Usage and Grammar

Q. Hello CMOS. Per your style, for phrasal adjectives including units of measurement, I’ve used the singular form of the unit in, for example, “100-foot-long boat” (instead of “100-feet-long boat”). An author has rejected my edits that revise “feet” to “foot”; telling him that this is incorrect because of a style guide has not convinced him to revert them back to the singular. Why, exactly, should the singular be used? I’m accustomed to it, but I’m unable to come up with a compelling reason.

Q. When referring to a decade, do you use “was” or “were”? “The 1780s was [were?] an important period in history.”

Q. When is the word that unnecessary? Here’s an example: “She manages the team, making sure that everyone is in the right role and that everything is of the highest quality.” Is it okay to remove those thats?

Q. Hi all! I hope everyone is staying safe. I have a quick question. Should it be “What will my teacher say about my never returning to class?” or “What will my teacher say about me never returning to class?” Citations will help. I struggle with this frequently. Thank you so much! Take care.

Q. Is it okay to use “Latinx” instead of “Latino” or “Latina”?

Q. When is “lay” or “lie” used?

Q. Which is the correct form when informally captioning a photo: “Lenny and me at the store” or “Lenny and I at the store”? I always use the former, reasoning that you would not caption a photo “I at the store,” but many people have “corrected” me.

Q. Hi there! In my research I often use the phrase “Israeli-based company,” and colleagues always push back, suggesting that “Israel-based company” sounds more correct. I’ve found references suggesting I’m right but would love confirmation (or correction!) from the good folks at Chicago. Many thanks.

Q. In running text, should “at” be included before an Instagram or Twitter handle? For example, “To learn more, tweet her @username” or “To learn more, tweet her at @username”?

Q. This sentence has a dual subject but the author has a singular verb, which sounds right to the ear but can’t be correct, right? Here is the sentence: “Building and extending sewer systems requires large capital investments.” Should it read “require” to match the “building and extending” or can those two things be somehow considered as a single thing? Thank you!