Style: CMS Versus House
A. New CMS rules that we’re not following
1. Spacing of degree symbols: We use 32 °F, not 32°F. The 32 °F style is from the International System of Units (SI), which our academic texts follow.
2. Capitalization of table titles: We will retain headline style. If it looks ugly or too long, shorten the title.
3. Http:// in URLs: We’re not using http:// unless the URL does not contain a www.
4. Formatting of cities in university names: Use at instead of en dash: University of Wisconsin at Madison.
5. Editions of books in running text: Use, for example, "Introduction to Exercise, Third Edition, has some great features."
6. CMS 17.187 tells us not to bother listing access dates for online magazines. Because any info on the Web can be considered temporary, we’ll ignore that instruction and continue listing the access date: Reeves, Jessica. 2001. A weighty issue: Ever-fatter kids. Interview with James Rosen. Time, March 14. www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,102443,00.html (accessed October 31, 2003).
7. Ignore new rule in CMS 8.167-70 about lowercasing last word of a hyphenated compound in a heading or title. We will continue using, for example, <a>Avoiding a Run-In, <b>Warm-Up
8. Don’t use above and below to refer to text that occurs before or after a certain point. Use appropriate phrases such as previous, later, earlier, the following.
B. CMS rules that we are following
1. 9.42, 15.41, 15.44 No small caps in times of day and eras. Use lowercase letters and periods for a.m., p.m.. CORRECTION 8/06: Use caps, no periods, for BC and AD. (I had said before that we should use lowercase and periods [b.c. and a.d.], but I was wrong. CMS 15.41 says uppercase, no periods.)
2. 7.67 No sans serif in letters representing shapes.
3. 15.29-30 Abbreviations for states and provinces in references (e.g., IL): We’ve always done it this way anyway, so continue doing so with a clear conscience.
4. Punctuation and font. CMS now prefers setting commas, semicolons, periods, and colons in the font of the surrounding text. Question marks and exclamation points are (as before) italic only if they belong to the word they follow.
5. 7.90 Hyphenation: This used to be table 6.1 in the 14th edition. An important thing to note that’s now in the new CMS: Do not use hyphens with abbreviated terms and numbers: 33 mi race, 5 ft high pillar.
6. Trademark symbols: Don’t use them! Don’t let authors use them! Simple capitalization will suffice.
a. Of course, we have exceptions: Microsoft products and the SAQ acronym (for speed, agility, and quickness).
b. Use generic alternatives whenever possible: stair climber, sport drink.
7. ALL CAPS. Avoid this unless it’s an acronym. Even Activitygram and Fitnessgram should be initial cap.
C. Rules that CMS won’t commit to
1. Apostrophes with words ending in s: CMS has different rules but is starting to accept HK’s way of using only an apostrophe, no final s, with words ending in s. We’ll continue using, for example, Tiger Woods’ victories.
2. Unspoken discourse: Use italics, not quotes, to express unspoken thoughts: He thought, Gee, that’s strange.
3. Words used as words should be italics: The word proprioception means….
4. Full sentence following colon: capitalize. (Ignore specifics in CMS 6.64.)
5. Capitalization of people’s titles: Lowercase. Examples are president of the United States; Brian Holding, chief executive officer.
D. Which style (CMS, House, or Webster) do I follow?
1. Spellings: Use the first alternative (e.g., toward, not towards; dietitian, not dietician).
2. If you’re looking for a certain hyphenation of a noun or an adjective that occurs before the noun it modifies, Webster is a reliable source.
3. If you’re wondering whether an adverb or predicate adjective should be hyphenated, don’t trust Webster. It doesn’t give the full picture. Check CMS.
a. Webster says that out-of-bounds is an adjective or adverb. As an adjective before the noun it modifies (the out-of-bounds step), it’s hyphenated. But the hyphenation isn’t correct for a predicate adjective (his step was out of bounds) or adverb (he stepped out of bounds).
b. Webster says that one-on-one is hyphenated in all senses. Wrong. As an adjective before a noun, it’s hyphenated (one-on-one meeting). But as an adverb, it’s not hyphenated (they worked one on one).
4. If you’re searching for a sport-related or scientific term, search the online style guide first.
a. Webster isn’t always the most reliable source for sport terminology. For example, national and international governing bodies use weightlifting and taekwondo, whereas Webster uses weight lifting (n) and tae kwon do. We want to go with the industry standard for these terms.
b. Webster doesn’t favor capitalization of eponymous terms, but I think it’s important to capitalize names of moves named after their inventors (e.g., Axel, Selchow, and Lutz in figure skating).
D. Common grammatical errors in our manuscripts
1. Unparallel structure
a. The athlete was strong, fast, and had a good stroke.
b. The production manager was asked to write a report quickly, accurately, and in a detailed manner.
c. The teacher said that he was a poor student because he waited until the last minute to study for the exam, completed his lab problems in a careless manner, and his motivation was low.
d. Peery is a distinguished member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, the Pennsylvania Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame, and was selected as an Outstanding American by the Maryland chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
2. Subject-verb disagreement:
a. The power of team and the importance of every player’s understanding his role within the organization is stressed constantly. (should be are)
b. There’s some chips in the pantry. (should be there are)
3. Who and whom. See any style manual on this.
4. Redundancy and triteness: Examples are basic principles, fundamental principles, for all intents and purposes, by and large.
5. Subjunctive mood: He requires that his chefs be French, that his mechanics be German, and that his designers be stylish.
6. Semicolons are to be used in only two ways:
a. To separate two independent clauses
b. To separate a list of items that contain internal commas (the swimmer had long, lean limbs; phenomenal speed; and a calm, quiet intent)
E. Tricks of the trade for proofreaders
1. Beware of illusions: The eyes tend to generate correct text that isn’t there or don’t notice extra words that are there. Read every word carefully.
a. Little words: you and your, to, for, from, form, of, or.
b. Successions of skinny letters often result in misspellings: ilusions, activites, utilites.
c. Commonly misspelled words: cavalry, calvary; conservation, conversation; from, form; it is, is it; is, in, if, it; or, on, of; simulation, stimulation; than, that, then.
2. Read complex or long sentences aloud.
3. Take nothing for granted. Read everything, even recurring material that’s become so familiar you’re tempted to accept it unread.
4. Use a calculator, even for simple arithmetic.
5. Read prefaces, introductions, dedications, ATA copy carefully. CEs often do not see these pieces.