Changes in the new edition of ‘The Chicago Manual of Style’

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Or should that be ‘Earth-shattering’?

changes-in-the-new-edition-of-the-chicago-manual-of-style photo 1 (University of Chicago Press)

The editors of “The Chicago Manual of Style” resist the changing winds of linguistic fashion. But that doesn’t mean they ignore how the English language and usage are evolving. Here are several big changes you’ll find in the new 17th edition:

● Write email, not e-mail. Copy editors cheered when this change was announced, and why not? Think of the savings in hyphen electrons.

● You may finally lowercase “i” in internet. We’re all used to this by now anyhow.

● Grammarians, take notice: The singular “they” and “their” are now acceptable, as in “Everyone pick up their books.” But only sort of and in spots. If an author simply cannot write around it or their language is very informal, well, all right then, “they” prevents gendered language. But “Chicago” would very much prefer that in formal writing writers find a way to avoid this.

● Stop using ibid in bibliographies. Instead, why not just use a shortened citation of the book title? Like, say, “Chicago.”

● Syntax more. Does that sound wrong to you? Then you’ll love perusing the 30-plus new sections on syntax in Ibid. I mean in “Chicago.”

Scott Huler’s seventh book of nonfiction, “A Delicious Country,” about 18th-century explorer John Lawson, will be published by the University of North Carolina Press.

The Chicago Manual of Style 17th Edition

By The University of Chicago Press Editorial Staff

University of Chicago Press. 1,144 pp. $70

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