Re: Standard style manuals -Long Reply

Subject: Re: Standard style manuals -Long Reply
From: Bill Sullivan <bsullivan -at- SMTPLINK -dot- DELTECPOWER -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 3 May 1996 11:08:57 -0700

I have winced each time I have seen this subject line. Standard style
manuals by whose definition? That is my question. Seeing questions
about the favored and frequently used U.S. manuals (the Chicago
Manual of Style, the Microsoft Manual of Style, and the
U.S.Government Printing Office Manual of Style) from Peter Ring in
Denmark and Ollie Cornes in England only brings the question back
stronger. For non-American writers, I suppose most of what is in
these manuals will apply, but you will note differences between the
way us guys do things and they way things are properly done in your
part of the world.

Ollie, you asked: What sort of style guidelines are included in the
Chicago Manual?

The Chicago Manual is divided into parts called Bookmaking (4
chapters), Style (13 chapters), and Production and Printing (2
chapters) plus a Glossary, Bibliography, and Index. Style chapter
titles include Punctuation, Spelling and Distinctive Treatment of
Words, Names and Terms, Numbers, Foreign Languages in Type;
Quotations, Illustrations, Captions and Legends; Tables, Mathematics
in Type, Abbreviations, Documentation (Notes and Bibliographies and
Author-Date Citations and Reference Lists), and Indexes.

Just in case you or anyone else wanted the information, here are some
comments on the other two manuals mentioned.

The Microsoft Manual of Style is an A to Z style reference that I am
liking more and more as I use it, although I have some quibbles with
it. My first quibble, more personal than anything else perhaps, was
their use of the word acronym. The way I learned the meaning of the
word, an acronym is an abbreviation you can pronounce. Their acronym
list is a mixture of what I would call abbreviations and acronyms.

More critical is getting familiar with the Microsoft Manual so you
know where stuff is. This morning, for example, someone asked me
whether noncritical required a hyphen. I clicked open the copy of
the Microsoft Manual of Style on my PC desktop (when you buy the book
you get a CD version as well -- and a convenience). I made the
mistake of looking for hyphens. Nothing there. Later, I happened
across the information I wanted. They have an article entitled
"non."

I acquired my copy of the Government Printing Office Style Manual
when I did government contract work. I continue to use it as an
alternate to the Chicago Manual. For certain things, such as the
list of proofreaders' marks, I think the GPO manual does a better
job. Those writing for European audiences in the respective
languages may be able to make use of the sections on 17 languages
spoken there.

Bill Sullivan
bsullivan -at- deltecpower -dot- com
San Diego, California

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