Chicago Manual of Style #AtoZChallenge

ChicagoAs in years past, this month I’m participating in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. 2016 marks my fifth anniversary, so to celebrate, I’m hosting Friday Blog-Ins here in San Diego; you can find out more info about where we’re meeting each week on my A to Z Challenge page.

My monthly theme is Chicago From A to Z, so stay tuned from Monday to Saturday for new posts on the Windy City. Or sign up for my mailing list (delivered weekly, on Fridays) so you don’t miss a thing!

If you’re a writer, you’ve undoubtedly heard of the Chicago Manual of Style.

This style manual is currently in its 16th edition, celebrates its 110th birthday this year, and is also available online.

The purpose of the manual is to provide a standard manner of presenting material in books, as well as academic papers, so you may have learned about Chicago Style in college, depending on what you studied. (There are other style manuals out there, including APA and MLA in the U.S. For online publications, Associated Press [AP] or Canadian Press [CP] styles are typically preferred.)

So why is Chicago the source for all things style?

Well, the Chicago Style is so named because it was invented in 1906 at the University of Chicago. It is, therefore, “one of the most widely used and respected style guides in the United States,” according to David Spencer of The Type Desk.

Indeed, the CMOS also doubles as an historical document, chronicling the changes in print styles throughout the decades!

And the manual continues to evolve as we continue to change the way we read, write and publish material. As ebooks become ever more popular, so too did the CMOS venture away from relying solely on print form, moving onto the Internet where it can offer style advice at the click of a mouse. Perhaps, eventually, we’ll even be able to access it with the swipe of a touchscreen? (As of this blog, sadly, there is no CMOS app for that!)

If you’re a total style nerd, mark your calendars for May 27th, when The Chicago Guide to Grammar, Usage, and Punctuation debuts!

Finally, I’ll send you off with a song related to Chicago style: Vampire Weekend’s “Oxford Comma.”

Additional Resources

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Giveaway: San Diego from A to Z

Want to read the book I wrote last April, based on my A to Z posts about San Diego? I’m giving away two paperback copies of San Diego From A to Z over at Goodreads, so click here and enter to win!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

San Diego from A to Z by Laura Roberts

San Diego from A to Z

by Laura Roberts

Giveaway ends April 30, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway


    • Laura Roberts

      Hi Gail! I am actually not a fan of the Oxford comma (except where absolutely necessary for clarity), so I find the song amusing. But I can see why people might like it, for consistency’s sake. :D

  • Wicked Goodies

    Oh my gosh. I think I need to update my style manual! My copy is from 1996. But then I think, hmm…I could probably just google it. Like you said, they are moving to online resources so do you think these types of publishers of style manuals are even able to make money anymore? Nowadays, How-To manuals get regurgitated so fast that it’s becoming harder and harder to profit on that type of product. Kind of like cookbooks – same issue due to recipe bloggers vulturing and disseminating the contents for free online. I wonder how Chicago Manual of Style stays ahead of the game?

    • Laura Roberts

      I know, I have one of the old orange ones too… mine is from 1993! I remember receiving it as a gift from my parents, possibly at graduation? That’s a good question about how they continue to make money, with everyone sharing their info for free… I’m assuming they are still licensing the online version to libraries, and possibly selling print copies to them as well. That may explain why they’re having another (print) manual coming out soon. Perhaps they will branch out into other areas… hiring their staff as consultants or copy editors? Who knows!

  • Joanna Maciejewska

    I’ve heard of CMOS, but haven’t used it so far: English is my second language, so first I had to get my grammar and vocabulary in order (though it’s still a work in progress), and only then I could work on fine-tuning my writing.