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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

86

Peppy Pecan Pie

Shockingly, the people over at the Chicago Manual of Style have great senses of humor. Or is that "have a great sense of humor"?



86 Comments / Post A Comment

gobblegirl

It's the second one. And yes, proofreaders in general are the best people. Funny, charming, and each more attractive than the last.
Date a copyeditor today!

Emby

@gobblegirl I'll get on that, stet!

Canard

@gobblegirl Or, if a copyeditor is already married, you could make a pie and bring it to their house.

rayray

@gobblegirl Date a subeditor long-distance and your gchat quickly becomes grammatically flawless.

wharrgarbl

@gobblegirl The copyeditor geek stuff a friend posts is the best thing to appear on my facebook feed any given day. Her take on the Oxford Comma Situation was glorious.

KeLynn

@Canard Or cupcakes. A copyeditor would probably not mind a basket of cupcakes.

PistolPackinMama

@gobblegirl I am a dreadful copyeditor, and wish to date one right now.

Will trade brainstorming help for copyediting skills. Can also make pie.

SuperGogo

@gobblegirl Copyeditors have been known to woo their Winter Boyfriend by seeing his antiquated cellphone and calling him a troglodyte. They also may be prone to humblebragging by referring to themselves as sesquipidelians...sometimes.

wharrgarbl

@PistolPackinMama Sneak a flier into the staff lounge of the third-largest local newspaper? Copyeditors are woefully under-appreciated at the best of times and castigated mercilessly at the worst. (The worst, here, being an apostrophe used to pluralize something in a headline.)

anachronistique

@wharrgarbl I burned out after a single semester as the copyeditor for my school newspaper. Cannot imagine trying to hack it professionally.

hulia

@Emby Stet jokes! You just made my day! Copyediting at my college newspaper was my favorite. Though as a result I am now kind of terrible at substantive editing, because all I want to do is red-pencil all the split infinitives and inconsistent capitalization and I tend to forget that that is no longer my job.

Craftastrophies

@SuperGogo At least that's not quotidian.

Megasus

I am using the Chicago Manual of Style RIGHT NOW. If only the actual book had a sense of humour.

carbonation

@Megan Patterson@facebook I am a Chicago girl all the way, but I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that the AMA manual uses Coolio lyrics in one of their examples.

Megasus

@carbonation That's. amazing.

carbonation

@carbonation (On the capitalization of regions: "There is no party like a West Coast party because a West Coast party doesn't stop." Section 10.3, p. 375.)

Esther C. Werdiger

@Megan Patterson@facebook
I'm not dumb (or whatever) but I will often do this THING, where JUST for a SPLIT fluttery second, the term "style manual" triggers such a happy and excited response in my brain, because it thinks it's about to look at pictures of clothes.

Lily Rowan

@carbonation Is that seriously what it says? Because I'm pretty sure there AIN'T no party like a West Coast party, 'cause a West Coast party DON'T stop!

See also Erin McKean's recent Boston Globe column about grammar in lyrics....

carbonation

@Lily Rowan Yeah, I noticed that too -- guess they couldn't help themselves.

Lily Rowan

@carbonation I lol'd.

Ellie

I love the Chicago Manual of Style. I used it extensively while writing my thesis. I already knew it was funny and lively though! I love their Q&A's.

EpWs

@carbonation That is amazing.

gobblegirl

@Megan Patterson@facebook The style book that is the MOST fun is The Transitive Vampire: A Handbook of Grammar for the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed.
The cover of mine is illustrated by Edward Gorey!

Megasus

@gobblegirl I am suggesting this as required reading to my teachers tout de suite. Or at least buying it for myself.

gobblegirl

@Megan Patterson@facebook It's not necessarily the most useful for beginner grammarians (it's not an intro book in any sense), but it's so entertaining.

EpWs

@gobblegirl WHAT must have! Also, while we're here, I have to suggest Lynn Truss's Eats, Shoots & Leaves. Good fun reading for everyone, and sometimes comes with a punctuation repair kit!

Valley Girl

The pep is bourbon! At least, in my recipe it is.

Canard

"If forced, write, 'This book was not printed anywhere.'"

I <3 you, CMoS, even though you make me mess up when I have to teach my students MLA format!

wallsdonotfall

Pssst, @wilarseny. That's our cue.

hopelessshade

@wallsdonotfall There are more of us grads on here than you may think! (and most of us don't reuse our FB photos thus giving away our anonymity :P)

wallsdonotfall

@hopelessshade Yeah, you and I had the same thesis advisor. :P But that's actually not what I was talking about in this case.

hopelessshade

@wallsdonotfall Sorry for seeming to accidentally stalk you, heh.

Dancercise

Waiter, there is too much pepper on my paprikash. But I would be proud to partake of your pecan pie.

raised amongst catalogs

@Dancersize You just made the world a better place.

rayray

@Dancersize I quote this too much, and sometimes use people's recognition of it, or lack thereof, as a gauge of whether they are to be trusted or not.

melis

Not to repeat, to answer: Would you like to go to the movies with me tonight?

Dancercise

What do you have? A HOT DATE?

melis

You know, I have a theory that hieroglyphics are really an ancient comic strip about a character named Sphinxie.

dtowngirl

@rayray You're high maintenance but you think you're low maintenance.

liznieve

@Dancersize oh. ooooh. oooooh yeah. yeah. yes. yesssss. OH. OH YEAH. YEAH. YES. YES. YES. YES! YES! YES!

hoolie

Once at my office, an administrative assistant sent a firm-wide email that contained a typo. She quickly responded to the firm with a correction, and the following: "Sorry for the incontinence."

It was amazing.

Nicole Cliffe

Crinnnge. I used to be at a hedge fund with a very intense "do not spam the company" policy, and this temp emailed "Firm [Worldwide]" to ask if anyone had taken her Zappos box from the 23rd floor. "Seriously, guys. It had my name on it!"

EpWs

@Nicole Cliffe You had a temp named Zappo?

Craftastrophies

@hoolie At my last job a new employee emailed everyone to ask them to let her know if they needed anything, because she was 'about to do a stationary order'. It landed in my inbox. I started counting. 28 seconds later, her phone rang, her email notification pinged, and someone stuck their head in the door and said 'e for envelope, love!'

Clare

Team AP Style.

boyofdestiny

@Clare Please. AP is like the Mets of style guides.

Clare

@boyofdestiny BOOOOOOOOOO

SuperGogo

I'm hereby firing the first shot in the Great Hairpin Serial Comma Wars by declaring that anyone who neglects to use the serial (Oxford) comma is a grunting Neanderthal.

KeLynn

@SuperGogo YES. You and I are friends now.

carbonation

@SuperGogo You are correct. Nothing to discuss.

PistolPackinMama

@carbonation You are brilliant, accurate, clever, correct, and a good and moral person.

SuperGogo

@SuperGogo Well, this is going to be a short war. C'mon, doesn't anyone want to make the argument that we need that precious extra character space? Think of the poor typesetter!

anachronistique

@SuperGogo I really do not comprehend why people are against the Oxford comma. It enables clarity! How is that a bad thing?

wallsdonotfall

@anachronistique At least the debate allowed for this wonderful illustration. (Anyone know the original artist?)

wharrgarbl

@wallsdonotfall Anne Ferguson appears to be either the artist or a thief.

KeLynn

@anachronistique Seriously! Even if you think it's unnecessary, there are still no real reasons *not* to use it anyway. Why not err on the side of clarity?

wharrgarbl

@KeLynn They are free-spirits who will never be fully tamed. Wasn't it enough that they started capitalizing their names again like a corporate shill after they graduated college? How much more can you ask them to compromise? They're half-dead inside, and you just don't care. Why don't you take a pillow and put their comatose dreams out of their misery already?

ejcsanfran

@SuperGogo: I don't care for the serial comma as a required element of writing. If needed for clarity, then yes, of course use it! But insisting on it's usage? I don't get it - how does adding more punctuation help anyone? And the presence of the serial comma can add it's own ambiguity (just as a failure to use it can), e.g. a book dedication "To my mother, Edith Zimmerman, and God."

I'm all for having a style and consistency - but the presence of a comma ought to be determined by whether it is required for clarity, not by a rule that one must always use the serial comma in a list - because the presence or absence of the comma should be determined by context.

Ellie

I'm against the Oxford comma. I think it looks better without it. Sometimes it might help with clarity, but usually there's a better way to word the sentence to avoid a lack of clarity. Long lists of nouns in prose can be ungainly anyway. Also I'm giggling at @ejcsanfran's example above.

EpWs

@ejcsanfran I didn't know Edith had a daughter! Adorbs!

@everyone I am generally pro-Oxford comma except when it causes undue confusion. But I generally tend to over-punctuate in the pursuit of clarity.

If I can throw out a secondary Grammar Rules battle, here--
Starting a sentence with "however:" correct or incorrect?

carbonation

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Completely acceptable.

KeLynn

@wharrgarbl GLADLY

KeLynn

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I think it depends. If you want to say "However you do your makeup, you still look like a hag." then it's OK. If if you want it to mean "nevertheless" then it should follow a semicolon. ("I put all this makeup on; however, I still look like a hag.")

melis

@ejcsanfran IT'S USAGE

IT'S USAGE?

MELIS SMASH

ejcsanfran

@melis: UGH - SORRY! How humiliating... And too late to edit! It's always the way when one posts about grammar/punctuation, isn't it?

SuperGogo

@ejcsanfran If you're all for consistency, you should see the merit in consistently applying the serial comma regardless of the level of clarity it's providing. Otherwise, it looks like an error when it sometimes shows up and sometimes disappears. Besides, it's inefficient to have to make a judgement call each time whether the comma is needed for clarity or not.

anachronistique

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher If it's incorrect, I retroactively made a crapton of mistakes on my grad school papers.

ejcsanfran

@SuperGogo: "it's inefficient to have to make a judgement call each time whether the comma is needed for clarity or not."

So, you're saying that even if it introduces ambiguity, the serial comma should be used because that's the rule? I respectfully disagree with that position. Which is out of character for me, frankly - I'm kind of a "RULES ARE RULES!" type. But I think commas are deserving of both the time and respect needed to figure out whether they ought to be used.

atipofthehat

@ejcsanfran

When in doubt, go with the University College London semicolon.

EpWs

@anachronistique @carbonation @KeLynn HERE IS THE THING. I think it's totally acceptable/not confusing, but I have a professor who insists that having a however at the beginning of the sentence (in any context) is ambiguous and unacceptable. So even though my writing style is (I think) pretty clear and includes the occasional "however" as a lead-in to a followup point, he is my committee chair and I pretty much have to do as he says in this regard. But I am very glad that you guys are here to help validate my personal grammatical stylings. :)

SuperGogo

@ejcsanfran According to the Chicago Manual, if there's a danger of nonrestrictive parenthetical commas being confused for serial commas, you should just skip them: http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/CMS_FAQ/Commas/Commas07.html

I honestly can't think of any other instance in which serial commas could introduce ambiguity rather than clear it up, but I'm open to suggestions.

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

The Open University ellipsis

atipofthehat

@Bus Driver Stu Benedict

The New School manicule

Insecurity Millefeuille

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I think it's fine to start sentences with "however." In the right context, it's not ambiguous. And besides, starting a new sentence instead of using a semicolon helps me keep the length of my sentences in check.

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

@atipofthehat The Simon's Rock solidus

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

The Grinell guillemets

Craftastrophies

@KeLynn In house style says I am not allowed to use the oxford comma. It hurts me every time. In house style also says I must write 'e.g.' as 'eg:'. The pain. The pain! And out proofreader does not appear to understand how apostrophe's work. (That was a sarcastic apostrophe there, ok?)

@ejcsanfran That's Muphry's law for you.

Craftastrophies

@Craftastrophies Also, have you guys seen this?

teaandcakeordeath

A reporter at a news publication I worked at was trying to tell the world about a company selling $500,000 bonds but instead their story said "[company x] sold $500,000 bongs".

I had to correct him though I still thought that was newsworthy.

KeLynn

@teaandcakeordeath You should have quietly turned a blind eye and allowed it to go to print.

teaandcakeordeath

@KeLynn
Ha - when I said 'I had to tell him' it wasnt my conscience prompting me, it was my manager.

I AM DIAPHENA

OHMYGOD, I went to a Chicago Manual of Style panel last November and it was seriously the most fun panel I've been to. I've never laughed so hard at an academic panel, guys. There was a live Twitter Jumbotron and audience interaction and everything! If you have an hour and a half, here's a YouTube of the whole thing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yG63ApHlhP4

KeLynn

@I AM DIAPHENA thanks! I actually have close to no work today so this will be the perfect "oh yeah I'm just brushing up on my job skillz" slacker activity.

Andrea K@twitter

Am I going to be the first person to make a pitch for CP Style? But but... the logo is so swirly... and something, something Canadian patriotism.

Verity

As someone who once had a shouted argument with her boyfriend over rhetorical versus logical punctuation, this thread makes me very happy.

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