Posted by: Jack Henry | March 27, 2018

Editor’s Corner: March 2018 Q&A from CMOS

Good morning! Today I’m delivering some words of wisdom from the Chicago Manual of Style on prepositions, spaces in sentences, and using texting abbreviations in other forms of writing. This comes with the standard CMOS snark alert!

Q. When did Chicago Manual of Style first state that ending a sentence with a preposition is not wrong (section 5.180 in current CMOS)?

A. CMOS has never prohibited a preposition at the end of a sentence in any of its versions and editions since 1906. The first edition to state positively that a preposition may end a sentence was the 15th, in 2003, the first edition of the Manual to contain a chapter on grammar.

Q. OK, so the one-space-between-sentences debate has been beaten to death. However, are there any instances where putting two spaces between two things is appropriate?

A. Nope! Not in Chicago style. One of the steps our editors include in their final manuscript cleanup before typesetting is to run a macro that changes every instance of two spaces to one. Where extra space is needed (such as for indentations), it is created with tabs or paragraph settings, not by entering multiple spaces. Sometimes a writer uses spaces to create complex content (such as poetry or “word pictures”) that the editor wants to preserve. In that case, the editor must send special instructions to prevent the typesetters from messing everything up with their own macros.

Q. When, if ever, is it acceptable to use the abbreviation for To Whom It May Concern (TWIMC) in a letter?

A. As a form of address? Let’s say never.

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

Symitar Documentation Services

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