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Style Guide

Switch Blayde
Updated:

I can't find the post where it was mentioned that the NY Times Style Guide is older than the AP Style Guide so I'm creating a new thread. First, I found this in an article about the NYT Style Guide which explains why you have a style guide:


Style guides dictate the aspects of writing not bound by the rules of grammar.


That's really what a style guide is for (consistency).

Now as to the NY Times Style Guide being older, it says:


As you also know, the Daily Journal and most daily newspapers follow Associated Press style. The New York Times does not. It follows its own style, most notably with the use of courtesy titles.


And from a Purdue University site:


Associated Press style provides guidelines for news writing. Many newspapers, magazines and public relations offices across the United States use AP style. Although some publications such as the New York Times have developed their own style guidelines, a basic knowledge of AP style is considered essential to those who want to work in print journalism.


So you're right. I said journalists follow the AP Style Guide. It seems the NY Times is the exception. But my statement is true, with the exception of a few like the NY Times.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

Now as to publishers using CMOS: https://www.thebalancesmb.com/which-style-guide-should-i-use-1360722


Major Style Guides

Associated Press. Associated Press is the go-to style for journalists and news writing.

Chicago Manual of Style. CMS is the standard for book publishing, both fiction and non-fiction. It is not generally used for scholarly publishing (journals and research), although it is sometimes used for history.


It is not used "for scholarly publishing." Look at the next one for the academic world.

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

American Psychological Association. The APA carries its own standard for the social sciences such as psychology, sociology, education, and politics. (Although the American Sociological Association produces a style guide specifically for sociology

Turabian. Turabian style is named after the book's author, Kate Turabian, and focuses on style in research work. It is used for the research or academic arm of many subjects.

Other Writing Styles

AMA. The American Medical Association is currently in its 10th edition of the AMA style guide, printed by Oxford Press. Of course, this is the go-to manual for health, medicine and biology subjects, unless…

NLM. The National Library of Medicine has an online-only style guide that is often used in some of the AMA disciplines.

CSE. The Council of Science Editors Manual covers natural sciences and biology.

ACS. The American Chemical Society got in on the act with a style guide specifically for (you guessed it!) chemists.

ASA. Is the American Sociological Association trying to sway some former APA users? Maybe, although the APA still seems to be the more popular, even with more sociological-oriented disciplines.

Bluebook. Bluebook citation is "it" for the legal profession, and, We're told, yet another headache for law students. Our gift to them: a Bluebook cribsheet.​

There you go, a sampling of the most common style guides out there. Chances are, as a freelance writer, you won't need to go much further than the first 2 to 3 in the list unless you have a niche specialization.

Switch Blayde

So:

Associated Press is the go-to style for journalists and news writing.

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

I've found that said in many, many sources. That's why I believe it. NY Times is an exception to AP. Maybe some book publishers don't follow CMOS, but I bet their own is based on it.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

So you're right. I said journalists follow the AP Style Guide. It seems the NY Times is the exception. But my statement is true, with the exception o a few like the NY Times.

Or rather, the NY Times follows the general AP Style Guide, but has additional elements, which are more detailed and specific than the overly general AP guide.

The Times can get away with it, as they're circulation makes it easier for them to afford the extra work in maintaining the more expansive document, while smaller magazines can't. Also, the Times prides itself in 'going its own way' by defining their unique style, which also sets their writing apart from the competing newspapers and magazines.

Replies:   PotomacBob
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Chicago Manual of Style. CMS is the standard for book publishing, both fiction and non-fiction. It is not generally used for scholarly publishing (journals and research), although it is sometimes used for history.

This is an important point, as many of our discussions focus on how the CMS's overly generalized focus often misses the uses only used in fiction. They've gotten better over the years, adding more 'purely fictional' content/exceptions, but you're still comparing apples and oranges (or parentheses and em-dashes) most of the time, so you're never sure which usage fits what you're looking for—which always provokes fights in the Author's Forum.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

I've found that said in many, many sources. That's why I believe it. NY Times is an exception to AP. Maybe some book publishers don't follow CMOS, but I bet their own is based on it.

It's the same as the NY Times relationship to the AP. Each book publisher has it's own, specialized Style Guide, who's complexity is largely determined by their funding and manpower constraints. The larger houses have more robust Style Guides, while the smaller houses rely entirely on CMOS.

The problem for most of us here, is that every author chooses their Style Guide on where they plan to publish, reformatting their articles for each publisher they submit to. Since we NEVER publish to a single, definitive source, we're each compiling our own 'unofficial' Style Guide, where we combine the elements of each which we think best first our writing, but which then conflicts with every OTHER SOL author's personal (and often unwritten) Style Guides.

Hell, it's no wonder we all argue so much!

Replies:   PotomacBob
Switch Blayde

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

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.


and

Most magazine and newspaper publishers, on the other hand, use The Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual as a guide for their publications. Although many, like Writer's Digest, take a few liberties with it to fit their own particular house styles.

PotomacBob

@Switch Blayde

I said journalists follow the AP Style Guide. It seems the NY Times is the exception.


There are several newspapers that have their own style guides, and they vary from newspaper to newspaper about how much they are similar to and how much they differ from the wire service style guides.
The big difference in The New York Times style and the style adopted by the wire services is the use of courtesy titles. The wire services do not usually use them. The New York Times does. The Times and wire services both use "John Q. Jones" in the first reference. In second references, the wire services use "Jones" and The Times uses "Mr. Jones." On second reference, the wire services use the courtesy title if if a spouse is involved, i.e., "Mr. and Mrs. Jones." The New York Times News Service has a computer programmed to strip out all courtesy titles, except when the surname is preceded by "Mr. and Mrs."
The wire services (AP and Reuters and AFP and others who write news agency stories in English) keep unpublished lists of the specifics they follow. One of the examples would be how to spell the names of leaders of non-U.S. countries when there is no generally accepted spelling. (Khadafi? Qadaffi? Kadafi? Quadafi?) The first time the issue is raised, the wire services consult in a phone call and, within minutes, reach an agreement on spelling the name. If they did not follow that process, hundreds or thousands of newspapers would raise the stink that the wire services need to be consistent among themselves so that each story, no matter which wire service provides it, has the same name spelled the same way.)
Most of the other newspapers who have style guides and wire services (all the ones I know of have some sort of style guide) do not widely publish their style guides, but make them available on request.
Even very small newspapers usually have a style guide for use by local reporters (is that city thoroughfare named Central Street or Central Avenue?) for items that could not possibly be covered by a national style guide.
What about the dateline in a news story? is it Chicago (standing alone)? Or is it Chicago, Illinois? The national style guides I've seen, instead of providing a general rule, provide a specific list of which city names stand alone. Even there, there are exceptions. The AP national style guide requires "Springfield, Illinois," but the state guideline for Illinois says it's just "Springfield" - no state name.
In all cases, the guiding principle is not whether it's right or wrong, but an imperative to make a choice and be consistent.

PotomacBob

@Crumbly Writer

Or rather, the NY Times follows the general AP Style Guide,


Ask any of the style gurus at The New York Times and they'll say they follow their own style guides, and not the AP. The two style guides may be similar in many instances, but, at The Times, they'll tell you they are the leader, not the follower.

PotomacBob

@Crumbly Writer

Since we NEVER publish to a single, definitive source, we're each compiling our own 'unofficial' Style Guide, where we combine the elements of each which we think best first our writing, but which then conflicts with every OTHER SOL author's personal (and often unwritten) Style Guides.


To me, that's exactly the way it SHOULD be.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

Now as to publishers using CMOS: https://www.thebalancesmb.com/which-style-guide-should-i-use-1360722


That's a 'for interest' article on a small business site, and it contradicts your previous statement that style guides don't cover grammar.

I've can't find my checklist but my research showed that at least one major publisher used a press-based style guide.

CMOS isn't really a go-to style guide for fiction, it's a reluctant default, like buying IBM used to be the reluctant default when buying mainframe computer. By its own admission, it's not targeted at fiction writers but if you're American and you follow it, you probably won't be worse off than most other writers.

AJ

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

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.

True enough, but just like your NY Times example, saying they 'follow' the CMS doesn't account for everything they add to it, otherwise ALL novelists would use the exact same formatting, and they wouldn't have to reformat each book for each submission. The NY Times follows the AP Style Guide, but it's stories look nothing like the other magazines and newspapers which follow the same Style Guide.

Saying that most novelists follow the CMoS is misleading, as it's the ONLY Style Guide for publishing, so you can't follow any other style guide, but if you ONLY follow CMS, you'll never be published!

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Crumbly Writer

@PotomacBob

To me, that's exactly the way it SHOULD be.

I agree, and I LOVE discussing the various alternatives and how (or whether) we should each incorporate them, but then we have many who go into conniptions over our convoluted discussions, finally insisting we shouldn't do anything but use whatever THEY do!

As it said, the underlying premise results in our protracted arguments. :(

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

otherwise ALL novelists would use the exact same formatting, and they wouldn't have to reformat each book for each submission


Don't confuse formatting with style.

The size and type of font to use is formatting. Spelling out numbers is style. Using an em-dash for interrupted speech is style. There are no grammar rules for those. Same with the Oxford comma.

But is using the ellipsis font vs nbsp.nbsp.nbsp.nbsp style or formatting?

And, yes, the style guides go into grammar. But that should be the same in all style guides. Grammar rules are rules (again, the Oxford comma is not a grammar/punctuation rule).

Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

So you're right. I said journalists follow the AP Style Guide.


No, what you said that I objected to was

just like newspaper companies are based on the AP Style guide


The way I read this, is says not that most journalists use the AP guide, but that for newspaper companies with their own style guides, those guides are derivative of the AP style guide.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

those guides are derivative of the AP style guide.


Which is what I originally said. Then was told the NY Times style guide pre-dated the AP Style Guide. I found that to be true.

But the comment from Writer's Digest said:

Most magazine and newspaper publishers, on the other hand, use The Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual as a guide for their publications. Although many, like Writer's Digest, take a few liberties with it to fit their own particular house styles.


So they follow the AP Style Guide with some tweaking.

awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

most book publishers use The Chicago Manual of Style—or some variation of it—as a formatting guide for their books.


Interesting choice of words. I wonder whether the lack of mention of writers was deliberate.

As far as my writers' group goes, very few had heard of CMOS before the subject was raised at a meeting, and that mostly excluded the handful who had actually bothered dead trees. More members had heard of Strunk & White, although they were mostly course junkies and didn't actually use it.

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
awnlee_jawking

@Switch Blayde

Grammar rules are rules


Actually they're conventions, derived from what the majority of people have done in the past plus a few hangovers from Latin. All very well, since doing the same as most other people facilitates mutual understanding, but the grammarians' self-serving love of jargon and their addition of complicated rules to try to cover some of the many exceptions only serves to make writing seem more complicated than it really is.

AJ

Michael Loucks
Updated:

@awnlee_jawking


Actually they're conventions, derived from what the majority of people have done in the past plus a few hangovers from Latin. All very well, since doing the same as most other people facilitates mutual understanding, but the grammarians' self-serving love of jargon and their addition of complicated rules to try to cover some of the many exceptions only serves to make writing seem more complicated than it really is.


Descriptive, not prescriptive, and a snapshot of what was OK at the time of the creation of the guide.

It's similar to the 'not a word' debate. If you say a collection of syllables which communicate an idea, and the other person understands what you mean, then it IS a word, irregardless* of what the dictionaries and English teachers say.

* regardless, for purists. I was making a funny. Next lets talk about the differences between flammable and inflammable. :-)

Ernest Bywater

@Michael Loucks

It's similar to the 'not a word' debate. If you say a collection of syllables which communicate an idea, and the other person understands what you mean, then it IS a word,


A lot depends on if everyone understands what's being said as against a few select individuals.

One of the oddest arguments I ever resolved was at a meeting of middle level financial managers from across the RAAF where two groups at lunch were having an extremely heated discussion about their AERs being due soon or overdue. When I noticed the split seemed to be uniform officer saying overdue and the civilian staff saying they were due soon I realized it was a terminology misunderstanding between the uniform officers filling in Airmen Evaluation Reports and their civilian counterparts preparing Additional Estimate Returns. Same language, same term, different meanings and requirements.

awnlee jawking

@Michael Loucks

Descriptive, not proscriptive, and a snapshot of what was OK at the time of the creation of the guide.


Did you mean prescriptive rather than proscriptive? That's the term I've most heard used to describe one of the main reasons for 'Modern English Usage' losing its popularity.

Style guides seem to be trending towards greater prescription as they mission-creep into covering complex grammatical issues. And, insidiously, that's accompanied by greater monetarisation. I think that's something the writing community should resist - we shouldn't have to pay money to write in our native language.

AJ

Ross at Play

@awnlee_jawking

only serves to make writing seem more complicated than it really is.

Not really. It also serves to make the conventions of grammar seem more complicated than they really are.

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

Did you mean prescriptive rather than proscriptive?

That's an important homophone for someone to know if they intend using either word.

From the OxD:

prescriptive
ADJECTIVE
Relating to the imposition or enforcement of a rule or method.
'these guidelines are not intended to be prescriptive'

proscriptive
ADJECTIVE
(of a law or rule) forbidding or restricting something.
'a proscriptive and draconian policy'

Their meanings are virtually the exact opposite in this example:
'these guidelines are not intended to be prescriptive/proscriptive'

richardshagrin

@Michael Loucks

flammable and inflammable.

From a fire insurance background, flammable is somewhat less likely to catch fire. Wooden furniture, as an example. Inflammable is more likely to burn, a can of gasoline kept to fill a lawn-mower.

Replies:   Michael Loucks
PotomacBob

@Switch Blayde


So they follow the AP Style Guide with some tweaking.


It depends on what you mean by "follow." The New York Times may have had its original style guide before the AP published its own guide. But today's style guides all were RE-created in the 1970s, as everybody began to institute new technologies. The old guides were scrapped and completely new ones created from beginning to end. Instead of separate chapters on spelling, grammar, geographic names, etc., each one now was arranged like a dictionary with entries wherever they fell in the alphabet. All of them included grammar rules - but the chapters on grammar were gone. There were now cross-references, where (with chapters), they weren't needed.
The wire services went first (it was a committee with wire services each having a representative; AP was only one of the wire services. They came up with a common style, with only rare exceptions). Soon after the wire services established their new styles, the New York Times followed and the Washington Post, and the St. Louis Dispatch and the Des Moines Register, Miami Herald, San Francisco Examiner, Los Angeles Times. Most of the "chain" newspapers had their own style guides.
Most of these style guides agreed on which dictionary to use for backup when something wasn't covered in the style guide. All selected the same dictionary - Webster's New World Dictionary - because it was updated more frequently than the others (every two years).
At the same time a style committee was working on revamping style guides, technical committees were working to establish guidelines on technical matters - a common way to transmit and receive coding, heads (the technical arrangement included for computer-to-computer communications at the top of a news story), tails (the end of a news story. Some of the technical matter spilled over to the style guides (where to put and not put spaces affected H&J (hyphenation and justification), for example.
After the wire service committee finished its initial run-through, and before any of them published, they submitted their style guides to newspaper editors all across the U.S. When they heard back from the newspapers, they considered the comments and instituted many changes (while rejecting others).
While arguing for whatever different style position they favored, the editors were unanimous in one thing - the national styles must be consistent across wire services. Many newspapers subscribed to more than one wire service. The New York Times subscribed to more than a dozen. The newspaper editors wanted the wire service styles to all be the same so that the newspaper did not need to employ somebody whose only job was to go through all the separate wire service copy and make them comply with each other.
Once they agreed on a common manuscript, they took the jointly agreed document back to their own shops and made additions and a few changes to suit their own needs (technical and editorial). But the general guidelines stayed the same.
Most of the wire services and newspapers decided to keep their style guides in house. The AP and New York Times decided to offer their style guides for sale to the general public.
To assert that the New York Times follows the AP style guide with some tweaking, is misleading. If the two style guides happen to agree on some issue or the other, it's because the two groups putting together the style guides agree on that matter - not because one is following the other.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@PotomacBob

To assert that the New York Times follows the AP style guide with some tweaking, is misleading.


The article I linked to was about the NY Times being an exception.

Just wondering. When someone is in college studying journalism, is the AP Style Guide part of the curriculum? Is that what they are expected to follow for their assignments?

Replies:   PotomacBob
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Don't confuse formatting with style.

The size and type of font to use is formatting. Spelling out numbers is style. Using an em-dash for interrupted speech is style. There are no grammar rules for those. Same with the Oxford comma.

Good point, but the comment authors have complained about for generations has been about having to make massive changes in the punctuation and grammar with each submission, so it fits with each Publisher's particular Style Guide, so while my wording was incorrect, it doesn't change the underlying argument.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

So they follow the AP Style Guide with some tweaking.

The biggest question is: how much tweeking can one do before you'd admit they're not 'following' the AP or CMS Style Guide. If they follow most of it's dictates, but decide to go another way 40% of the time, then are they really 'following' the Style Guide, or are they just like we are, picking and choosing which guidelines apply to their own particular set of stories?

In short, where does this fiction of everyone following the same style guide collapse from its own weight? I understand your point, Switch, but you've adopted an overly generous interpretation of 'everyone following' the commonly but rarely accepted Style Guides in each industry.

Ross at Play

@Michael Loucks

flammable and inflammable

Prefixes which generally create negatives occasionally become intensifiers for words which already have a negative connotation.

The examples I can think of now are:
inflammable = highly flammable
disgruntled = very gruntled

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

More members had heard of Strunk & White, although they were mostly course junkies and didn't actually use it.

Strunk & White is a romedial Style Guide with major flaws which (back when I was a teen) was taught in lower level high school courses. It was originally written a LONG time ago, and was incorrect when it was first published. An author saying they 'know of' Strunk & White is essentially saying they use no style guide, and they'll have trouble submitting their stories to ANY publisher (i.e. they haven't done their homework before undertaking their new careers, not that this information is ever easy to figure out).

Replies:   Dominions Son
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee_jawking

All very well, since doing the same as most other people facilitates mutual understanding, but the grammarians' self-serving love of jargon and their addition of complicated rules to try to cover some of the many exceptions only serves to make writing seem more complicated than it really is.

Now that's something we agree on, as I recently raised the same point with Ross (about ignoring the 'grammatical justifications' for most 'common-sense' grammar rules and simply going with what 'sounds right' while leaving it up to editors to explain when we screw up.

We all should understand how to compose sentences, but the 'grammarians' often cloak what they do, like most professions, behind a wall of impenetrable jargon, and it's just not worth it for me as an author to learn to decode such nonsensical phrases, when I still have so much to learn about writing!

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Strunk & White is a romedial Style Guide with major flaws which


I've read a write up from a professor of English at a Scottish university criticizing Strunk & White. He goes on quite a bit about how much of their advice is dead flat wrong, but the real killer is when he points out that the Strunk & White style guide itself fails to consistently follow it's own advice.

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

complained about for generations has been about having to make massive changes in the punctuation and grammar with each submission, so it fits with each Publisher's particular Style Guide,


This is what I don't understand. I've read that most publishers follow a variant of the CMOS. So as long as you follow that, you'll be okay.

Now every publisher has their own formatting rules for submissions. Font size. Margin width. Line spacing. Etc. And if you don't follow it to the letter, they won't even read your submission. My guess is that's what people are complaining about.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Michael Loucks

@awnlee jawking

Did you mean prescriptive rather than proscriptive? That's the term I've most heard used to describe one of the main reasons for 'Modern English Usage' losing its popularity.


Indeed I did, and I fixed it. Brain and fingers don't always communicate the way I want them to!

Michael Loucks
Updated:

@richardshagrin


From a fire insurance background, flammable is somewhat less likely to catch fire. Wooden furniture, as an example. Inflammable is more likely to burn, a can of gasoline kept to fill a lawn-mower.


Which wasn't what I was going for. I have run into a number of people who think 'inflammable' means it won't burn! (e.g. incomplete == not complete; inaccurate == not accurate; thus inflammable == not flammable). :-)

Ain't English grand!

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
PotomacBob

@Switch Blayde

All of them have some style guide. Some journalism schools have their own style guides. Others follow the wire service style guides with revisions. No matter which wire service style guide you get, it will comply with all the technical requirements of computer-to-computer transmission and receiving of news stories.
Some of the entries in all the style guides really are not driven by language or good grammar, but by the requirements to program computers so they will know what to do when they "see" particular combinations of alpha-numerics and spaces.
If I had to guess, I would guess that the debate over whether it should be 10mg or 10 mg, was probably decided by the wire services in favor of using the space. The reason - if 10mg (which the computer sees as one word) were to happen at the end of a newspaper, the computer rules would require that "word" to be hyphenated, while 10 mg would not.
If you happen to get a copy of one of the other wire service style guides instead of AP, you will notice that is almost identical to the one you can buy that carries the AP label. Regardless of which one you get, it all flowed from the 1970s style guides, which made wholesale changes to what styles had been prior to that time. Each of the wire services distributes its own style guide to its own reporters and editors and to its subscriber newspapers and broadcasters (a different stylebook from the one for newspapers).

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@PotomacBob

I bet the majority of what's in all the style guides is the same. The article on the NY Times pointed out a difference in using Mr. Jones vs simply Jones. Stuff like that. Nitpicking stuff.

But my interest is novels so CMOS is what I go by, with my own tweaking. I use the ellipsis font instead of x . . . x because I'd have to use non-breaking spaces and I'm not sure how Calibre would handle Word's non-breaking spaces. So my ellipsis is different than CMOS's. No big deal as long as I'm consistent.

PotomacBob

@Switch Blayde

The article on the NY Times pointed out a difference in using Mr. Jones vs simply Jones.


When VP Spiro Agnew (remember him?) pled guilty (I don't remember whether that was before or after he resigned), the Times changed its style on using the courtesy title Mr. with surnames. After that, the Times announced, it no longer would use the Mr. with surnames for individuals who had been convicted of felonies.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

Prefixes which generally create negatives occasionally become intensifiers for words which already have a negative connotation.

The examples I can think of now are:
inflammable = highly flammable
disgruntled = very gruntled

Or discombobulated = very ??? 'D

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Now every publisher has their own formatting rules for submissions. Font size. Margin width. Line spacing. Etc. And if you don't follow it to the letter, they won't even read your submission. My guess is that's what people are complaining about.

That's the underlying presumption, but it rests entirely on 'just a few minor alterations, where realistically, it often governs how you construct sentences, to which titles you use, when you capitalize and when you don't, how information is acknowledged and displayed. So it ends up covering a LOT more than just adjusting you margins and line spacing.

Granted, all the professional authors I had dealings with were when I lived in Manhattan, and had NO interest in writing at the time. And since most have died since then, I've got no way of asking my original contact specifically what they had to modify each time. At present, I know Zero dead-tree published authors aside from a few one-book wonders who feel no need to write another. (rolls eyes at the randomness in the universe.)

Replies:   REP  Switch Blayde
Crumbly Writer

@Michael Loucks

Ain't English grand!

It is, my English is always exactly a thousand. 'D

Or is that "ingrand" (i.e. not a thousand)?

Crumbly Writer

@PotomacBob

Some of the entries in all the style guides really are not driven by language or good grammar, but by the requirements to program computers so they will know what to do when they "see" particular combinations of alpha-numerics and spaces.

And with most publishers, rather than being based on what's proper or even appropriate, it's often based on what the founder, or whoever commissioned the first Style Guide's preferences were, thus it often flies in the face of the accepted 'publishing standards' as established in CMOS.

Enough does fit in that it won't create a problem, but various components often have little to do with the selection process.

P.S. This is based, not on my discussions with Published authors in the '80s, but with my academic authors or those in highly specific fields, who have to work with a single publisher.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

I bet the majority of what's in all the style guides is the same. The article on the NY Times pointed out a difference in using Mr. Jones vs simply Jones. Stuff like that. Nitpicking stuff.

In those cases, since it is the AP, it's mostly concerned with saving a few characters on each line vs. accurately referencing who someone is. (In the Times case, they typically show greater respect towards those they write about, and subsequently, more people are willing to speak to the Times than would speak to other newspapers.

Note: During my times in Manhattan, I knew many Times and Daily News reporters, and they constantly referenced how the 'other papers' handled similar issues. Even while in downtown Chicago, there was always 'The Tribune' and 'the other papers' (the crucial issue always being how professional they though the other outlets were in reporting facts).

But my interest is novels so CMOS is what I go by, with my own tweaking. I use the ellipsis font instead of x . . . x because I'd have to use non-breaking spaces and I'm not sure how Calibre would handle Word's non-breaking spaces. So my ellipsis is different than CMOS's. No big deal as long as I'm consistent.

I can answer that, as I use both frequently. A non-breaking space does just what it claims, it doesn't break! So it treats the single space as a space, and any non-breaking space as a formatting non-entity (i.e. do not much around with).

The bigger issues, though are many outlets (WORD among them) are unable or unwilling to treat smart quotes as punctuation, so often I'll see books where the ending quote ends up on a line all by itself!

But, the convention in publishing is the ellipse always had spaces around it, while for the AP (print or wire media), the focus is on plain text as they know how it's handled (i.e. the size doesn't vary based on the font required to print a foreign name).

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@PotomacBob


After that, the Times announced, it no longer would use the Mr. with surnames for individuals who had been convicted of felonies.


Which is yet another example of how Style Guides often reflect the views of the individuals in charge of producing it, rather than basic grammar, punctuation and composition rules. Whatever the 'man in charge' says, everyone does if they expect to retain their job. And after your entire staff has been using that Guide, you can't change how something is done without multiple errors popping up. :(

By the way, all these objections I'm raising does not imply that I'm against Style Guides, or even opposed to CMOS or the AP, just that it's misleading to say that ALL publishers follow the same Style Guide, as that's clearly not the case. They follow similar Style Guides, but that's as much as you can assert.

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

But, the convention in publishing is the ellipse always had spaces around it

Assuming you meant 'ellipsis' rather than an oval shape, in my experience it's among the aspects of style with the least uniformity across various guides.

In fact, I doubt you could guess what CMoS recommends if I gave you three goes at it!

Replies:   Switch Blayde
REP

@Crumbly Writer

a few one-book wonders who feel no need to write another


They probably found out how much work writing can be.

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

what they had to modify each time


From what I know about submitting to traditional publishers…

1. If they have submission formatting rules, and I believe they all do, if you don't follow them to the letter they won't read your submission. The reason is they get thousands of submissions so if one is not in their format it takes more time. And they don't have the time. Also, it's an indication you don't follow instructions.

2. If your submission is filled with typos and grammar errors, they'll stop reading. They expect quality. But they will overlook some errors. After all, they have editors.

3. They are looking for consistency within the manuscript, not consistency with their style guide. After all, they don't publish their style guide. But if their style guide is based on/similar to CMOS, your manuscript will read easier for them and probably look better to them because that's what they're familiar with.

So the only thing I can think of that would require an author to make changes for each submission is the submission formatting rules, such as margins, fonts, line spacing, etc.

Now the query letter should be customized to the person you're submitting to so that would have to change each time. You may even have to modify the synopsis. Some want no more than 2 pages while some might want not more than 5.

Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

In fact, I doubt you could guess what CMoS recommends if I gave you three goes at it!


It isn't a space on each side and a space between the dots?

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Switch Blayde

It isn't a space on each side and a space between the dots?

No.

It seems CW isn't prepared to guess: he has responded on other threads. So to put him out of his misery, it's no spaces at either end, but two internal spaces separating the three dots. I presume those are non-breaking spaces.

I don't think I've seen that style used anywhere except in CMoS itself.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Ross at Play


No.


From Grammar Girl:

Now that you know how to use ellipses, you need to know how to make them. An ellipsis consists of exactly three dots called ellipsis points—never two dots, never four dots—just three dots.

Most style guides call for a space between the dots. Typesetters and page designers use something called a thin space or a non-breaking space that prevents the ellipsis points from getting spread over two lines in a document (6). Also, many fonts have an ellipsis symbol that you can insert, but for everyday purposes, it's fine to use regular spaces between the ellipsis points. Type period-space-period-space-period (7). Just make sure your dots don't end up on two different lines.

Also, usually there is a space on each side of an ellipsis. The ellipsis is typically standing in for a word or a sentence, so just imagine that it's a word itself, and then it's easy to remember to put a space on each side.


And on another site: https://turnerproofreading.com/ellipsis-chicago-vs-ap-style/

Chicago uses three spaced periods, like so . . .

AP Style says to treat the ellipsis as a three-letter word, i.e., three periods surrounded by a space on either side, like so …

Remember that it's standing in for another word so treat it like you would any other word in a sentence and put a space on either side.

PotomacBob

@Switch Blayde

The reason for the AP style is that's because it's the style called for - not by the grammarians - but by the computer-to-computer typesetters. It's a technical requirement to fit the back-shop needs for newspapers.

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

Remember that it's standing in for another word so treat it like you would any other word in a sentence and put a space on either side.

I have re-read CMoS 13.48. Its use of the word 'these' in the final sentence is I think ambiguous. I still think the meaning of that is that there are no spaces. However, looking more closely at where ellipses are used in their text, I now think they are using them.

I agree CMoS recommends spaces on both sides. I'm not prepared to concede the monster they publish actually says that.

Ross at Play

Going back to CW's comment ellipses always (his emphasis) have spaces on either side, I've definitely seen in British newspaper(s) some which don't have spaces on either side and some with only a space afterwards.

awnlee_jawking

@Switch Blayde

Remember that it's standing in for another word so treat it like you would any other word in a sentence and put a space on either side.


Grammarians commonly overlook that ellipses are also a punctuation mark with a similar strength to a question mark or exclamation mark. They can terminate a sentence and may or may not terminate a sentence containing dialogue.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@awnlee_jawking

Grammarians commonly overlook that ellipses are also a punctuation mark with a similar strength to a question mark or exclamation mark. They can terminate a sentence and may or may not terminate a sentence containing dialogue.

Interestingly, CMoS does not mention ellipses at all in its chapters on 'Grammar and Usage' or 'Punctuation'. It only defines them in the chapter on 'Quotations and Dialogue', plus a few mentions for tables, mathematics, and foreign languages.

Apparently, according to them, they should never be used in narrative.

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