Posted by: Jack Henry | March 8, 2017

Editor’s Corner: CMOS Q&A for March

The Chicago Manual of Style is up to its usual fun and games this month. Here are a few questions and answers from their monthly column, that relate to questions I’ve heard (or problems I’ve seen) in the office. Enjoy!

Q. Is a question mark called for in the following sentence? “I wonder when it will stop raining.” I believe that it is a statement and therefore a period is the required punctuation, but I see similar sentences with a question mark so often.

A. No question mark is needed, since “I wonder” is a statement, not a question.

Q. Does half need a hyphen when modifying a verb? For example, “He half listened to her story” or “She half walked, half ran.”

A. No hyphen—half may be treated like other adverbs. He barely listened; he half listened. She quickly walked; she half walked.

Q. This question has probably been asked before, but at work we are updating the human resources manual and nobody seems to know the answer. Is the apostrophe necessary in “two weeks’ notice” and “three days’ sick leave”? We will really appreciate your advice.

A. Yes, it has been asked before! Luckily for you, we are the soul of patience. The apostrophe is necessary, since those phrases express a type of possessive.

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

Symitar Documentation Services

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