You Could Look It Up

Q. Hello. I wonder where in the CMOS might lie hidden the answer to the following question: should I refer readers to “Table 1, in contrast to Tables 2 and 3,” or to “Table 1, in contrast to tables 2 and 3”? In other words, should all items in a numbered series such as tables, sections, chapters, etc., be capitalized in such references? A minipoll among colleagues has yielded mixed results; hence my appeal to the Ultimate Authority in Such Matters.

Q. Is sizable or sizeable the preferred American English spelling? Our searches have come up with conflicting answers.

Q. I edit in the field of foods quite frequently and I see family-sized portion or medium-sized bowl and I’m inclined to think hyphenation with size should follow more after fun-size candy bar, but I haven’t come across any ruling one way or the other. Where I can, I delete it entirely (medium bowl) but other times it just really works to use a hyphenated phrase. I didn’t see a clear ruling or related ruling in your hyphenation table (CMOS 7.89). I also read through paragraph 5.92 on phrasal adjectives, and point 5 seemed the closest to addressing the issue. Perhaps sized reduces to size when hyphenated? I welcome and thank you for any answers to this question.

Q. In formal writing, I have been shown by my coworkers that U.S. is the way to write United States. However, I was always told that very few abbreviations are to be used in formal writing, and the abbreviation U.S. should never be used in replacement of United States when writing federal documents.

Q. What is the CMOS position on how to reference the titles of posters (such as those presented at professional conferences) in the body of a document? Should the title be in quotation marks, italicized, or something else?

Q. If you are referring to a specific war, like World War II, do you capitalize the word war even when you’re not attaching the full title, or leave it uncapitalized? For example, should I capitalize or not in the following sentence? The political fallout from the war was that Russia occupied East Germany.

Q. Why is it so hard to find things in CMOS?

Q. I am copyediting an article about a brand of software. The article repeatedly uses the term dialog, but Merriam-Webster prefers the spelling dialogue. However, the software uses dialog in all its documentation. Which spelling does CMOS prefer in this case? Thank you.

Q. I wonder which you think is best: Key Lime pie, Key lime pie, or key lime pie?

Q. Is it ever okay to use further to denote a greater distance? I know that farther is technically correct for this scenario, but I also know that this distinction is fairly recent, and that some great writers have used further to denote a greater distance.