Questions tagged [style-manuals]

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44
votes
4answers
204k views

Do footnoting superscripts go inside or outside punctuation?

When using superscripts to indicate a footnote, do these fall inside or outside adjacent punctuation? If there is an answer, is that answer applicable worldwide, or just to specific regions or ...
28
votes
6answers
8k views

Punctuating question tags: A question mark is always required, isn't it. (Well, isn't it?)

Consider the sentence: You didn't leave the dog in the car, did you? In spoken English, this statement may be spoken with a rising intonation or a falling one. If the former, it suggests that ...
27
votes
5answers
12k views

Should punctuation surrounding italicised words be italicised?

This might be a tad off-topic, but I am looking for an English-specific answer. When I’m using italic text to denote emphasis or a quotation, should the italicisation extend to the punctuation ...
20
votes
7answers
2k views

Where can I find a reasonably well recognized free style guide that is online?

I don't like prefixing all my answers and pontifications about English usage with IMHO. Where can I find a reasonably well recognized style guide that is online that I can refer people to? My first ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

What manual of style should I use for technical writing for US Federal Government documents?

For a lot of the questions I'm seeing on ELaU, it seems the answer is ultimately arbitrary and unlikely to be resolved by poll. Since style guides exist to settle the question for people who care not ...
6
votes
1answer
509 views

Punctuating a Question Ending with an Exclamatory Quotation in American Style

I've done quite a bit of looking for some definitive advice on this scenario to no avail, so I turn to you. What is the proper way to punctuate a question ending with an exclamatory quotation, such as ...
5
votes
6answers
8k views

Dative whom with accusative who

When I am not bound by a style that mandates otherwise, I like to use whom in dative constructions and who in accusative constructions (I am aware that English doesn't have a proper case system, but ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Inconsistency in Strunk and White regarding serial comma

From Strunk and White's The Elements of Style, Chapter 2, Lesson 2: In a series of three or more terms with a single conjunction, use a comma after each term except the last Thus write, ...
5
votes
3answers
14k views

Capitalization: 'rivers'

In the following sentence, is rivers capitalized or not? The Delaware and Potomac rivers are beautiful.
5
votes
5answers
5k views

Is “yearslong” a word?

The New York Times just published an article where they use the word "yearslong": Federal agents charged 18 current and former members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department on Monday, ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Semicolon: Always required before conjunction if internal punctuation follows, even if no ambiguity?

Is the semicolon in the following sentence necessary? Is it preferable? To me, it seems that there would be no ambiguity if the semicolon were replaced with a comma, but the writer insists that a ...
5
votes
3answers
12k views

Do you separate an imperative after a conjunction by a comma?

I want you to go and ask him the price, but don't tell him I sent you. Is this a main clause followed by a coordinating clause (imperative)? Pour the vodka into the glass, and add orange juice. ...
5
votes
1answer
148 views

What is the stylistic form to use for including foreign text in an English article?

Academic texts often include translations of terms, and these are included in parentheses. Is there a standard to use when including foreign language text (e.g. Arabic, Russian, Chinese, etc.)? Let'...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Why do we use Roman numerals for some page numbers but Arabic ones for others?

Why is it that certain pages in English-language books are numbered using Roman numerals, but other pages are numbered using (so-called) Arabic ones? Has it always been this way? Or was the split ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

Civil War/antebellum terms in Chicago style

In Chicago style, should the term "union" be capitalized when referring to the pre-Civil War nation? What about the terms "northern" and "southern" as adjectives? I can find clear-cut references for ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Yoga terms in English and the capitalization thereof

I'm editing a manuscript in English that contains numerous yoga terms for poses, concepts etc. These are generally derived from Sanskrit, if not actual Sanskrit transliterations. My publisher requires ...
3
votes
2answers
392 views

Suspended hyphen in“ever-expanding and contracting gulf”?

My hunch is a suspended hyphen is not needed preceding the second word (contracting), but the writer queried this and I'm not sure. (We go by the Chicago Manual of Style but I can't find an example ...
3
votes
1answer
492 views

What style guide does the Queen use?

Is there a known style guide or documented set of stylistic rules for the English language that Queen Elizabeth II and/or her office uses in emitted correspondence? Is there any way to know how QE2 ...
3
votes
0answers
170 views

Is it acceptable to write “Best Regards” with a capital “R” and not followed by a comma? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: 'Thanks and Regards,' or 'Thanks and regards,'? Should you use a comma/period after "Thanks"/"Regards" in email signatures? In my company, ...
2
votes
2answers
62 views

Are there any style guides that dictate the use of “on/at Amazon” (and other web platforms). If so, what are they and what's the reasoning behind it?

I've been doing some really basic copywriting for various books that I've seen on various reading lists and I occasionally refer readers to Amazon. Here's a simple example: You can get a good ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

French fries or french fries? [duplicate]

Yesterday I came across the following sentence, using "french" fries in lowercase, in an exercise book for non-native speakers of English: We ordered two "french" fries and two apple pies. So I have ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Shortest date abbreviation recommended by CMOS

What's the shortest abbreviation for a full date (day, month, and year) recommended by the Chicago Manual of Style? I know CMOS recommends against all-numeral dates, so I'd rather not use those. (I ...
2
votes
2answers
227 views

What are Fowler's guidelines for comma usage for this phrase?

I don't need to set off "at times" in commas here, do I? "It is an at times fraught debate... " The alternative is as follows: "It is an, at times, fraught debate... " And, a second question, ...
2
votes
1answer
865 views

Serial commas in quotations

If the publication you are proofing for uses the serial comma, and an essay you're proofing includes a quotation from a biography that does not use a serial comma, is it permissible to silently add ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

Citations in Chicago Style For Direct Quote and Subsequent Paragraph - Two Citations and “Ibid.,” or One?

I apologize for the political nature of this quote, but this is what I'm working on. I am using the Chicago Manual of Style. I am wondering if, when quoting a comment in a medium-length section that ...
2
votes
1answer
368 views

The grammar of user interface (technical writing)

I need to translate the interface of our software into English, but I'm not sure how to deal with grammar. Should some auxiliary verbs, articles be omitted for the sake of brevity like in the ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Pronunciation guide for foreign words: Single or double quotation marks?

Is the use of single quotation marks below standard style in American English? The Japanese word “Nagasaki” is pronounced as ‘na+ga+sa+ki’ Double quotation marks would seem more natural to me, ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Italicize Translated Title in Parentheses?

I'm proofreading a book and came across the title of a poem with the translation in parentheses (name changed for confidentiality): "... in his poem, Les Amours des Dieux (The Loves of the Gods), .....
2
votes
1answer
164 views

Manuals of Style and Typography for British and American English [closed]

I would like to know which manuals of style and typography are the most common ones for British and American English. I am interested in the basic manuals and the manuals for technical scientists (...
2
votes
2answers
361 views

Asymmetric hyphenation?

I want to talk about things being either “laminodental or apicodental”, but would rather avoid repeating “dental”. Omission of the second part of hyphenated compounds is straightforward (e.g., “user- ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

When to use “And” at the start of sentence? [duplicate]

I know that and is used to join two sentences or phrases. There are some places I've read that have And is used at the beginning of a sentence. What are the occasions when this is done?
1
vote
3answers
718 views

Do any style guides advocate the alternating use of “he” and “she” as a gender-neutral pronoun?

I don't like the options that are usually given in the "gender-neutral pronoun" debate. The singular they offends my prescriptivist sensibilities. His/her constructions are clunky and look terrible. ...
1
vote
2answers
144 views

Capitalisation of W in 'How to send money: Watch the video'

Should "W" of watch be capitalized as it is starting after a colon?
1
vote
2answers
10k views

Capitalization in military writing

The editor for a book I'm writing tells me that Delta Company should be written Delta company within the text of the story. Examples: (1) "The only thing the old man told me was get on that helicopter ...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

Capitalization of titles in an essay where the original work does not capitalize its title according to style (MLA)

In my essay (MLA), I talk about Kendrick Lamar's album titled good kid, m.A.A.d city (stylized like that). Which of the following ways would be the correct way to title my essay: Kendrick Lamar's ...
1
vote
1answer
965 views

Two middle initials / data entry

When inputting names to a database (used by English and non-English language users) what would be the preferable way to tackle a name with two middle initials? John George William Doe for example. ...
1
vote
2answers
5k views

Which way to write 7th or seventh, 19th or nineteenth, 27th or twenty-seventh, 127, etc [closed]

I type reports for the federal government. I need to know what to do about writing numbers such as 7th or seventh, 19th or nineteenth, 27th or twenty-seventh, 190th or one hundred twenty-seventh or ...
1
vote
2answers
7k views

Style clarification for date superscripts, th, st and nd

I wanted to know, while writing dates such as 1st April or 2nd March; do we need to superscript the st and the nd as 1st April and 2nd March, or is it ok to write them without the superscript ...
1
vote
3answers
241 views

Do any style guides recommend an apostrophe at the end for double possessors? (John and Jacks' house)

I am aware that the universally accepted style is to put an apostrophe-s at the end of the second possessor's name. Example: Amy and Steve's car My question is not whether that is the common rule; ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

What is the correct way to format a title within a title/headline/header?

The Chicago Manual of Style and the AP Stylebook generally disagree about how to format book/movie/album titles in a paragraph of text: Chicago: The person is reading The Grapes of Wrath today. AP: ...
1
vote
1answer
488 views

How to quote a book that has a quote in the text that I'm quoting?

I'm trying to quote this in my paper: despite the universal desire to return to "normal," things changed How would I quote this in MLA? Would I substitute the double quotations for single, or use ...
1
vote
2answers
292 views

Commas with quotes [duplicate]

I read the following sentence1: He rallied the Senate with the plea, “It’s time to change the Senate before this institution becomes obsolete.” I’m wondering whether a comma should be placed after ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

How does one read aloud a birth year with no death year? Eg: John Smith (1994 – )

It is common to notate someone's lifespan using the syntax [year of birth] – [year of death]. When the subject is still living, you simply omit the death year, such as 1994 –. When reading this aloud,...
1
vote
1answer
31 views

What sort of phrases cannot be restrictive or non-restrictive?

The Chicago Manual of Style says A phrase that is restrictive—that is, essential to the meaning (and often the identity) of the noun it belongs to—should not be set off by commas. What sort of ...
1
vote
1answer
252 views

Should the introductory sentence of a bulleted list end with a colon or a period?

Which of the two examples below is the right way to punctuate the introductory sentence before a bulleted list where each list item is a complete sentence ending with a period? Example 1 There are a ...
1
vote
1answer
707 views

Chicago Manual of Style: Citations for photos downloaded from Flickr

I have "Photo Credits" section in my book containing a list of all image citations in the Chicago style, much like a bibliography. CMOS (Chicago manual of Style) 16th edition doesn't say anything ...
1
vote
2answers
589 views

Using “and” in a list with an element already containing “and” [duplicate]

I'm struggling with the following sentence in an APA format paper. I don't like the double usage of and here, but 'supply and demand' is one thing in this context. Is this correct or do I need to make ...
1
vote
1answer
237 views

In a headline written with initial capitals, should “outside” be capitalized? [duplicate]

I'm writing a headline for an article ending with "outside the organization." According to our style book, we capitalize on headline. Should "outside" be capitalized in this context?
1
vote
1answer
6k views

How to Cite a Supreme Court Syllabus in Chicago Style?

I'm trying to cite the syllabus of a Supreme Court case in Chicago Style (Notes and Bib). Help?
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Fragmented Quotes and Bracketed Ellipses

I had a question about the use of the bracketed ellipses with fragmented quotes. Below is an example from CMOS 16. Please refer to it. My question is at the bottom of this thread. I'm hoping you ...