Headlines and Titles of Works
Q. Can you please confirm the correct spelling of “TIME magazine”? CMOS 8.171 has Time magazine. However, TIME customer service tells me that TIME Magazine is correct. I think “magazine” should be lowercased, since it does not appear anywhere on the cover, and I do not think it is part of the official name of the magazine, even though they capitalize it on their website. What do you think?
Q. I am copyediting a website that includes testimonials from authors of various books. If this were a print publication, there would be no question that the book titles would be italicized. However, since it is a website, are the rules different? The Yahoo! Style Guide, which deals specifically with digital content, recommends enclosing book titles in double quotation marks. Several other style guides I have come across recommend using italics. I am the person expected to create the style guide for the organization. What do you say?
Q. Lately, more and more titles are styled in lowercase—the Broadway show bare , for example, and Ann Hamilton’s 2001 installation the picture is still. When this sort of title appears in a headline or at the beginning of a sentence, would you allow authors to retain the lowercase styling? It sure looks weird, but people do love their high-maintenance names. (Yes, Ke$ha, I am talking about you.)
Q. Should the word “nature” be capitalized in this sentence? “My research goal is to advance a global energy solution copied from Nature itself: artificial photosynthesis.”
Q. According to CMOS, the honorific title First Lady should be capitalized in all instances. Does that mean that the phrase “the president and First Lady” is correctly capitalized?
Q. I’m helping a French writer edit a book he has written in English. I’ve been following the convention of writing French words and phrases in italics and also using italics for movie titles, book titles, etc. Now I come upon a French song title, and I can’t figure out what to do with it. Here is the phrase: He called it “La non-demande en mariage.” Do I keep the quotation marks? Do I italicize the French song title? Both?
Q. I see in CMOS that civil titles, such as “secretary of state,” should be lowercase unless appearing as, for example, “Secretary of State Smith.” What about titles such as “assistant secretary of state for bureaucracy and obfuscation”? Should “bureaucracy and obfuscation” be lowercase to match “assistant secretary of state” or should it be capitalized as the name of a specific department?
Q. I am editing a cookbook. When I am referring to a recipe by its full name in introductory text—say, Spelt Butterhorn Rolls—would the name be capitalized as I just did, should it be enclosed in quotation marks, or should it just be lowercase?
Q. Hi there. Please advise those of us who have to deal with music questions in our copyediting. How would you style the name of a concert—in roman or italics? For example, One World: The Concert for Tsunami Relief.
Q. I’m an editor at a law firm. I was recently asked whether there is any difference between “no more than” and “not more than,” as in “Violator will be sentenced to no/not more than five years in prison.” I took a poll in the office, and the other editors said they prefer “no more than,” but they pointed out that “not more than” is common in the legal context.