The Chicago Manual of Style Favorite Things 2013

Join us for two weeks of all the people, places, and things that made our lives a little better in 2013.

Day 11  Chicago Manual of Style Favorite—The Serial Comma

Rules may come and go but we stand firm on our commitment to the serial comma. It brings clarity to even the most complex world events.

Wishing you holidays that are warm, merry, and full of style!


Day 10  Chicago Manual of Style Favorite—Language Apps

When planes are delayed or family gatherings get awkward, a good mobile game can make the time fly. Even better is when we can improve our word skills at the same time. Mignon Fogarty’s Grammar Girl blog posts and podcasts bring clarity to grammar, and so we love her new Grammar Pop app. And one of our go-to dictionaries is boosting our vocabulary on the fly with their Quizzitive app. Have another favorite? Share it on our Facebook page.


Day 9  Chicago Manual of Style Favorite—Movie Versions of Books

Okay, hear us out: While we believe that the book version almost always trumps the movie version of a tale, we’re still glad that moviemakers are finding inspiration in great books. When the adaptation is good, they can add a delightful complement to the versions that played out in our head. And even when they miss the mark, time, and time, and time again movies give a big boost to book sales. If it gets more people reading, then we’re all for it!

(Illustration by Australian cartoonist, illustrator, and animator Robin Tatlow-Lord)

Day 8  Chicago Manual of Style Favorite—Librarians

Librarians Have Heart

The original search engine, librarians have shaped our lives from the short shelves of the children’s section to the deep archives of the research library. In a sea of information, they provide a guiding light while deftly handling every question—yes, even those that start with, “It was a smallish book with a blue cover . . .”

(Poster by Sarah McIntyre)


Day 7  Chicago Manual of Style Favorite—Bookstores

Inside the Co-op

We love bookstores. Here in Chicago’s Hyde Park we’re lucky to have four neighborhood bookstores, including the recently redesigned Seminary Co-op bookstore (at left). Now that’s something worthy of a parade. Tell us on Facebook about your favorite bookstore, then head out and buy a book. After all, it’s the perfect gift! 

(Photo by Tom Rossiter, from Building Ideas)



Day 6  Chicago Manual of Style Favorite—Authors

The Subversive Copy Editor herself, Carol Fisher Saller

We love authors (especially those who know and, most important, use The Chicago Manual of Style). And one of our favorite authors is our own Subversive Copy Editor, Carol Fisher Saller (at left). Her eponymous book fits in stockings hung by chimneys with (or without) care and is the perfect gift for the editor on your list. Even jollier? The paperback is available for $10 on our website with code SCE2013, through December 31.


Day 5  Chicago Manual of Style Favorite—Dictionaries

Webster's Third New International

We are grateful for dictionaries, both print and online. They’re usually our first stop when trying to figure out the correct spelling (hint, we usually go with the first instance) and whether irregardless has truly been accepted as a word. And we love the new OED Appeals, which gives everyone a chance to assist researchers in finding the earliest recorded date (or some other key aspect) of a word.


Day 4  Chicago Manual of Style Favorite—English Teachers

Keep Calm I'm an English Teacher

We have all had teachers who inspired us to work at our writing and think critically about what we read. With patience and a careful eye they review stacks of papers and they teach students that good writing matters and careful revising matters more. They are our first editors, and we wouldn’t be where we are today without their encouragement. In these difficult times in education, we are so very thankful for teachers. Is there a teacher who made a difference in your writing? Give them a shout-out on our Facebook page.


Day 3  Chicago Manual of Style Favorite—Typography

Photo by Brett Jordan

From the beautiful (Tisa, the font of choice in the printed Manual) to the profane (oh the great fall of Comic Sans), we love the special slope and shape of ascenders and descenders. While we’re not ones to judge a book by its cover, we appreciate how creative or beautifully printed type can bring an extra spark to a novel. We’re hoping that one of these books will be in our stockings.


Day 2  Chicago Manual of Style Favorite—You!


You know the difference between grammar and style, you worry about hyphenation, and you have favorite paragraphs committed to memory (CMOS 6:18 anyone?). You are a fan of the Chicago Manual of Style. Whether you own a print copy festooned with sticky notes or an online version tagged with notes and bookmarks, you know exactly what you don’t know, and where you should look it up. We’re glad to have you as readers and look forward to another year of comments, parodies, and interesting questions.

Here’s a bit of fun history for our superfans—a link to the first edition of the Manual. Three cheers for all ye gropers in the labyrinths of typographical style!


Day 1  Chicago Manual of Style Favorites

CMOS on tree

With the holidays upon us and 2013 coming to a close we are thinking about our favorite people, places, and things. After all, since Oprah left Chicago someone had to step in! So for the next two weeks look here for shoutouts to all the people, places, and things that made our lives a little better in 2013. And while we can’t give everyone in our audience a car, we still have a little gift for you, a guide to creating your very own Chicago Manual of Style ornament. Perfect for hanging on Christmas trees, cubicle walls, or wherever you need a little Chicago style. Print it out, fold it up, and enjoy a wee bit of style this holiday season.

Check back each day for a new favorite and feel free to share your own on our Facebook page.