here under the microscope.

*

You think my description of 'moronic' and 'irrelevant' was unjustified? Did you think about what his statement actually said?

I contend it would have been less moronic and less irrelevant if DS had stated instead:

If pigs could fly, that would prove I was God.


At least for that statement the hypothetical part of an if-statement has some way of being tested. The second part would then become relevant to this discussion. If pigs do start flying, I will concede DS is God, and I would accept all statements he has ever made as infallible - even the ones which contradict each other.

Read what he said carefully, "If the Chicago University Press switched to an outside style guide for it's own publications ..." Excuse me while I check for blizzards in the weather forecast of Hell. And if the practically impossible did happen, why would the necessary consequence be what he so blithely asserts?

That statement was nothing more than a moronic hypothetical invented solely because he was determined to continue arguing, no matter what, and he had nothing relevant to say.

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

http://www.press.uchicago.edu/press/about.html

Since its origins in 1890 as one of the three main divisions of the University of Chicago, the Press has embraced as its mission ...

That would have been relevant if your original statement had asserted the focus of UCP, as opposed to 'CMOS', was to further academic scholarship, as opposed to 'academic writing'.
I would not have been fussed if you had said, "the focus of CMOS was to further academic scholarship," but when CMOS focuses on writing it is targeting sales to all types of formal writers, and some poor suckers among informal writers who can't find anything better.
The "mission" of the publisher does not imply every publication it makes is limited to that mission - certainly the fiction it publishes is not.
I estimate that about 4% of books it has published since 2000 are fiction. Do you think the other 96% is entirely academic works, or just perhaps, they publish a significant percentage of non-academic non-fiction too.
This statement in what you quoted strongly suggests to me that is so:

In addition to publishing the results of research for communities of scholars, the Press presents innovative scholarship in ways that inform and engage general readers.

I interpret that as saying they actively go beyond 'communities of scholars' seeking authors capable of presenting scholarly ideas 'in ways that inform and engage general readers.'

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

The only explanation for the Associated Press to continue this charade is consistency.

Whoa, SB! Please don't get CW going again on the validity (as opposed to 'charade') of the non-serial comma style. :-)

I'm sure CW would concede that - when wielded by inexperienced or careless writers - the non-serial comma style is more prone to allowing potential ambiguities to slip through undetected. But the AP guide is intended for journalists, hopefully with the expertise to detect such problems and rework their writing accordingly, and any they miss should be detected by very experienced editors checking for precisely those kinds of things.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

I interpret that as saying they actively go beyond 'communities of scholars' seeking authors capable of presenting scholarly ideas 'in ways that inform and engage general readers.'


I said academic writing was their primary focus, I never said it was their only focus.

Yes they go beyond 'communities of scholars', but that doesn't make the beyond the primary focus. If the beyond was the primary focus that would imply that the beyond was more important to them than the 'communities of scholars'. I don't see anything to justify such a conclusion.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Ross at Play


The "mission" of the publisher does not imply every publication it makes is limited to that mission - certainly the fiction it publishes is not.


Actually in can be. Professors at modern universities are expected to publish. A professor in a music program might be expected to publish musical composition. Likewise a professor of literature might be expected to publish some literature.

I estimate that about 4% of books it has published since 2000 are fiction.


From what? I did a search for "fiction" on the UCP books page. maybe one item was possibly actual fiction rather than scholarly work about fiction.

Do you think the other 96% is entirely academic works, or just perhaps, they publish a significant percentage of non-academic non-fiction too.


A lot depends on what you consider significant. I wouldn't consider 4% particularly significant. I would be surprised if they publish much more non-academic non-fiction than that.

Replies:   Ross at Play
REP

@Bondi Beach

You got it. According to her she loses 1 hour a day until the next time change. I think that comes out to about 150 hours a year.

Replies:   helmut_meukel
REP

@Zom

Ah, caught by the grammar Nazis for a typo.

helmut_meukel

@REP

You got it. According to her she loses 1 hour a day until the next time change. I think that comes out to about 150 hours a year.


She should be happy about this, her aging is slowed down by one hour every day!

HM.

Replies:   REP
REP

@helmut_meukel

Probably very happy since she is over 90.

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

I will prepare a detailed response to that post but I want to take enough time to ensure it says precisely what I want.

Zom

@REP

Ah, caught by the grammar Nazis for a typo.

It wasn't just you, but, sadly, you were the first. When I saw others in the thread following suit, I just had to open my big ugly gob. I am a bit anal like that.

awnlee_jawking

@Crumbly Writer

That's it's primary usage, but most major publishing houses use it as their go-to source, and so it's also used in most fiction too.


There's that claim again, but when I tried to verify it from their websites, each publishing house appeared to have its own in-house style guide.

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
awnlee jawking

@REP

Ah, caught by the grammar Nazis for a typo.


Perhaps your brain had a temporary eclipse ;)

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  REP
Bondi Beach

@robberhands

Isn't the passing of time relative for all of us?


Definitely. There's nothing like being under for surgery that takes only ten minutes from start to wakeup. Piece of cake. Until your wife tells you she's been sitting beside you for 3 hours or so ...

Or your wife or daughter after "only" 18 hours of labor, which felt like about 200 years to them.

bb

BlacKnight

@Switch Blayde

Can those end up being broken, like 2 dots at the end of a line and 1 dot on the next line?


With default line-break and hyphenation settings, web browsers may insert line breaks between the periods, but they'll prefer putting the line break at whitespace if at all possible, so it only actually happens in degenerate cases - a single word longer than the line immediately followed by the ellipsis.

It is possible with CSS to set it to only break at whitespace, so even in degenerate cases, it won't break in the middle of the ellipsis. Or to prefer hyphenating the word, though I've found browser support for the hyphenation settings to be iffy.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  REP
Ross at Play

I tried submitting a question at the CMOS websire.
http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/qanda/submitaquestion.html

I received a detailed (enough) answer very quickly, but it essentially says they have no opinion.

I'm sorry that CMOS doesn't cover these specific issues. A sensible guideline for writing dialogue would be to follow the same rules used for regular text unless this would obscure the way the character is meant to say the word or number (if there is more than one possibility and if it matters).

Periods may be used for this purpose, although they are not Chicago style {What? You took him to the A.S.P.C.A.?} Hyphens can also help show how to speak a word or number {not in front of the b-a-b-y!} {that's Murray Hill 5-9-9-7-5}.

Since each instance calls for judgment, there will inevitably be disagreement!

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

Since each instance calls for judgment, there will inevitably be disagreement!


Was he talking about this forum?

Replies:   Ross at Play  REP
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Switch Blayde

Was he talking about this forum?

Ha. Ha.

SB, will you tell me what you do for something that seems like a dilemma to me - and this is all within dialogue.
I would have no problem writing all of these as acronyms: USA, FBI, NASA, UNESCO.
But that feels like an anomaly. For the first two the speaker would spell out the acronym. For the others the speaker would have pronounced it as if a word. That seems inconsistent. How is a reader to know which acronyms were spelled out and which were pronounced as a word?
To be consistent, I think the first two should be written as 'U-S-A' and 'F-B-I'. But that seems extreme and very likely to aggravate readers.
OTOH, for less well-known acronyms I would use hyphens, for example, 'W-H-O' for the World Health Organisation.
It seems as if the implicit judgement calls I am making are that an acronym must be very well-known before I would write it without hyphens.

Your thoughts, mein guru.

richardshagrin

@Ross at Play

'W-H-O' for the World Health Organisation.


Who's on first?

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Except that means you have issues with having to do extra work to make different versions, something I wish to minimise, so I don't use those options.

He was mentioning his avoiding using the ellipsis in epubs. I was pointing out that epubs support the necessary html commands, and that usage is available anywhere with modern browsers. That has nothing to do with alternate versions of a book. It only addresses his epubs.

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

That makes me curious, was there ever a time where block type was used and commas did not require their own block?

I'm hardly an expert on block printing, but I doubt it, as it would involve adding commas to each word, complicating the entire process with hundreds to thousands of additional blocks.

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

That says nothing about the focus or concerns of the people who make it. That's what I'm interested in. Personally I don't care what the dead tree publishers do.

My point was merely that the CMOS does address most fiction uses, and that the biggest names in publishing trust it explicitly.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Does Calibre convert them to their HTML equivalents?

I'm not sure, as WORD converts them before I ever reach that stage. I'm guessing they don't, which is why the poster I was responding to had issues with his generated epubs.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

Whoa, SB! Please don't get CW going again on the validity (as opposed to 'charade') of the non-serial comma style. :-)

I'm sure CW would concede that - when wielded by inexperienced or careless writers - the non-serial comma style is more prone to allowing potential ambiguities to slip through undetected. But the AP guide is intended for journalists, hopefully with the expertise to detect such problems and rework their writing accordingly, and any they miss should be detected by very experienced editors checking for precisely those kinds of things.

I couldn't have said it better myself.

Crumbly Writer

@REP

Ah, caught by the grammar Nazis for a typo.

I'm curious, is there a "grammar socialist", or a "grammar ally"? This constant harping on "grammar nazi"s get exhausting after a while.

Replies:   Dominions Son  REP
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee_jawking

There's that claim again, but when I tried to verify it from their websites, each publishing house appeared to have its own in-house style guide.

Each of which is derived from and consists primarily of CMOS content, with select formatting requirments for each publisher (like the inclusion of serial commas).

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

Ah, caught by the grammar Nazis for a typo.

Perhaps your brain had a temporary eclipse

Would that be a "Nazalipse"?

Replies:   richardshagrin
Crumbly Writer

@BlacKnight

It is possible with CSS to set it to only break at whitespace, so even in degenerate cases, it won't break in the middle of the ellipsis. Or to prefer hyphenating the word, though I've found browser support for the hyphenation settings to be iffy.

Not just browser support. I've heard that epubs don't support   usage in ellipses (it won't break where you tell it to). Thus I've given up on the non-breaking usage in most documents.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

Your thoughts, mein guru.


For something like FBI, I write it as "FBI". The reader would say the letters in his head as he's reading them and know what it is. With NASA, it's common enough for the reader to say the word while reading it. But if the character is spelling it, I'd separate each letter with a hyphen. For example,

"I work for the FBI."
"The what?"
"C'mon, the F-B-I."

helmut_meukel

@Ross at Play

I would have no problem writing all of these as acronyms: USA, FBI, NASA, UNESCO.
But that feels like an anomaly. For the first two the speaker would spell out the acronym. For the others the speaker would have pronounced it as if a word. That seems inconsistent. How is a reader to know which acronyms were spelled out and which were pronounced as a word?


U.S.A., F.B.I., NASA, UNESCO, NATO

HM.

awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

Of the big five, according to their websites two definitely don't have style guides based on CMS. Of the other three, I was unable to find a definitive answer from their websites, although the UK subsidiary of one of them uses a style guide based on that of The Economist.

Based on the diverse and contradictory usages of ellipses and m-dashes I found in the four novels I surveyed yesterday, even if the other publishers base their style guides on CMS, they don't enforce its recommendations at all strictly.

AJ

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


Does Calibre convert them to their HTML equivalents?

I'm not sure, as WORD converts them before I ever reach that stage.


I input my Word docx into Calibre so Word wouldn't convert my ellipsis to &hellip

I'm assuming Calibre puts < i > around words that are italicized in my Word docx. So I was wondering what it did with special characters, like the ellipsis and em-dash.

awnlee jawking

@helmut_meukel

U.S.A., F.B.I., NASA, UNESCO, NATO


I say SOL, but judging by the number of people who prefix it by 'an', a large number should probably use S.O.L.

AJ

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

Not just browser support. I've heard that epubs don't support


Really? Wow!

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

I'm curious, is there a "grammar socialist", or a "grammar ally"? This constant harping on "grammar nazi"s get exhausting after a while.


Don't forget the "grammar anarchists". :)

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

OTOH, for less well-known acronyms I would use hyphens, for example, 'W-H-O' for the World Health Organisation.

Rather than using hyphens, I prefer introducing what it stands for through follow-up dialogue. There are less awkward approaches available to fiction authors rather than hyphenating individual letters.

It seems as if the implicit judgement calls I am making are that an acronym must be very well-known before I would write it without hyphens.

I agree with that, as it prevents random authors from arbitrarily introducing nonstandard, unaccepted abbreviations. In these cases, it's best to play it safe, rather than accepting every single abbreviation.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Not just browser support. I've heard that epubs don't support

Really? Wow!

Let me qualify that. I can't remember the original citation, so I'm unsure whether epubs support it or not (it seems logical they would), but I KNOW that Amazon doesn't support it! As a result of Amazon and others who process WORD documents themselves, I've generally stopped including it in my base documents.

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

Does Calibre convert them to their HTML equivalents?
I'm not sure, as WORD converts them before I ever reach that stage. I'm guessing they don't, which is why the poster I was responding to had issues with his generated epubs.


I went into Calibre's editor. The ellipsis and em-dash are not &hellip and &mdash, respectively. They are the actual characters.

So to Ernest's point, will they not show properly on some e-readers?

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

I went to Calibre's editor. The ellipsis and em-dash are not &hellip and &mdash, respectively. They are the actual characters.

So to Ernest's point, will they not show properly on some e-readers?

Just double checked my own Calibre files, which took a while, since my entire Calibre library mysteriously vanished! Despite explicitly coding html commands for everything, publish marks, curly quotes, Style defintion and everything else, Calibre converts everything back to plain text.

I believe my Calibre files display properly on each device, but now I'm no longer sure. I may have to try them on my Mac laptop to be sure.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@helmut_meukel

U.S.A., F.B.I., NASA, UNESCO, NATO

There does seem to be a simple logic and consistency about that style. :-)

Also, I can see a case for sometimes using hyphens in things like:
The crowd chanted U-S-A.
Not in front of the b-a-b-y!
That's Murray Manor 6-6-6, 5-9-9-7-5.

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

The general rule is that dialogue, versus the narrative, focuses on what's said, thus you're capturing what's expressly pronounced, rather than what's commonly accepted.

I'm going to 'do an AJ' on you.
You keep on saying that, but I cannot recall seeing it written anywhere except here.
Can you identify any reference which actually says that is the general principle?

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


So to Ernest's point, will they not show properly on some e-readers?


Before I get to answering this question I'll mention how I create the story files.

1. I write the story in Libre Office in a pre-formatted 6 x 9 inch book layout and save the file as an ODT.

2. I use Libre Office to create a print ready PDF by clicking on the icon for that.

3. Then I save another ODT copy of the file where I remove the footers, headers, contents index and

3.a. I also save it as HTML.

4. I import the cut ODT directly into Calibre to make the EPUB and get the display result I want.

5. I then work on the HTML copy to strip the excess format code to create the file to upload to SoL and for my own use as a basic HTML file.

NB: I did try importing this file through Calibre and it didn't give the wanted display result.

If I drop making a print ready PDF I could write the story then import the ODT file into Calibre to make the EPUB before I save as HTML to create that file.

.....................

I just created a test file where I did the 3 types of ellipsis, saved it and imported it into Calibre to create an EPUB and also created a HTML file of it. Send me an email if you want a copy of the result, however they displayed as three dots with the following differences.

1. 3 full stops were like you expect with no space around them

2. 3 spaced full stops had a full character space between them

3. the U2026 ellipsis special character had 3 full stops with a half a character space between them.

This is how they appear on both the ODT and EPUB files.

The actual code behind the EPUB does not show the HTML characters CW mentioned before, just what the text looked like on the page of both the files. The same is true for the file I saved as HTML. So it seems the software doesn't automatically convert the Unicode characters to HTML special characters code.

I could probably get the results CW mentioned if I wanted to hand code the special HTML code into the text, but the current system doesn't require me to add extra code by hand and I'm reluctant to put in the extra work to do it.

.............................

When I was investigating the best way to make an EPUB, a few years back, I used two E-book reader programs on my system and my brother and some friends viewed the EPUB files on an Apple iBook, a Kindle, and some generic e-book readers. I forget which it was that failed to display the special characters in the test files, but two of the 6 test systems didn't display properly. That's also how I found out some of them have display issues with heading locations and text colours.

typo edit

richardshagrin

@Crumbly Writer

grammar Nazis

Are they opposed to Orange Jews?

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@richardshagrin

Grammar Nazis are little old ladies from the Third Reich with 2nd generation descendants.

They usually come paired with grampar Nazis:)

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin

@Dominions Son

Grammar Nazis are little old ladies from the Third Reich with 2nd generation descendants.

So they were born before 1946? Most of the first generation would have been born before 1986 when the ladies were 40 or or older. If their grandchild Nazis were born before 2000, so they were a grandma before that date. There weren't a lot of Nazis before say 1930. If one reproduced in the early 1930s, their offspring would likely have reproduced in the late 1940s or 1950s. That takes the first grandchild nazi to a birthday in the 1970s. Grandma Nazis are likely in their 70s or older. So we won't have a lot of them left in a few years, and even fewer grampar Nazis.

I doubt we will miss them.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@Dominions Son

Don't forget the "grammar anarchists". :)

They are easily overlooked because they always say they're "grammar libertarians", but however must they doth protest, the rest of us know they are a bunch of heretical grammar anarchists.

So what do others here give as their brief self-introduction at speed-dating events for socially-inept (implied!) wannabe authors? Mine is, Politics: liberal on economic issues, hard left on social issues; Grammar: conservative; Religion: equal-opportunity despiser of them all. There has not yet been one time when someone has heard that and did not immediately respond with, "NEXT!"

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

So what do others here give as their brief self-introduction at speed-dating events for socially-inept (implied!) wannabe authors?


You should indulge in some kittenfishing if you want more success.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

You should indulge in some kittenfishing if you want more success.

My first thought is what the heck is 'kittenfishing'. It sounds like hunting for an underage pussy to me. :-)

Okay, so I've learned 'kittenfishing' means "presenting yourself on a dating app in an unrealistically positive way". I thought that was already covered by the definition of 'using' a dating app.

Sadly, I'm a terrible liar.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@Dominions Son

DS, I warned you explicitly.

If DS insists, I am ready to put a list of statements [the ones I had just labelled as 'blatant falsehoods'] he has made here under the microscope.

Taking the gloves off did not work. Let's see how you cope after I put my knuckledusters on!

To everybody else … You're all, no doubt, befuddled by how a disagreement over something so trivial – so mind-blowingly irrelevant to absolutely anything – could generate such hostility. That's understandable. But this has never been a fight about what the "primary focus" of CMOS is. It's just another skirmish in the undeclared war between DS and I that has been brewing for a very long time. Actually, it is the fact it is so trivial that allows me to conclude a hot war is inevitable – and I always prefer to get those started immediately.

Just for the record … this is how I see our current disagreement …

The statement which set it off was when DS said this:

The Chicago Manual of Style is written by the Chicago University Press and it's primary focus is formal academic writing.

I would certainly agree the "primary focus" of the University of Chicago Press (UCP) is on something "academic". The expression I would use is "academic scholarship", by which I mean UCP focuses on publishing works that will enhance the quest for knowledge within academia, but publishes such works written both inside and outside academia. DS provide a quote by UCP saying its "mission" included publishing works that "engage general readers", but somehow – you go figure – he thinks they expect to achieve that with a 'primary focus [on] formal academic writing'. We all know how crowded the 'Books by Academics' Section of book stores always is.

I thought my initial post was innocuous enough.

I disagree that its focus is on academic writing. It has sections covering everything that should be included between the front and back covers of all types of books.

Hoping to avoid another fight over something stupid, I went on with something hoping to provide him face-saving excuse to just let this one through to the keeper.

You might be confusing it with the ubiquitous place Strunk's other effort, The Elements of Style, has within American academia. I saw a figure once that it is included in the reading list for 90% of all university courses across the country.

The assertion by DS that CMOS's primary focus is formal academic writing is simply baseless. I would say its entire focus is on publishing, specifically of formal writing of all types.
This is how the home page of its online site describes itself.

The Chicago Manual of Style Online is the venerable, time-tested guide to style, usage, and grammar in an accessible online format. It is the indispensable reference for writers, editors, proofreaders, indexers, copywriters, designers, and publishers, informing the editorial canon with sound, definitive advice.
- from http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/home.html

If DS ever reads anything we post here, as opposed to scanning posts for what he wants to see, he will be shaking his head right now. "How can that be?" he squirms. "It lists seven different professions for which it is 'the indispensable reference' – and not one of them is even remotely 'academic'!"

The hard copy version of the 16th Edition begins with an over 200-page-long "PART ONE: THE PUBLISHING PROCESS". Is anything in that relevant to "academic writing" but not equally relevant to other types of formal writing? I've studied the index pretty thoroughly and my conclusions are: None!; Nyet!; Nada!; Gotcha!, you loathsome serial pest!

MY CHALLENGE ...

Can you find ANYTHING* in CMOS that is relevant to "academic writing" but not equally relevant to other types of formal writing?

* I found a few trivial points in Chapter 14, Documentation I: Notes and Bibliography. You may list them if you wish, as far as I'm concerned, but I think you'd only convince others you're a fool if you suggest they constitute any sort of evidence CMOS has any focus at all on, specifically, academic writing.

* * *

But none of that matters to me, nor to others here, nor, I have no doubt, to you. This fight is really about the under-handed tactics you constantly employ once you become embroiled in "debates" here. Others may be willing to mostly suffer in silence: judging their life is easier if they try to ignore you once you start in on one of your mind games. I do not doubt their wisdom in deciding that is best for them.

I'm constantly amazed by the capacity of humans for 'learned helplessness' when abuse seems inevitable – but I'm not like the character Reek in Game of Thrones. It is not best for me to suffer in silence indefinitely – and no amount of wishing it were could make it so. Once it's been proven kowtowing to a bully is my only alternative, I always prefer to be honest and open about the fact that a relationship is openly antagonistic and mutually contemptuous.

In my next instalment I will closely examine the way you "debate" issues here. I will 'name the behaviours' for precisely what they are. I expect some others will find it illuminating: to finally see, and have a name for, exactly what it is you do that drives them so crazy, so frequently.

TO BE CONTINUED …

* * *

Just to clear away a few outstanding issues before the fun begins …

I have mentioned several times that UCP has a significant catalogue of fiction, 197 by my count. DS has responded along these lines several times.

I did a search for "fiction" on the UCP books page. maybe one item was possibly actual fiction rather than scholarly work about fiction.

It's not particularly difficult to navigate from the UCP home page to that calalogue. The selections required are: BOOKS, Browse by: SUBJECT, Literature and Literary Criticism, Fiction. I got there by selecting the first result from a Google search for "university chicago press fiction".

If that's representative of your internet research skills you should start saying you cannot find something, rather than asserting it does not exist, when you look for something and come up empty.

*

I stated earlier that total sales of CMOS since 1993 were about one million. That is based on statements on the UCP website that (a) total sales of all editions are currently over 1.5 million, and (b) sales of the 14th edition were "over half a million … taking total sales over one million".

*

When I mentioned the figure before, CMOS had sold about a million copies since 1993, DS responded with:

That's impressive, but where are you getting those figures from?

Given that he did me the courtesy of replacing his previous "I suspect their sales are low" with "That's impressive", I owe him an apology for not doing him the courtesy of responding with a thank you.

Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

Can you find ANYTHING* in CMOS that is relevant to "academic writing" but not equally relevant to other types of formal writing?


Chapter 15: Documentation II: Author-Date References

The author-date system is used by many in the physical, natural, and social sciences and is recommended by Chicago for works in those areas.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

I have read your reply.

REP

@awnlee jawking

Perhaps your brain had


That assumes it is engaged and capable of moving out of the shadow created by my critics. :)

REP

@BlacKnight

Is there a difference between the spaces between three periods and a single space between the period ending one sentence and the start of the next sentence?

Replies:   BlacKnight
REP

@Switch Blayde

Was he talking about this forum?


Nah - We all know exactly what the other person is saying and agree with it. :)

REP

@Crumbly Writer

is there a "grammar socialist", or a "grammar ally"


Probably, but they avoid getting involved here. :)

helmut_meukel
Updated:

@Ross at Play


@Dominions Son

In my next instalment I will closely examine the way you "debate" issues here. I will 'name the behaviours' for precisely what they are. I expect some others will find it illuminating: to finally see, and have a name for, exactly what it is you do that drives them so crazy, so frequently.


I've already seen what he does. Earlier in this thread I tried to correct one of his remarks and stirred up his ire.

Most readers may not have got it due to the many postings to other subthreads between, so here are they again, cosecutive and without ommittings or additions. See for yourself:

Dominions Son 25.11.2017, 19:06:45

@awnlee jawking

No doubt I'll be proved wrong as soon as I post this, but I can't imagine any requirement for an ellipsis in an academic paper.


Academic papers often quote other papers, and if you have a longish quote with material in the middle not relevant to your paper, that's reason to use an ellipsis.

Replies: helmut_meukel

------------

helmut_meukel 26.11.2017, 05:24:03

@Dominions Son

Academic papers often quote other papers, and if you have a longish quote with material in the middle not relevant to your paper, that's reason to use an ellipsis.


Right, but that's done this way: [...]

Using just an ellipsis would be ambivalent.

If already used in the original paper it's ... , to denote you ommitted some original text in your quote you have to use square brackets around the ellipsis.

HM.

Replies: Dominions Son

------------

Dominions Son 26.11.2017, 05:28:10

@helmut_meukel

Right, but that's done this way: [...]

Using just an ellipsis would be ambivalent.

If already used in the original paper it's ... , to denote you ommitted some original text in your quote you have to use square brackets around the ellipsis.


No, you wouldn't do that. Academic papers don't quote quotes from other papers, only material that is original to the paper being quoted.

In the kind of situation you describe, in an academic context, you would be expected to quote the original paper.

Replies: helmut_meukel

------------

helmut_meukel 26.11.2017, 06:07:45

@Dominions Son

No, you wouldn't do th at. Academic papers don't quote quotes from other papers, only material that is original to the paper being quoted.


Did I write the quoted text was a quote?

There are even in academic papers uses for an ellipsis in the original text e.g. using an ellipsis as last entry of an enumeration.

To distinguish my ommitting of text from an ellipsis already in the quoted text I use square brackets around my ellipsis.

HM.

------------

[end of copied postings]

------------

You see how he claims I wrote about quoting from quotes.

After some research I realized that using the ellipsis enclosed in brackets to distinguish between me ommitting some text from a quote and an ellipsis already in the quoted original text isn't so common in English than in other languages (French, Spanish, German, Polish ...), so DS may not have known this usage.

I found this however:


The Modern Language Association (MLA) used to indicate that an ellipsis must include spaces before and after each dot in all uses. If an ellipsis is meant to represent an omission, square brackets must surround the ellipsis to make it clear that there was no pause in the original quote: [ . . . ]. Currently, the MLA has removed the requirement of brackets in its style handbooks. However, some maintain that the use of brackets is still correct because it clears confusion.[9]

The MLA now indicates that a three-dot, spaced ellipsis ( … ) should be used for removing material from within one sentence within a quote. When crossing sentences (when the omitted text contains a period, so that omitting the end of a sentence counts), a four-dot, spaced (except for before the first dot) ellipsis (. . . . ) should be used. When ellipsis points are used in the original text, ellipsis points that are not in the original text should be distinguished by enclosing them in square brackets (e.g. "text […] text").[10]


The change in mind creates confusion, especially the last sentence. To be certain of the requirement – no ellipsis in the original text – you would have to scan the whole original text. If restricted to the quoted text, the advise will create additional confusion if I use more than one quote from the same or different original texts, some containing an ellipsis in the origial text some not and I quote the full text containing an ellipsis and in the next quote I ommit some text without using brackets around my ellipsis, because this quoted text didn't contain an ellipsis originally.

Consistency demands to allways use brackets around the ellipsis for ommitting text within quotes.

HM.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@helmut_meukel

When crossing sentences (when the omitted text contains a period, so that omitting the end of a sentence counts), a four-dot, spaced (except for before the first dot) ellipsis (. . . . ) should be used.


I don't have the patience to interpret what that means, but I found a situation where I have four dots in my current novel during editing. And I think it's correct to be 4 dots.

The protagonist see's a wedding ring on someone's finger. His voice trails off when he addresses her because he doesn't know her last name.

"Please have a seat, Mrs.…?"

So it's really a dot (for Mrs.) plus an ellipsis, but it's basically 4 dots.

helmut_meukel
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


"Please have a seat, Mrs.…?"

So it's really a dot (for Mrs.) plus an ellipsis, but it's basically 4 dots.


How would you write it if the name is known?

Mrs.Franklin or Mrs. Franklin? I've a blackout and can't remember how it's done in English. In German it's usually "Frau Meier" or less frequently "Fr. Meier", in German I would write "Fr. ...?".

In your example I would write "Please have a seat, Mrs. ...?"

HM.

Just a final thought (after posting my answer): make this space an non-breakable space to avoid a line break there.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
BlacKnight
Updated:

@REP


Is there a difference between the spaces between three periods and a single space between the period ending one sentence and the start of the next sentence?


Not as far as the browser's concerned. If you put spaces between the periods in an ellipsis, the browser will treat them like any other whitespace, and feel free to put line breaks there. If you're going to put spaces in, do it like so: .&nbsp;.&nbsp;.

(&nbsp; is the "non-breaking space" HTML entity, specifically intended for putting in spaces that it won't line-break at. It's a space that isn't treated as whitespace for purposes of collapsing whitespace or figuring out where to line-break.)

Without spaces, it may insert line breaks between periods if it absolutely has to, but it will prefer breaking at whitespace if it can.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@helmut_meukel


I would write "Please have a seat, Mrs. ...?"


That actually looks better. But, unlike CMOS, I don't put space between the ellipsis and the last word in trailing off dialogue.

And if he knew her last name it wouldn't be a question.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

So it's really a dot (for Mrs.) plus an ellipsis, but it's basically 4 dots.

I'll do some research for you later on. I've got some more-urgent other business to attend to, so remind me if I haven't responded by next weekend.
My gut reaction is don't do that.
I'm quite sure there is a principle that if an abbreviated word including a full stop appears at the end of a sentence, then a second full stop is not used to end the sentence, i.e. a single full stop serves for both functions.
I'm also reasonably sure that an ellipsis at the end a sentence also serves the same function of ending the sentence.
I think the situation is difference when a sentence ends with both an ellipsis and either a question mark or exclamation. It is then the other mark that serves the second function of ending the sentence.
Also, what HM says sounds familiar. I think everything the current author does that alters a previous text is enclosed in square brackets, so an un-bracketed ellipsis in a quote was included in the text being quoted.
Certainly quotes within quotes with quotes are acceptable. The writer shows the nesting by alternating between single and double quotation marks.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

I just learned that, on a Mac, option+semicolon gives you an … ( on Windows, the option must be alt).

I already knew that option+shift+hyphen gives you an — (em-dash)

and option+hyphen an – (en-dash).

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

I'm also reasonably sure that an ellipsis at the end a sentence also serves the same function of ending the sentence.


Me too, but there's a hell of a lot of websites out there that omit the ellipsis when listing the punctuation marks which can terminate a sentence :(

AJ

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Switch Blayde

To find out all the variations and characters you can type, the Mac has a keyboard viewer.

System Prefereces -> Keyboard -> Input Sources (tab) -> check the 'Show Input menu in menu bar'.

Checking that box will reveal a new menu on the right hand side or the menu bar. It's usually the flag of whatever language your computer is set up with.

Click the flag and select 'Show Keyboard viewer'. A floating keyboard will show on screen. If you hold the shift key, the option key or both, the keyboard will show you what you can type.

There is also 'Show Emoji & Symbols'. That palette allows you to insert whatever you want in your document by double clicking it in that window.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

That actually looks better. But, unlike CMOS, I don't put space between the ellipsis and the last word in trailing off dialogue.

And if he knew her last name it wouldn't be a question.

However, if he (a waiter) didn't know her marital status, would he even assume she's married to the man? In today's age, that's likely to lose you your tip.

I'd write that as "Please have a seat...?"

In most cases, you put spaces before and after an ellipsis (even when you put spaces betwen them). In cases where it's a hanging sentence, you lead with a space but close with a quote directly after the ellipse. In cases with closing punctuation, like this, have no space on either end, and close with the necessary punctuation, though I can't think of any beside a question mark of (possibly) an exclamation mark (Interrobang anyone).

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

I'm quite sure there is a principle that if an abbreviated word including a full stop appears at the end of a sentence, then a second full stop is not used to end the sentence, i.e. a single full stop serves for both functions.

That's too. Up until fairly recently, the convention was to include the final punctuation (including periods), but they changed it to including a leading space and no closing punctuation, except for punctuation that affects the delivery (like a question mark, like this).

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


However, if he (a waiter) didn't know her marital status, would he even assume she's married to the man?


It's nothing like that. It's a woman who comes into the private investigator's office being vague. This is what culminates in that question with trailing off voice (there's more before it, but this should give you the gist of it (Steele is saying the first line here)):

"Who sent you?"

"No one sent me. I want to hire you."

"I mean, how'd you get my name?"

"From someone at the Lucky Leprechaun."

"Shane?"

"Who's Shane?"

"The bar's owner."

"Oh. No, it was just someone I met there."

"Who?"

"Don't remember his name."

"How'd you meet him?"

"He picked me up and we had a few drinks."

Steele glanced at the gold band on her left ring finger before returning to her face. The woman's hands hung in front of her thighs, gripping the material of her short dress, gathering it, raising the hem even more.

"Please have a seat, Mrs.…?"


See the significance of the question? She was picked up by someone in a bar and she's married. And Steele is letting her know he knows she's married.

Switch Blayde

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

System Prefereces -> Keyboard -> Input Sources (tab) -> check the 'Show Input menu in menu bar'.


I got as far as the flag showing in the menu bar, but I don't get a floating keyboard. No big deal.

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

"Please have a seat, Mrs.…?"

I'll get back to you later with supporting evidence.
Definitely, this must end with either three periods or an ellipsis character, then the question mark and end quote without any spaces.
My gut tells me to be consistent with always or never having a non-breaking space before an ellipsis, but there appears a certain logic to what CW says that he omits his usual space when an ellipsis is followed by some other punctuation mark then an end quote.
But definitely not a period then an ellipsis, with or without a space between them.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

See the significance of the question? She was picked up by someone in a bar and she's married. And Steele is letting her know he knows she's married.

The context makes all the difference, but you could have simply said: "she was wearing a wedding ring". I wasn't trying to harass you, merely bringing up another possible point. ;)

awnlee jawking
Updated:

@Switch Blayde

It's not unknown for a single woman on a business trip etc to put on a wedding ring to reduce the likelihood of unwanted attention.

AJ

Dominions Son

@awnlee jawking

It's not unknown a single woman on a business trip etc to put on a wedding ring to reduce the likelihood of unwanted attention.


If a single woman does that, then get's her panties in a twist over someone assuming she's married, she's an asshole.

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

@AJ
It's not unknown a single woman on a business trip etc to put on a wedding ring to reduce the likelihood of unwanted attention.
@DS
If a single woman does that, then get's [sic] her panties in a twist over someone assuming she's married, she's an asshole.

WTF?
AJ made a perfectly reasonable observation.
DS comes along and pulls "single woman ... gets her panties in a twist over someone assuming she's married" out of absolutely nowhere!
No one has anything even remotely suggesting that. Why? Just so he can manufacture an excuse to declare, "She's an asshole." It kinda begs the question, ...?

Replies:   Dominions Son
awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

If a single woman does that, then get's her panties in a twist over someone assuming she's married, she's an asshole.


We need more context to know whether that happened.

I'm just pondering how good a private investigator Remington Steele might be. Would he assume a man without a wedding ring is single?

AJ

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

No one has anything even remotely suggesting that.


Yes, someone did. You should try following the full context of the discussion.

Here's how we got here.

SB's original suggested text "Please have a seat, Mrs.…?"

CW commented that the woman might object to the assumption that she was married.

SB provides context that she is wearing a wedding ring.

AJ suggests some single women might wear wedding rings in some circumstances.

Going back to CW's comment, a single woman wearing a wedding ring has no business getting upset at someone assuming they are married.

Dominions Son

@awnlee jawking

I'm just pondering how good a private investigator Remington Steele might be. Would he assume a man without a wedding ring is single?


I'm not sure if that's relevant to assuming someone wearing a wedding ring is married, but if the investigator is significantly observant, he probably could figure it out.

Does the ring finger show a compression mark where the ring finger grew into a ring that is now too small?

Does the ring finger show a tan line where the ring would be?

helmut_meukel

@Dominions Son

DS, you are a master in selective quoting and combining the quotes so they seem to bolster-up your interpretation.
I added the figures in brackets to the quote as references.

No one has anything even remotely suggesting that.

Yes, someone did. You should try following the full context of the discussion.

Here's how we got here.

SB's original suggested text "Please have a seat, Mrs.…?"

CW commented that the woman might object to the assumption that she was married. [1]

SB provides context that she is wearing a wedding ring. [2]

AJ suggests some single women might wear wedding rings in some circumstances. [3]

Going back to CW's comment, a single woman wearing a wedding ring has no business getting upset at someone assuming they are married. [4]


[1] falsified by obmission, CW wrote (enhancement by me):
"However, if he (a waiter) didn't know her marital status, would he even assume she's married to the man? In today's age, that's likely to lose you your tip."

Can you see the difference? Assuming she is married to the man she sits with? This could be a business partner or a co-worker or ...

[2] The context given, it's Steele who assumes she is married – wedding ring – and was sitting in a bar with a man who is not her husband – "He picked me up and we had a few drinks.".

[3] Now AJ says Steele's assumption of her marital status and the implication of infidelity may be not valid.

[4] Given the facts, how did you come to this conclusion?

HM.

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

Here's how we got here.
SB's original suggested text "Please have a seat, Mrs.…?"
CW commented that the woman might object to the assumption that she was married.

Sorry. I got that one wrong.
I did go back to check, but only as far as SB providing the dialogue. I've been distracted by something else today.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@helmut_meukel

DS, you are a master in selective quoting and combining the quotes so they seem to bolster-up your interpretation.

Nice one, 99.

I was prepared to give in this time ... but with two determined detectives working on HIS case I can see the chance we might really get somewhere! :-)

*

In fact the thing that had distracted me was this, already prepared and waiting for a final proof read ...

@Dominions Son

@Ross at Play
Can you find ANYTHING* in CMOS that is relevant to "academic writing" but not equally relevant to other types of formal writing?
@Dominions Son
Chapter 15: Documentation II: Author-Date References
The author-date system is used by many in the physical, natural, and social sciences and is recommended by Chicago for works in those areas.

WRONG! ... just another example of the crap you consistently come up with that, however ingenious your skills at sophistry may be, collapses on a closer examination of what you are saying.

What you are actually saying here is that all books published in the fields of "physical, natural, and social sciences" are "academic writing". That is self-evidently TOTAL CRAP. There are many books in those fields written by non-academics, and surely avoiding the style of academic writing to attract more general readers, and I've no doubts that UCP publishes a significant number of them.

I may admire the ingenuity of Hannibal Lecter ... but that doesn't mean I'd accept an invitation to dinner!

*

It may be a while before I complete the continuation I promised in the post you were responding to. As always, once I become embroiled in an ongoing dispute with anyone here, I redouble my efforts to ensure I believe everything I say is both literally accurate - and relevant to the point under discussion. But I am determined that post must achieve a much more important overall objective: to ensure the hostility in our relationship is forever more out in the open.

I admit you are far too clever for me to compete under your preferred etiquette of engagement: there's no way anyone who cares about believing in the accuracy of all their statements possibly could! I have no intention in the future of being the first to go beyond the bounds of calm, polite, and rational debate, but once you do, I will no longer feel morally bound to continue on as if you were engaging in a rational debate until it's conclusively proven you are not. My life will surely be much more carefree once I can quickly move on to crafting my rebuttals to you presuming* you are motivated are nothing more than the desire to derive sadistic pleasure from the aggravation you can cause others.

* I know that would be only a presumption, a very damning one, and I cannot be certain it is true. However, it is based on a massive amount of evidence, with IMHO some very obvious and very consistent patterns. If you think I misinterpret your intentions there is a simple test you use to could learn the truth. You could make a post here asking simply, "Does anyone who frequents these forums regularly NOT believe I am a sadist?"

Replies:   Dominions Son
Ross at Play

@helmut_meukel

a master in selective quoting and combining the quotes so they seem to bolster-up your interpretation.

By way of happy coincidence, I came across a word recently, looked up its precise meaning, and thought, "I think I have a good use for that word."
The entry for it from the Oxford Dictionary is:

soph·is·try noun
BrE /ˈsɒfɪstri/ ; NAmE /ˈsɑːfɪstri/
(plural soph·is·tries) (formal)
1 [uncountable] the use of clever arguments to persuade people that something is true when it is really false
* Convincing myself that I had gained in some way from my loss was just pure sophistry.

2 [countable] a reason or an explanation that tries to show that something is true when it is really false
* He was hostile to their hypocritical sophistries.

- Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary 9th edition © Oxford University Press, 2015

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

It's not unknown for a single woman on a business trip etc to put on a wedding ring to reduce the likelihood of unwanted attention.


She let the guy pick her up.

It was to show her character, and Steele's character with his reaction to her request to kill her husband.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Dominions Son

@helmut_meukel

However, if he (a waiter) didn't know her marital status, would he even assume she's married to the man? In today's age, that's likely to lose you your tip."

Can you see the difference? Assuming she is married to the man she sits with? This could be a business partner or a co-worker or ...


I don't see it as being as different as you clearly do.

1. Losing the tip indicates offense was taken at the assumption.

2. Addressing the woman as Mrs implies that she is married, I don't agree that it necessarily implies that she is married to the man she was with. Now if she had been addressed as Mrs. [the man's last name], that would be very different.

Replies:   helmut_meukel
Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

There are many books in those fields written by non-academics, and surely avoiding the style of academic writing to attract more general readers


It's true that non-academic / non-scholarship books are out there, and I've read more than a few of them, and from my experience, such books written for more general readers, do not engage in such formal forms of citation, with which many of the readers could not be expected to be familliar.

Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

It's not unknown for a single woman on a business trip etc to put on a wedding ring to reduce the likelihood of unwanted attention.


Also many widows continue to wear their wedding rings in memory of their deceased husband, until such time as they remarry. That doesn't stop them from playing the dating game.

awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

Thanks.

Context is everything ;)

AJ

helmut_meukel
Updated:

@Dominions Son

The real question here is:

Why would a woman take offense at the assumption she is married to the man she sits with at the table? (let's assume the waiter doesn't know either of the two.)

Look at it from the viewpoint of a radically feministic woman:

She alleges the waiter – because he is a man – an anti-woman mindset. A woman sitting with a man in public can only be respectable if she is married to this man. And she assumes he doubts her repectability by using "Please have a seat, Mrs.…?"
(She interpretes the question at the end of the sentence as either not married to the man or not married at all.)

So she takes offense.

Crazy? Yes, but most of us have met those women.

I think CW meant his remark that way.

HM.

robberhands
Updated:

@helmut_meukel

She interpretes the question at the end of the sentence as either not married to the man or not married at all.

... or she could be married to another man than the one at her table.

Don't you think to speculate about a theoretical woman with a theoretical mindset in a theoretical situation is rather pointless and silly?

If you and Ross want to keep up your witch-hunt, at least try to make it entertaining for the unvoluntary witnesses.

Replies:   Ross at Play
awnlee jawking

@helmut_meukel

She alleges the waiter – because he is a man – an anti-woman mindset. A woman sitting with a man in public can only be respectable if she is married to this man. And she assumes he doubts her repectability by using "Please have a seat, Mrs.…?"


As an aside, I've never experienced a waiter making any assumptions about marital status.

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

By way of happy coincidence, I came across a word recently, looked up its precise meaning, and thought, "I think I have a good use for that word."
The entry for it from the Oxford Dictionary is:

soph·is·try noun
BrE /ˈsɒfɪstri/ ; NAmE /ˈsɑːfɪstri/
(plural soph·is·tries) (formal)
1 [uncountable] the use of clever arguments to persuade people that something is true when it is really false

As a long-time student of Philosphy, I have to object. First of all, this use of the word has mostly fallen out of favor, as it was favored centuries by Christiam writers who insisted that any philosophy before Plato were liars (similiar to the ancient Greeks promoting false gods).

In truth, the sophists were the relativists of their time. Their most famous quote, "You can never step into the same river twice", harkens to the basic fact that, as we've seen in the many discussion here, that context means everything, but context tends to change on unfolding events, rather than being a static truth.

Thus I'd be cautious with how you use the term. The overthrow of the Sophists led to the promotion of Aristoltle, which eventually led to the Christrian leaders (who heavily promoted him), which then heavily censored independent thought. That doesn't highlight the search for truth, but instead the insistance that there is only ONE true truth, and anything else is heresy.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@helmut_meukel

She alleges the waiter – because he is a man – an anti-woman mindset. A woman sitting with a man in public can only be respectable if she is married to this man. And she assumes he doubts her repectability by using "Please have a seat, Mrs.…?"
(She interpretes the question at the end of the sentence as either not married to the man or not married at all.)

So she takes offense.

Crazy? Yes, but most of us have met those women.

I think CW meant his remark that way.

Please, don't credit me with misagny. I was merely stating that few waiters would assume that a woman sitting with a man would necessarily mean they were married. Assuming that any man sitting with a woman would be equally offensive to the couple if they weren't—it has nothing to do with how easily feminists get upset at men.

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

As an aside, I've never experienced a waiter making any assumptions about marital status.

That was my original point, but it had no relationship to Switch's quote, as he made clear. Thus it really doesn't affect anything currently being discussed.

Ross at Play

@robberhands

If you and Ross want to keep up your witch-hunt, at least try to make it entertaining for the unvoluntary witnesses.

I'm only pursuing an altogether different witch-hunt.

I made one comment about DS's rant on women objecting to assumptions about their marital status - but I withdrew it quickly.
I wrote this:

No one has anything even remotely suggesting that.

DS resposded with this:

Yes, someone did. You should try following the full context of the discussion.

I responded with:

Sorry. I got that one wrong.
I did go back to check, but only as far as SB providing the dialogue.


* * *

My witch-hunt against DS, OTOH, is explicitly going after the tactics he uses once he decides to continue fighting someone, no matter what, until they give in. I regard his conduct of such exchanges as routinely, downright deceitful. I am fed up with playing what I see as childish games, which he excels at, where others seek to be honest in their statements, and they conduct themselves as if he was sincerely seeking to be honest - when they know damn well from bitter experience that he is not.

Can you honestly say you not have concluded that is precisely what he was doing a number of times in the relatively short time you've been a regular poster on these forums?

Can you honestly say you have not seen efforts by others to identify the truth of the point being debated being sabotaged because his only concern is winning the fight?

I have declared will not continue fighting on the battlefield he prefers, with me behaving as if I believed he was being sincere. From now on my focus will be on identifying and naming the tactics he is employing if I believe they are deceitful.

My first use of this style of counter-offensive is our current fight over a statement me hade that the "primary focus" of CMOS is on "formal academic writing". I assert their focus is on all formal writing, both academic and non-academic. It is about the most stupid thing imaginable to have triggered a Declaration of War, which kind of makes it ideal. The depths he is willing to descend to defend something so utterly trivial are truly mind-blowing.

It seems my Declaration of War has struck a chord with HM. I gather he has similar views about the way DS conducts fights here and he is fed up with them too. He saw an opportunity to mount an effective offensive in the same way I had vowed to do: naming DS's behaviours for what they truly are. I don't think HM chose the best example for that - I've seen many more blatant examples of clever, but deceitful, word games from DS - but I sincerely thank him for the courage to step into this "good fight" along side me.

I actually see many direct parallels between the modus operandi of DS and the likes of Harvey Weinstein and Donald Trump. The choice of victims and the types of the assaults are very different - but the motivations and methods employed by the perpetrators are identical, as too are the hoped for, and unfortunately too frequent, responses of the victims.

It has taken women many decades to reach a point where some women can overcome their trepidation about the inevitable backlashes if they speak out about predatory behaviours (type: sexual; victims: female) by some men. Their good fight still has a very long way to go based on the consistent findings of surveys on the level of sexual assaults which women do not report.

I see no differences of any substance when it comes to predatory behaviours (type: emotional; victims: other males). Different perpetrators choose different victims - those they assess themselves as capable of intimidating into silence. The psychology of both parties is identical.

Sadly, it will probably be a very long time before the existence of this fact becomes a topic for discussion in public forums. It is only discussed by "weirdos in self-help groups", but not that long ago that is all the early feminists were too.

Males are mostly so inculcated to fear and defer to other Type A males that any objections they are using unethical tactics are viewed as a crybaby running to their mommy for protection. Almost no male would dare say they agree with another male who made such comments. They instinctively know they would then be viewed as "unmanly". "Real men" accept it is the natural order of things they must suck it up and accept whatever any more dominant male does to them!

That is indeed the "natural order of things" - but I refuse to accept it. Many women have shown us the way: that something need not be accepted just because it is the "natural order of things". You know what they say, "Giving in to terrorists only encourages the bastards!"

I for one, even if the only one, am fully prepared to accept the inevitable blows that follow from daring to call a spade a deceitful little bully - if that is the fact of the matter. I prefer to accept the blows others may land over the knowledge I too afraid of the consequences of speaking the truth.

I stress that I welcome participation in debates here by DS. I will only object when, in my opinion, he becomes deceitful in the way he debates. I expect that will happen quite often. I probably won't get it absolutely right every time, but I will work hard to ensure my statements are always literally accurate, relevant, and intended to promote honesty in the way debates here are conducted.

Robberhands, is that "entertaining" enough for you? And thought-provoking? Please excuse me now. I want to return to the post I was drafting before seeing your comments. I trust you and others will find that one interesting and illuminating, and you'll also find amusement among the heavy doses of sarcasm I am plastering throughout it.

Replies:   robberhands
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

[re: sophistry] I'd be cautious with how you use the term.

Thanks.
I came across it in the NY Times within the last few days, but I will follow your advice that it's too archaic(?) for everyday use.

sejintenej
Updated:

To me 24/7 has entered the vocabulary as effectively a word (just as "half a crown" is a single word mentioned in another thread)and the numerals will be instantly recognised. If you were to write out the individual words then there is a distinct possibility that the reference will not be recognised by the reader.

Furthermore 24/7 (as numerals) is not solely English - I found it normal in the French and Portuguese usage.

Surely an author's aim is to be understood rather than blindly follow the dictates of some bloke up there in Illinois? The Readers Digest on the subject seems sensible:

Rules vary from publisher to publisher. For your own purposes consider the different effects of the two forms. Numbers expressed in figures stand out; numbers spelt in words recede into the middle distance, along with the other words in the sentence. Figures are emphatic; their spelt-out equivalents are not.

Elsewhere the source suggests that numbers up to ten be spelt out, numbers larger should be in numerals though there are exceptions such as dates

Edit: references to the Readers Digest are to it's UK guide to written UK English - no doubt if it publishes an equivalent in the US of A that might be different

Replies:   awnlee jawking
robberhands

@Ross at Play

Can you honestly say you not have concluded that is precisely what he was doing a number of times in the relatively short time you've been a regular poster on these forums?

Yes, DS sometimes acts like an annoying prick; purposefully misinterpreting statements or ignoring them all together just to produce an artficially created, and utterly pointless objection. I'm also pretty sure he knows his character flaws better than anyone else.

Now that it's said, 'Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at him.'

Replies:   Ross at Play  Zom
awnlee jawking

@sejintenej

If you were to write out the individual words then there is a distinct possibility that the reference will not be recognised by the reader.


In approximately three hundred and ninety years time there'll be another source of ambiguity ;)

AJ

Ross at Play
Updated:

@robberhands

'Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at him.'

That's not the ideal quote to throw at me - given I recently described myself as being an "equal-opportunity despiser of all religions".

That said, I do my best to adhere to a standard of ethics in my behaviour. I do not classify anything a 'sin' unless there is an intention to cause harm. Even then, I consider an intention to harm morally justified when necessary to defend one's legitimate interests. I do not go that far without first making an unambiguous "Quit Poland or else" statement. I have done that already and he has made it clear he will not budge.

A war seems inevitable at this point, but I assure you I will adhere to this statement I made above:

I probably won't get it absolutely right every time, but I will work hard to ensure my statements are always literally accurate, relevant, and ...

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

In approximately three hundred and ninety years time there'll be another source of ambiguity ;)

29/Feb/2400 ?

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Your maths sucks ;)

The year twenty-four seven.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play  madnige
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

The year twenty-four seven.

Doh!

Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

In approximately three hundred and ninety years time there'll be another source of ambiguity ;)


well, since we use the day / month system here the great majority of people will be thinking 24 th of July when they see 24/7 - - where I have seen that used in a sign it's been 24 - 7 or 24 hours, 7 days a week. However, in dialogue where I've heard someone say it they usually use the words hours and week as well or say twenty-four by seven. I suppose it's the culture thing, like IHOP not being a description of how you dance.

Replies:   sejintenej
Zom

@robberhands

'Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at him.'

Sins aplenty here, but I have always refrained from the sin of baiting. It's like bullying or teasing, and a bit childish I think.

sejintenej

@Ernest Bywater

I suppose it's the culture thing, like IHOP not being a description of how you dance.

As you write, it is a cultural thing. Verbally you would say twenty-four by seven whereas we simply say twenty-four seven.
What do they say in the USA; twenty-four forward slash seven?

(I had to look it up because I would otherwise omit the hyphen in twenty-four).

madnige

@awnlee jawking

I thought it was fishing for someone to say 'but 2400 is a century so not a leap year', allowing another jump-down-the-throat

awnlee jawking

@madnige

I have to admit I had to look it up.

Of course, the rate at which all those wind farms are slowing the planet's rotation may have knocked the calculation out of whack by 2400 ;)

AJ

Ross at Play

@madnige

I thought it was fishing for someone to say 'but 2400 is a century so not a leap year', allowing another jump-down-the-throat

That's what I thought too. I made this post, meaning not everyone knows 2400 will have a leap-day.

29/Feb/2400 ?

They say, "Great minds think alike," but I'm grateful to have some company down in Dumbo Dale. :-)

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Ross at Play

"Great minds think alike,"

In German the expression is, "Zwei Doofe ein Gedanke."

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@robberhands

"Great minds think alike," ... In German the expression is, "Zwei Doofe ein Gedanke."

Attempting a literal translation, I came up with, "Two [being] stupid, one thought."

That doesn't seem right. In English the expression is usually self- and mutually-congratulatory, something like, "Aren't we both so very clever".
My guess for what that German expression meant would have been the exact opposite, something like, "Those two share the same brain cell".

robberhands

@Ross at Play

Your translation is good enough. I think "Aren't we both so very clever" and "Those two share the same brain cell" don't have an opposite meaning, though. The expressions merely represent differing points of view but imply the same to me.

Replies:   Ross at Play
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

"Two [being] stupid, one thought."


That sounds like a version of 'fools seldom differ', the counterpoint to 'great minds think alike'.

AJ

Ross at Play

@robberhands

Your translation is good enough. I think "Aren't we both so very clever" and "Those two share the same brain cell" don't have an opposite meaning, though. The expressions merely represent differing points of view but imply the same to me.

I'm not arguing with you. I found other sources that said the German expression has the same meaning as "Great minds think alike".
English has quite a lot of idiomatic expressions that are somewhat idiotic, the expression means the exact opposite of what the words say. Anything that is sarcastic does that, by definition.
This time I think the German expression is like that.
To say someone has a great mind suggests they are clever. To say they have only one or a few brain cells suggests the opposite, that they are stupid.
It's the word doofe I don't understand. The word doofus in English means the same thing and, no doubt, is derived from the same word - but saying "Two doofuses think alike" would be insulting to both.
I'm still confused.

Actually, if I wanted to say that I'd probably say "Two doofi think alike" - pretending, for comic effect, that 'doofus' was from Latin so the plural ends with an 'i'. I might use that one someday, perhaps the next time you express an opinion that agrees with DS. :-)

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Ross at Play

I might use that one someday, perhaps the next time you express an opinion that agrees with DS. :-)

That would be a correct use of the expression. Btw, "Zwei Doofe, ein Gedanke" I'd translate as "two dimwits share one thought."

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@robberhands

"Zwei Doofe, ein Gedanke" I'd translate as "two dimwits share one thought."

So is doofe being used ironically? That would make sense, and be humorous, if the real meaning is smart people find the same answers.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Ross at Play

So is doofe being used ironically?

Yep; that's right.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

Yep; that's right.

Yet, here on the Author Forum, any two dufuses, or any two geniuses, will still punctuate their sentences completely differently! :(

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Crumbly Writer

Yet, here on the Author Forum, any two dufuses, or any two geniuses, will still punctuate their sentences completely differently! :(

Doesn't matter; it's the thought that counts, not its execution.

Replies:   helmut_meukel
helmut_meukel

@robberhands

Doesn't matter; it's the thought that counts, not its execution.


Yeah, that's the motto of our law makers – and it shows!

HM.

Crumbly Writer

@helmut_meukel

Yeah, that's the motto of our law makers – and it shows!

Yeah, if it was the thought that counted, they'd all be executed!

robberhands

@helmut_meukel

I thought the division between legislative and executive represents two thirds of the separation of powers.

richardshagrin
Updated:

@robberhands


I thought the division between legislative and executive represents two thirds of the separation of powers.


I suggest there are divisions between executive and judicial and legislative and judicial in addition to the division between legislative and executive. In the case you agree there are three divisions, the division between legislative and executive represents ONE third of the separation of powers.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@richardshagrin

the division between legislative and executive represents ONE third of the separation of powers

I stand corrected.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

the division between legislative and executive represents ONE third of the separation of powers

I stand corrected.

Except, the separation of powers permiates most of the American system of Government. As the Replublicans keep complaining, the Press is effectively a fourth, independent (non-governement) power, and each individual judge has their own ability to object to what the rest of the judiary branch feels (as opposed to members of the Executive branch, including the miliary, who are each goverened by the President, whether they like his decisions or not).

The founders had a deep distrust of executive power, held by any single source, so they set in motion to assure that no one had too much, though Congress seems intent to give their authority to whoever they can, as they'd rather just receive 'campaign contributions' and effectively do nothing.

helmut_meukel

@robberhands

robberhands:
Doesn't matter; it's the thought that counts, not its execution.

HM:
Yeah, that's the motto of our law makers – and it shows!


You misunderstood what I meant.
There are two different spheres of execution, one of it belongs to the legislative, the other to the executive.

In the first sphere of execution the thought – the idea – is made into an actual law and in nearly all cases it's "well meant, but not well done".

The executive has to cope with the law as it's written down and gets blamed for the inefficiency. Oh, they add to the problem by hesitating and temporising where decisive acting is expected.

HM.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@helmut_meukel

The executive has to cope with the law as it's written down and gets blamed for the inefficiency. Oh, they add to the problem by hesitating and temporizing where decisive action is expected.

And, in certain cases, by not understanding the law, and not comprehending the limitations of the underlying legal system, and simply blunder through, assuming they can win over any doubters by sheer force of will.

Replies:   sejintenej  REP
sejintenej

@Crumbly Writer

{helmut meukel}The executive has to cope with the law as it's written down and gets blamed for the inefficiency. Oh, they add to the problem by hesitating and temporizing where decisive action is expected.
{Crumbly Writer}
And, in certain cases, by not understanding the law, and not comprehending the limitations of the underlying legal system, and simply blunder through, assuming they can win over any doubters by sheer force of will.

All to often the written law does not cover each and every eventuality or is found to be unworkable or unreasonable. That gives those who have to implement it the need to interpret but because such interpretation is subject to appeal then it becomes subject to committees and/or ambulance chasers and/or public unrest, hence delays and uncertainty.

One thing I appreciated about one system of law which dated in the 1950s I had to work in; anything which is not specifically allowed is illegal. Hence (from memory clause 3 of one of the codes) people are allowed to breathe, eat, drink .... Great fun finding effective ways for modern financial systems to work!

REP

@Crumbly Writer

And, in certain cases,


Are you thinking of our current president, who ignores the law and the separation of powers and tries to control everything via executive order?

Replies:   Capt. Zapp
Capt. Zapp

@REP

That was the last one. If you didn't have a problem with him, you can't exactly complain now.

Replies:   REP
REP
Updated:

@Capt. Zapp


you can't exactly complain now.


I certainly can. Trump gives us a lot to complain about.

Capt. Zapp

@REP

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Personally, I had more complaints about the last office occupier.

Replies:   richardshagrin
Dominions Son

@REP

Trump gives us a lot to complain about.


You don't see anything at all hypocritical in complaining about Trump doing things you were okay with Obama doing?

Replies:   REP
richardshagrin

@Capt. Zapp

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.


Like assholes, everyone has one. Except colostomy bag users.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

Like assholes, everyone has one. Except colostomy bag users.

They still have assholes, they're just off-line as the plumbing is redirected.

REP

@Dominions Son

You are assuming that I was okay with the things Obama did. I think all politicians are crooked, some more so than most and Trump is at the top of the pyramid.

I believe that Obama had the knowledge and experience to do the job when he took office and even now, a year later, Trump is totally lacking in both.

richardshagrin

I hope I am wrong, but it seems likely to me, the next president, after Trump, is going to worse. Who wants to be a powerful politician, and spend years and a very large amount of money campaigning for the office? Someone who shouldn't have it.

Ross at Play

@REP

I think all politicians are crooked, some more so than most and Trump is at the top of the pyramid.
I believe that Obama had the knowledge and experience to do the job when he took office and even now, a year later, Trump is totally lacking in both.

Well said!
I accept that views about Obama's agenda are mixed, but at least with him, I never had the feeling he was searching for icebergs to crash into.

awnlee jawking

@REP

I believe that Obama had the knowledge and experience to do the job when he took office


On the other hand, I believe that Obama was a totally clueless puppet, plucked from obscurity because he was malleable and appealed to minorities.

AJ

Dominions Son

@REP

I believe that Obama had the knowledge and experience to do the job when he took office and even now, a year later, Trump is totally lacking in both.


I agree with your assessment of Trump, But that wasn't your original complaint about Trump on this thread.

our current president, who ignores the law and the separation of powers and tries to control everything via executive order?


Obama did an awful lot by executive order, probably more than Trump has done.

Replies:   helmut_meukel  REP
helmut_meukel

@Dominions Son

Obama did an awful lot by executive order, probably more than Trump has done.


You did consider the different time frames – Obama 8 years vs. Trump 1 year – didn't you?

IIRC, Obama had in the first two years of his first term a democratic majority in Congress – as now Trump has a republican majority.
Do you have figures how many executive orders Obama did in the first two years? And how many Trump in half the time?

IMHO Obama's later executive orders are acceptable given an obstructing republican majority in both houses.

HM.

Crumbly Writer

@helmut_meukel

Obama's later executive orders are acceptable given an obstructing republican majority in both houses.

Except the arguments at the time—from other sides—were that he was establishing a dangerous precedent. It might have seemed necessary, but it was hardly wise.

Dominions Son

@helmut_meukel

You did consider the different time frames – Obama 8 years vs. Trump 1 year – didn't you?


Yes I did, but I was off.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_federal_executive_orders

Trump has 52 executive orders so far in his first year.

Obama had 39 his first year, with a Democrat controlled congress, which by the way was Obama's second highest.

Obama averaged over all, 30 executive orders per year, with an average of 37 in his first two years with a Democrat majority congress and only 28/year with a Republican Congress.

Interestingly despite all the noise that was made about Obama's executive orders, Trump's first year 52 is still behind both GW Bush (54) and Bill Clinton (57), though he still has time to exceed both of them, but that still wouldn't put Trump at the ExO champion.

Trumps prorated per year average comes to 60.

However that still only puts trump in 15th place among 45 US Presidents for the number of executive orders issued.

1st place goes to FDR at a whopping 3728 total orders for an average of 307.8/year.

REP

@Dominions Son

I checked the Federal Register which records all Executive Orders. According to the website:

The President of the United States manages the operations of the Executive branch of Government through Executive orders.


During his first 10 months as President, Trump signed 52 EOs – 5.2/month.

During his tenure as President Obama signed 277 EOs in 8 years – an average of 2.9/month

There is also a major difference in how Obama and Trump used EOs to control the Government. Obama used primarily used his EO powers to amend or revoke other EOs. Trump uses them to legislate the new ways things should be done. As we all know, in issuing his instructions to perform their jobs differently, Trump issued a number of EOs that direct government officials to commit actions that are illegal and/or violate the Constitution. That is the main difference between Obama and Trumps use of EOs to manage the Executive Branch.

Go to the following and read the descriptions of the EOs they issued and you will see what I mean.

https://www.federalregister.gov/executive-orders

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@REP

During his first 10 months as President, Trump signed 52 EOs


And how many of them were to replace EOs were to replace previous EOs?

Replies:   REP
REP

@Ernest Bywater

Check the webpage. The descriptions have different terms: revoke, amend, continue, superceed, terminate, correct, etc. There are also EOs with no descriptions. Therefore it difficult to quantify in a meaningful manner.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@REP

I've no real interest in who issued what. But I do remember the media furor about the EO on the travel ban that had to be done a number of times before people stopped bitching about it every other minute. If each iteration of that was counted it would throw the stats out.

I supposed, for those with enough interest in it, they may want to look at how many different subjects the EOs were on.

Replies:   sejintenej
sejintenej

@Ernest Bywater

I've no real interest in who issued what. But I do remember the media furor about the EO on the travel ban that had to be done a number of times before people stopped bitching about it every other minute. If each iteration of that was counted it would throw the stats out.

As an outsider I reckon you should be counting the signatures. Whilst reading previous posts my thoughts were as to how many orders had been overruled by the courts, how many found unworkable and how many are being ignored in at least one state.
Surely the President is subject to the laws of the US of A and his orders / decisions should be in strict compliance (there has just been an argument on TV that he is above and not subject to the law of the USA; strange).

Ernest Bywater

@sejintenej

Surely the President is subject to the laws of the US of A and his orders / decisions should be in strict compliance (there has just been an argument on TV that he is above and not subject to the law of the USA; strange).


I agree with you, but past presidents have been allowed to get away with all sorts of things, and there have been a few cases where the US Supreme Court has decided in favour of the President because of the way the court was structured made it very political. With the precedences set it's hard to take action against POTUS. Also, there's the general US thing about people in public office being exempt from personal civil legal actions against related to their jobs. It appears to even hold sway when they're incompetent or ignore the advice of professionals. The Gov't can take action again st them for some things, but citizens can't.

Dominions Son

@sejintenej

how many are being ignored in at least one state.


US Presidential orders aren't directly applicable to the states. Neither the US President, nor the US Congress can command state government's to perform or refrain from specific actions. Doing so is explicitly prohibited by the US Constitution.

As such, there is nothing in any US Presidential Executive Order for any state to ignore.

Ross at Play

I came across this in my Oxford Dictionary:

twenty-four seven adverb
(also 24/7) (informal)
twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week (used to mean 'all the time')
e.g. He's on duty twenty-four seven.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Ross at Play


He's on duty twenty-four seven


And that's the way I would have written it in dialogue until I was convinced otherwise. Same for "She called 911 when she heard a noise."

I guess it could be "9-1-1" (or "nine one one"), but the reader instantly knows what "911" is. Same for "24/7".

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

the reader instantly knows what "911" is.

I'm inclined to agree that readers will "instantly know" is a practical criterion to apply.
I came across a sentence recently and decided against writing, "My blood pressure dropped from 120 to ninety."

For my WIP I am maintaining a very detailed story-specific style guide in which I record every minute formatting choice of that type I make. It doesn't take much effort and I'm happy with the results.

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

in which I record every minute formatting choice


What about the major formatting choices? ;)

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

What about the major formatting choices? ;)

Merry Christmas to you too. :-)

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

I guess it could be "9-1-1" (or "nine one one"), but the reader instantly knows what "911" is. Same for "24/7".


Switch,

You can't assume everyone knows what 24 /7 or 911 are - emergency here in Australia is 000 - Depending on how you say it most people here would take 911 as being a floor number of the 9th of November- likewise someone not use to a 24 /7 terminology might see it as a date in July.

It's like most people know what a night shift is, many would know it's also called a graveyard shift, but how many would know what a dog shift is? And I've seen swing shift to have three different meanings, too.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
REP
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


but the reader instantly knows what "911" is.


Are you sure? :)

I recall a lawsuit one woman filed and won. We used to say 'Nine Eleven' when referring to the emergency telephone number 9-1-1. According to this woman's lawsuit, she panicked in an emergency and was unable to call the emergency response number because there was no Eleven on her phone. That is why it is now referred to as nine one one.

Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

You can't assume everyone knows what 24 /7 or 911 are - emergency here in Australia is 000


True, but having them dial "9-1-1" or "nine one one" would still be confusing.

btw, now looking at it, I might write "9-1-1".

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ross at Play

@REP

she panicked in an emergency and was unable to call the emergency response number because there was no Eleven on her phone.

"Hello. Hello. Is this nine eleven?"
"This is Emergency Services. What is your emergency?"
"I need a new brain."

Switch Blayde

@REP

because there was no Eleven on her phone.


That's why we have the politicians we have in office. People are stupid.

I have old neighbors at my mountain house. A few years back they told me Muslims get free health insurance under ObamaCare. I said, "What! Why do you say that?" They said they heard it. And they believe it because they heard it.

Just like people believe the tax change in the U.S. benefits only the super rich. Because they believe Nancy Pelosi when she says 83% of the benefit goes to the rich. Is she lying? She's misleading. In 8 years, if nothing is done, the changes for individuals expire so at that time, what she says is true. But she makes it sound like that's true now.

Did our education system fail, or did the media turn people into idiots?

Replies:   richardshagrin  REP
Capt. Zapp

@REP

there was no Eleven on her phone.


She must have never used a telephone before.

FWIW, I don't remember ever hearing the US Emergency number referred to as nine-eleven, even when it was first implemented. I do remember when it was easier to call the (live) operator because almost every locality had their own 'emergency' number. I remember the one where I grew up was the same as the 'time and temperature' with the last 2 digits swapped.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


True, but having them dial "9-1-1" or "nine one one" would still be confusing.


In a couple of my stories I have characters tell other people to call an emergency in while they do something to help, and I usually have something along the lines of:

"Can you call the emergency services on nine one one for me?"

I write the spoken words out in full and I have them identify it as emergency services or ambulance or police etc. Sometimes I just settle for "Call the cops."

typo edit.

richardshagrin

@Switch Blayde

Did our education system fail, or did the media turn people into idiots?

Yes

REP

@Switch Blayde

or did the media turn people into idiots?


I suspect they were already idiots.

Dominions Son

@Capt. Zapp

do remember when it was easier to call the (live) operator because almost every locality had their own 'emergency' number.


In my part of the US (Wisconsin) prior to 911, there was no consolidated local "emergency" number. There were separate numbers for the police, the fire department, and EMT services.

Replies:   AmigaClone  Capt. Zapp
AmigaClone

@Dominions Son

There were separate numbers for the police, the fire department, and EMT services.


In Brazil it's the same way now last I've heard - although they will forward the call to the appropriate number. In 2013 a law was passed to mandate that mobile phones that call either 911 or 112 (an emergency number commonly used in Europe) would be automatically forwarded to 190 (police). This was due to the number of additional tourists expected from those areas for the FIFA 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Capt. Zapp

@Dominions Son

do remember when it was easier to call the (live) operator because almost every locality had their own 'emergency' number.

In my part of the US (Wisconsin) prior to 911, there was no consolidated local "emergency" number. There were separate numbers for the police, the fire department, and EMT services.


You are quite right and I should have said the localities had their own emergency numbers. Before 9-1-1, the local counties where I grew up went to a 'central alarm' system which was similar to 9-1-1, but was a full seven-digit number. (That was the one that was often miscalled for Time & Temp)

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

I'm inclined to agree that readers will "instantly know" is a practical criterion to apply.
I came across a sentence recently and decided against writing, "My blood pressure dropped from 120 to ninety."

I agree with that choice too, because no one ever reads blood pressure as 'words spoken', instead they see it as values to base again the normal numeric values.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I write the spoken words out in fill and I have them identify it as emergency services or ambulance or police etc. Sometimes I just settle for "Call the cops."

That's what I typically do. Why specify the regional code instead of just saying "the police"?

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Why specify the regional code instead of just saying "the police"?


From what I've read about the way the system works in the USA it's very different to how they do it here. Tell someone to ring the police and they'll usually call the local police station. Tell them to call emergency services and they're put through to a call centre which deals with all three services and you specify the service or services once they answer. Also, the call centre used to be a regional one covering a number of shires (what you call counties), but it's now a state one for the whole state in most states.

So if I call emergency services (000) from outback New South Wales the call goes to the call centre in Sydney with a location of where it originated showing on their system, along with the numbers of the local services. I tell them what service where I am and what the problem is, and they take it from there.

Another important aspect is by going to the emergency services you can get all three rolling at once, not just the service you say. The call centre will decide if they feel the other services should be involved, despite you not mentioning them.

Replies:   Dominions Son
awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

I write the spoken words out in full


Twenty for seven sounds like an England cricket score :(

AJ

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

Twenty for seven sounds like an England cricket score :(

Happy Boxing Day to you too. :-)

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

Twenty for seven sounds like an England cricket score :(


Cute. Mind you, the first time I heard the phrase Twenty-four Seven I thought it was the name of a company starting out in oppositions to Seven Eleven.

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

From what I've read about the way the system works in the USA it's very different to how they do it here.


911 in the US operates very much like you describe, except that the call centers are all run at the county/parish(Louisiana) level.

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Happy Boxing Day to you too. :-)


Is boxing a real sport? Do boxers get breathless?

Many Happy Returns,

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

Many Happy Returns,

Or in the U.S., where we're all too exhausted the day after Christmas, many happy reruns, as that's all that's available on TV (besides Netflix, Amazon and Apple TV, of course).

sejintenej

I reckon few people in the UK know 112 even though it is available on all phones here. 999 (said nine nine nine) - the well known one was allegedly chosen because on the old finger in the slot the nine was easy to fine in the dark or emergency bit was not likely to be found by accident.

Mention was made of 112 in Europe. Unfortunately in France it is normal for each emergency service to have its own three figure numbers spoken in the UK style (at least the fire service often brings its own paramedics and ambulance). With the US exports I think the usual verbal would be nine eleven - we are relatively up to date and almost any idiot should realise that eleven is just two ones in succession.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@sejintenej

I think the usual verbal would be nine eleven


nine eleven is used for the World Trade Center attack (Sept 11)

sejintenej

nine eleven is used for the World Trade Center attack (Sept 11)

Very true (I understand) but surely the circumstances existing at the time of the words would indicate whether it is a reference to that event or if it is a demand to call the fire services PDQ

It is a bit like the word "stock" which has close to 90 meanings but which meaning is understood by the context

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@sejintenej

All the US series I've watched use nine one one for the emergency number.

Interestingly, although that saves a syllable over nine eleven, the latter is probably quicker for most people to enunciate.

AJ

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@awnlee jawking

Interestingly, although that saves a syllable over nine eleven, the latter is probably quicker for most people to enunciate.


True, but nine one one also avoids possibly confusing nine eleven with the date 9/11

Replies:   helmut_meukel
helmut_meukel

@Dominions Son

True, but nine one one also avoids possibly confusing nine eleven with the date 9/11


I just visualized:
There is an accident, one man runs to the wrecked car shouting to his buddy "Call nine eleven!" who answers "OK, but that's next month".

HM.

Replies:   Capt. Zapp
Capt. Zapp

@helmut_meukel

There is an accident, one man runs to the wrecked car shouting to his buddy "Call nine eleven!"


Personally, if someone said 'call nine eleven!' I would probably have to think about it before realizing what they mean.

PotomacBob

@Switch Blayde

The NY Times Style Guide started with the AP and was modified for their needs/quirks.


that statement is false.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@PotomacBob

that statement is false.


Yes, I found out after I made that post.

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