Chicago, Commentary, Reference and Writing

CMOS 16 in the News

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The reviews are in, and they’re all raves! One day after the official publication date of The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, the Chicago Tribune weighed in with a feature-length story about the new edition and the readers who love it. Steve Johnson, the Tribune‘s pop culture critic, writes:

Bound, famously, in orange and thicker with each new edition, the 104-year-old reference classic has kept watch over the publication of hundreds of great books and thousands of not-so-great ones, an arbiter and aide-de-camp for editors trying to decide how to handle items in a list, punctuation within quotes or, these days, the proper hexadecimal code for the German double low-9 quotation mark (201E, as you probably suspected).

The Tribune article also quotes Wendy McClure, an author and editor at Albert Whitman & Company: “I love that big, crazy, orange book.… It’s what I’ve turned to when I’m unsure about something when I’m proofreading. But also, when you have your first publishing job and are trying to figure out how this all works, you’ve got this whole big book you can plunge into.”
The New York Times Paper Cuts blog chimed in with a “usage geek’s” take on what’s new in the sixteenth edition:

The new edition’s press materials come with a 19-point bulleted list of what’s fresh, including an electronic-editing checklist, all sorts of guidelines for e-publishing (XML workflow, anyone?), and—here’s where they had me—a whole new section on parallel structure! (Swoon.) The book contains an “expanded section on bias-free language,” which in this cultural moment I might have titled the “wishful thinking” section. And it promises “firmer rules and clearer recommendations,” which was striking, considering the seemingly inexorable trend away from firmness in matters of grammar and usage, especially online. What exactly does “firmer” mean? (Visions of subversive copy editors wielding chains and bullwhips dance in my head.)

Finally, the Glendale News-Press (of Glendale, CA) highlights their favorite changes from the Manual‘s newest iteration.
The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, is available in print and online.