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.