Usage and Grammar
Q. On our organization website we publish announcements of researcher presentations, which I like to format this way: He presented a poster authored with Smith, “Measuring the Multidisciplinary Impact of Scientific Data.” My boss always insists on changing this to the following: He presented a poster authored with Smith on “Measuring the Multidisciplinary Impact of Scientific Data.” The on seems awkward. I would concede as equivalent either “a poster authored with Smith entitled ‘Measuring . . . ,’” or “a poster authored with Smith on measuring . . .” (wherein the topic is lowercased and not set off in quotation marks). However, I think the first example is fine and would prefer it since it’s more succinct. Do you agree with my preferences and that his version is awkward—and if so, can you help me make a case for my approach?
A. Certainly. You can cite the examples at CMOS 8.172: “The title of a work should not be used to stand for the subject of a work.”