Reference and Writing

Chicago Manual of Style: 2013 Favorite Things

December 23, 2013
By
Chicago Manual of Style: 2013 Favorite Things

Our colleagues at the Chicago Manual of Style blog have been counting down the days to the new year with a series of short features on their “Favorite Things” from 2013. Have a look at the site here, or by clicking the image above—you’ll find fodder and stylistic ephemera, from bookstores to champion and preferred typographic treatments to foolproof dictionaries and nods to college English teachers. Among those favored? Our own Carol Fisher Saller, author of The Subversive Copy Editor, whose eponymous book is available via the University of Chicago Press website through December 31 for $10 (with discount code SCE2013). Happy holidays from and for everyone who works with words!

. . .

Read more »

The Trials of an Editor

May 8, 2013
By
The Trials of an Editor

We greet the spring with an annual rite, neither more nor less essential than the other invocations that usher in the season (woodpecker outside my window foxing with overzealous, semester’s-end induced sleep; big-leaved magnolia blossoms littering the street like well-boutonnièred toilet-paper folk art and norteño/Baby Bash productions looping over and under some dude’s fancy for the J. Geils Band). With this rite—the announcement of the recipient of any particular year’s Laing Prize—we drum up the legacy of Gordon J. Laing, former general editor of the University of Chicago Press. In February 1925, the same month that saw the New Yorker publish its first issue, Laing penned a satirical piece about university publishing for the in-house newsletter Press Impressions. Stravinsky strings on, and we reproduce it in its entirety below:

***

The Trials of an Editor

Some Experiences of the Man Intrusted with the Preparation of Manuscript for Our Publication

By Gordon J. Laing, General Editor

From Press Impressions, Volume 2, Number 5, February 1925

The editor of Press Impressions gave me the title of this article and I have let it stand. The fact, however, is . . .

Read more »

The University of Chicago Spanish-English Dictionary App

October 25, 2012
By
The University of Chicago Spanish-English Dictionary App

We’re genuinely delighted to announce the release of our University of Chicago Spanish-English Dictionary App, extending the benefits of the University of Chicago Spanish-English Dictionary, Sixth Edition (updated with six thousand new words and meanings selected for their frequency of use, rising popularity, and situational necessity) into the digital realm. We invite you to view the app’s video trailer and visit our satellite site, updated with the latest information about the app, the UCS-ED, and a limited-time offer to purchase the book at a 20 percent discount.

***

The University of Chicago Spanish-English Dictionary App for iPhone and iPod touch is now available for purchase in the iTunes App store.

For more than sixty years, The University of Chicago Spanish–English Dictionary has set the standard for concise bilingual dictionaries. Now thoroughly revised to reflect the most current vocabulary and usage in both languages, this dictionary enables users to find the precise equivalents of the words and phrases they seek on the go, or on their reference shelf.

The Spanish–English Dictionary app is a precise and practical bilingual application for iPhone® and iPod touch® based on the sixth edition of The University of Chicago Spanish–English Dictionary. Browse or . . .

Read more »

Rev. Frederick William Danker (1920–2012)

February 13, 2012
By
Rev. Frederick William Danker (1920–2012)

The world lost one of its most noted lexicographers earlier this month with the passing of Rev. Frederick William Danker. A scholar of the New Testament and the Greek tragedians, a prolific author, a much-admired teacher, and perhaps the foremost expert on the early Christian use of the ancient Greek language, Danker died following complications from a fall.

His crowning achievement, the Third Edition of Bauer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (2000), for which he served as editor, totaled almost 1,100 pages and contained more than 5,500 ancient Greek words and 25,000 additional references to classical, Early Christian, and modern literature.

A graduate of Concordia Seminary and the University of Chicago, Danker (along with his older brother William) was among 45 faculty members fired from Concordia in 1974, for the “liberal” bent of their teachings. Following this, Danker cofounded Seminex, the Concordia Seminary in Exile, before later closing his academic career at the Luthern School of Theology, and committing to work (“12 years working 14-hour days”) on the Lexicon, and its later abbreviated version, the Concise Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (2009). Danker’s contributions included incorporating new archeological findings that shed new . . .

Read more »

Remembering Wayne C. Booth

February 22, 2011
By
Remembering Wayne C. Booth

Literary critic, esteemed professor, rhetorician, and scholar, Wayne C. Booth was born to Mormon parents in American Fork, Utah, on February 22, 1921. A young Booth served on a mission for the church before completing undergraduate work at Brigham Young University (1944) and graduate studies at the University of Chicago (1950).

Also ninety years ago this week, the word “robot” was ushered into the global idiom with the premiere of Karel Čapek’s R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), a play that debuted on the stages of Prague (1921) before launching a four-month run at Broadway’s Garrick Theater in the winter of 1922-23.

After an early teaching stint at the University of Chicago, Booth taught at Haverford and Earlham Colleges before returning to the University as the George M. Pullman Professor of English in 1962, a position he would hold for nearly three decades (though continuing to teach on occasion even in his 80s). Just prior to his appointment, Booth published The Rhetoric of Fiction, a work which considers the literary text in light of both author and audience, applying Aristotelian theory and concepts to advanced discussions of how we make sense of the fictional form. For generations of scholars, the . . .

Read more »

The Ballad of the Lonely Marketeer

December 10, 2010
By
The Ballad of the Lonely Marketeer

‘Twas the night before editing class, when all through the house,

Not a Tumblr was stirring, not even about Leo Strauss.

Our Manual was hung by the Craigslist chair with care,

In hopes that substantive freelance projects soon would be there.

Its semicolons were nestled, all snug in their beds,

While visions of in-line text citations danced in their heads.

And yoga instructor partner in his ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled our auto-insurance claim before a between blogging nap.

When from the publicist in Reference Division there arose such a clatter,

I sprang to The Chicago Manual of Style to see what was the matter.

Away to my (still standing!) 2006 MacBook Core-Duo I flew like a flash,

Tore open my freeware version of Word and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of Chicago’s (seriously?) ten inches of snow,

Gave lustre to the bags of Fiery Hot Cheetos on the sidewalk below.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear?

But a miniature CMoS, available for download here.

With such masterful copyediting (what symphonic soundtrack? Mahler?),

I thought for certain it must be trademark Carol Fisher Saller.

More rapid than in our Online Q & A, the pithy one-liners came,

And mini-CMoS whistled, and shouted, and called . . .

Read more »

Waiting for Superman to school citizens

November 10, 2010
By
Waiting for Superman to school citizens

This week’s issue of the New York Review of Books takes a stance on a hot-button issue that just happens to be the subject of a major new documentary. If you watch Oprah, read the Nation or Time magazine, or, you know, listen to conversations with President Obama on the nightly news, you know that Davis Guggenheim, director of the Academy Award-winning film An Inconvenient Truth (shoutout to Al Gore and polar bears!), helms a new movie about the fate of public education in America and the plight of five children competing for admission to in-demand charter schools. Waiting for “Superman” paints a provocative portrait of the rise of a new generation of charter schools, many funded by the government but privately run, and each presenting an alternative to troubled U.S. public schools.

But as Diane Ravitch notes in the NYRB article:

Waiting for “Superman” and the other films appeal to a broad apprehension that the nation is falling behind in global competition. If the economy is a shambles, if poverty persists for significant segments of the population, if American kids are not as serious about their studies as their peers in other nations, the schools must be to . . .

Read more »

So, um, what are you going to do with that?

November 4, 2010
By
So, um, what are you going to do with that?

Here’s the thing about viral videos: take a snooze for a few days, righteously celebrate a pagan holiday, or watch an older and more conservative electorate radically alter the shape of the American political landscape, and you’re already a day late and a dollar short. This week, that video is Xtranormal’s “So You Want to Get a PhD in the Humanities?” Picked up across the web by sites as diverse as Open Culture, a peer-to-peer educational forum, and 3 Quarks Daily, an intelligent commentary webzine, as well as by blogger Scott McLemme and nearly every graduate English student’s Facebook feed, this satiric animated exchange between a tenured professor and an ambitious would-be Humanities PhD has pithily summarized long-brewing debates about the overcrowded academic job market, low-paying adjunct salaries, and grim prospects for those who, you know, continue to study the human in all of its endeavors.

We might not have a ready solution to all that ails, here at Chicago, but we do have plenty of resources for students similarly driven. Andrew Roberts’s The Thinking Student’s Guide to College: 75 Tips for Getting a Better Education is a great prequel to that one-on-one conversation with professors near and . . .

Read more »

Into the future with the Chicago Manual of Style

October 6, 2010
By
Into the future with the Chicago Manual of Style

The new 16th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style has once again assured that Chicago is at the forefront of the publishing world, our advice and instructions fully up to date with the latest publishing practices—and sometimes even beyond, as this question posed to the the all-seeing, all-knowing CMOS Q&A demonstrates:

Q. Dear Chicago Manual of Style,

If, by using a time machine to go back in time, I’ve inadvertently changed the future, is there a way to make that clear with my verb tenses when I write my note of apology to the universe? For example, how do I refer to an event that happened in the recent past (Mars mission, Cubs’ world championship), but, because I messed up the time stream in the more distant past, now didn’t happen and won’t ever happen? (This is purely hypothetical: I would never jeopardize all of history merely to save myself from a particularly unfortunate high school haircut.)

A. As it happens, because this question is so frequently asked, CMOS is currently developing the “temporal transitive” for the 17th edition of the Manual. In consultation with the linguists and physicists of the Chicago Hyper Tense Committee, led by Bryan Garner, . . .

Read more »

Autumn Leaves

October 1, 2010
By
Autumn Leaves

Image by Rebecca Anne @ Flickr . . .

Read more »

Search for books and authors

Switch to our mobile site