Punctuation

Q. In typing a single quotation mark within a double quotation mark, does one add a space for clarity, as in “ ‘, or are they printed without a space, as in “‘?

Q. Although periods go inside quotation marks in text, is it acceptable to put the period outside the quote when the quote is part of a string of computer code? Following the rule for text would distort the string of code, causing confusion. Example: Include the type identifier: type=“text/JavaScript”.

Q. To emphasize a word in the narrative (not dialog), is it acceptable to use italics or should I use “quotation marks”? Also, can a question mark and an exclamation point be combined (?!) to emphasize the question, i.e., “Are you calling me a liar?!” Thanks!

Q. What is the rule about using quotation marks to signal an unusual use of a word? I’m editing a writer who employs this device overmuch, it seems to me. But I don’t want to be a fuddy-duddy. Any advice?

Q. Dear CMOS, I am puzzled by what appears to me as an inconsistency in your demonstration of footnote style with author-date system. The example in section 15.30 demonstrates a footnote that is clearly indented. However, the text sample for figure 15.2 shows a footnote whose first line is not indented. Can you please tell me what is correct format for this issue?

Q. If I have a sentence that includes a parenthesis (say I’m talking about a 401[k] plan), do I really have to change the (k) to brackets? It seems wrong to be messing with the government like that :). But then again, if the sentence had a parenthesis that ended with 401(k), I’d have a double parenthesis.

Q. Hi—I seem to remember in an earlier edition of the CMOS that, if parenthetical material ended in a period, the final period of the sentence should be omitted, even if the rules would otherwise require it. Here’s an example:

She prepared all the Thanksgiving dishes (turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, etc.)

She prepared all the Thanksgiving dishes (turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, etc.).

A co-worker has insisted that the second example is correct and has scoffed at me for suggesting that the first example is preferred. Did I deserve the scoffing? Please do not tell me to omit the “etc.” whenever possible, because this will not be an option in most cases.

Q. When a plural possessive ends a sentence, where does CMOS recommend that the apostrophe fall—before or after the period? For example: Because UAVs fly relatively close to the ground, their surveillance “footprints” are smaller than the satellites’. Is there a rule in CMOS that covers this?

Q. I frequently edit indexes for heavily illustrated books. The indexer has been instructed to index the photographs. The result can be somewhat strange:

McIntosh apples, 231, 231

Can’t the reader assume that a photo page might also have text on it? Or is it better to break out the italic numbers separately? And should the text page precede the italic page when they are the same number? Also, how should the italic (or bold) page numbers be treated when there is a range of text pages with photos dropped in?

McIntosh apples, 231–235, 234–235

Q. When using a superscript footnote number at the end of a sentence, should the period precede or follow the footnote number? What about footnote numbers in midsentence that fall next to some other form of punctuation (comma, semicolon, etc.)?