Usage and Grammar

Q. CMOS 5.195 says that “compare with” is for literal comparisons and “compare to” for poetic or metaphorical comparisons. What is a “literal comparison,” and how does it compare with a “poetic or metaphorical comparison”?

Q. Is the term “log in to” or “log into” when a user is connecting to a computer?

Q. Should it be “Nobody but she and Sandra knew if he was lying” or “Nobody but her and Sandra knew if he was lying”? Surely, nobody but the Chicago Q&A will know which is correct—or if neither is!

Q. For the labels on a wall at an art exhibit, should it be “courtesy of the artist” or “courtesy the artist”? I am under the impression that “courtesy of” is acknowledgment as well as thanks to the second party for providing something.

Q. Is it “companies and people who dodge taxes” or “companies and people that dodge taxes”? What if the order is changed?

Q. I have run across the phrase “comprised of” multiple times in a book I’m editing. Depending on context, Google Docs wants me to use “composed” or “consisting” or “comprises” or whatever fits. I know M-W says that while the phrase is not technically incorrect, it does sometimes receive scrutiny. Does CMOS have an official standpoint on its use? Thanks!

Q. Parenthetical material is usually invisible to the grammar of the rest of the sentence, so should it be “a” or “an” in the phrase “a (appropriate) joke”?

Q. Would it be “None of us gets to decide these things” or “None of us get to decide these things”? Thank you.

Q. My question is about using a definite article before an attributive noun used to identify someone. For instance, “the photographer Ansel Adams took my picture,” as opposed to “photographer Ansel Adams took my picture.” Do you prefer to use the article? Newspaperese style seems to be to omit it, but I’m a holdout. Thanks for any guidance.

Q. Is it correct to use “with” as a conjunction, as in “The regulator received four complaints this month, with two of them related to anticompetitive behavior”? I don’t do it, as I want to avoid it being read as “along with,” but I see this type of construction quite often.