15th EditionPreface

In preparing this fifteenth edition of The Chicago Manual of Style, we have sought to address the increasing proportion of our users who work with magazines, newsletters, corporate reports, proposals, electronic publications, Web sites, and other nonbook or nonprint documents. We have continued, nonetheless, to focus on the specific needs of our core constituency—writers and editors of scholarly books and journals. Because new needs, both technological and literary, prompted a major revision, Chicago consulted a wider range of advisers than ever before. We enlisted scholars, publishing professionals, and writers familiar with book and journal publishing, journalism, and—particularly valuable—electronic publication. Their counsel informs this edition.
       Computer technology and the increasing use of the Internet mark almost every chapter. New sections have been added on preparing electronic publications (in chapters 1, 2, and 3), including the kind of editing and proofreading these require. Guidance on citing electronic works, accompanied by many examples, is offered in chapter 17. The differing demands of print and nonprint works are noted wherever relevant. We assume throughout that most writers and editors, whether preparing print or nonprint works, use computer software. The figure in chapter 2 that both explains and illustrates how to edit a manuscript on paper is now accompanied by an example of a redlined manuscript edited on screen.
       New to this edition is a chapter on grammar and usage by Bryan A. Garner, author of Garner’s Modern American Usage (2003). While most of the Chicago Manual deals with house style (consistent forms of capitalization, punctuation, spelling, hyphenation, documentation, and so forth), Garner outlines the grammatical structures of English, shows how to put words and phrases together to achieve clarity, warns against pomposity, and identifies common errors. Included in this chapter are a glossary of troublesome expressions; guidance on bias-free language; and a list of words with their associated prepositions. As elsewhere in this manual, a conservative approach is tempered by pragmatism. Some elements in this chapter reappear elsewhere in different contexts; for example, restrictive versus nonrestrictive clauses are discussed in chapter 5 from a syntactical point of view and in chapter 6 as part of the treatment of commas.
       Other important revisions include a section (in chapter 1) on the various elements that make up a scholarly journal; updated and expanded coverage of copyright and permissions matters (chapter 4); a reorganized section on compounds and hyphenation that contains new material but occupies less space (in chapter 7); more attention to Canadian terms and usage (in chapters 8 and 17 and elsewhere); a new section prepared by editors of Gallaudet University Press on the typographic presentation of American Sign Language (in chapter 10); and a largely rewritten chapter on mathematics (chapter 14), which recognizes the almost universal use of computer software by both authors and editors. We have reorganized the chapters on documentation: chapter 16 now outlines the two main systems preferred by Chicago (notes and bibliography on the one hand and the author-date style on the other), and chapter 17 discusses specific elements and subject matter, with examples of both systems in almost every paragraph. In the area of design and manufacture, we have streamlined coverage to reflect what writers and editors need to know about current procedures. This material is presented in appendix A, which includes a list of key terms used in typesetting, printing, and binding. Appendix B diagrams the editing and production processes for both books and journals. The For Further Reference sections have been eliminated in favor of a more comprehensive bibliography; the entries, thoroughly updated, are classified by type.
       To aid navigation, every numbered paragraph now opens with a run-in subhead identifying the subject matter of the paragraph. For a more detailed overview of the manual than chapter titles alone can provide, we have added first-level subheads to the table of contents. As in earlier editions, each chapter opens with a full list of its contents.
       As for the rules that many of us either know or know how to look up, we have changed only a few, and mainly those that have never caught on. For example, in line with almost universal usage in the United States, we now recommend the month-day-year form of dates (January 1, 2003) and present our formerly preferred day-month-year style as a useful option. And we no longer urge deletion of the n in 2nd or the r in 3rd. As always, most Chicago rules are guidelines, not imperatives; where options are offered, the first is normally our preference. Users should break or bend rules that dont fit their needs, as we often do ourselves. Some advice from the first edition (1906), quoted in the twelfth and thirteenth editions and invoked in the fourteenth, bears repeating: Rules and regulations such as these, in the nature of the case, cannot be endowed with the fixity of rock-ribbed law. They are meant for the average case, and must be applied with a certain degree of elasticity.
       This manual had its origins in the 1890s as a single sheet of typographic fundamentals drawn up by a University of Chicago Press proofreader. From its first publication as a book in 1906 to this fifteenth edition, it has retained its occasionally arbitrary character, for it reflects Chicagos house style. Ideas generated from within the press and, increasingly, from outside have modified its tone and the thrust of its guidelines over the years. The twelfth edition, the most radically revised, was virtually a new book. The thirteenth and fourteenth continued to draw ideas from authors and editors, from responses to questionnaires, and from letters and telephone calls from (sometimes perplexed) readers. The present edition benefited not only from similar sources but also from a circle of advisers connected by e-mail, from a listserv for university press managing editors, and from the Q&A page in the University of Chicago Presss own Web site. Many who contributed ideas, words, sections, and examples are listed in the acknowledgments that follow.
 
On behalf of the University of Chicago Press
Margaret D. F. Mahan
Spring 2003