The Compulsive Copyeditor

May 6, 2010

Usage Find of the Day [UPDATED]

Filed under: language degenerating,punctuation,Usage Find of the Day — amba12 @ 11:02 pm

Subject line of an e-mail received tonight from the University of Chicago Press:

Its coming! The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition

Not soon enough, alas!

UPDATE: Apparently it was a machine’s fault!

Dear Ms. Gottlieb:

Many apologies for the error. Please be assured that the text of our original email message had “It’s coming!” in the subject line, but our email software accidentally stripped the apostrophe in the process of sending the message.

All the best,
The CMOS Team

Well, that’s a relief!  It’s only the young folks who program the e-mail software who are confused about apostrophe s!



  1. How ironic — the Chicago Manual of Style is the arbiter I turn to for rulings on matter of usage, grammar, and punctuation . . .

    Comment by amba12 — May 6, 2010 @ 11:14 pm | Reply

  2. I’m all a-quiver!–as always I am, these days, with regard to all of the updates of all of the many and various style guides I’ve collected over the years on account of being accountable to one or another of ’em in one way or another at one point in time or another.

    Truth be told, what most impresses me is that there are publishers out there that can still afford to keep updating style guides. What most awes me is the notion that there still are people out there gainfully employed in updating style guides. Make no mistake: I am grateful for both realities. At the same time, my cynicism spikes.

    Comment by reader_iam — May 7, 2010 @ 12:02 am | Reply

  3. What specific updates are needed? In what areas and for what reasons are they needed? Do those updates require an “XX Edition”? If so, why?

    Comment by reader_iam — May 7, 2010 @ 2:03 am | Reply

  4. Of course, CMS online (really just the book, not very webby or flexibly searchable) is constantly answering reader questions, which serves as a kind of update feature. If their website were smarter, they could collate a lot of updates online before issuing a new edition. Language is constantly changing, of course — new compounds are no longer hyphenated, e.g. (big deal!!). I think the new edition is primarily needed so that many editors will feel a need to buy it and beef up the press’s coffers.

    Comment by amba12 — May 7, 2010 @ 8:21 am | Reply

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