Q. Dear CMOS team—a book I am working on as an editor is called (disguised) Sandwich: Imagine the Recipe. Write It Down. Watch It Happen. Are the periods in the subtitle appropriate, or are commas preferred? The periods are driving me crazy, so it would be nice if there were a Chicago rule to say yea or nay.
A. The periods are certainly awkward when it comes to putting that title into a sentence. But for better or for worse, they’re part of the title’s personality, so it’s probably best to leave them as they are. If the title appears midsentence, omit the final period or change it to a comma, depending on the syntax. Try to think of the whole thing as a unit and just avert your eyes.