Posted by: Jack Henry | April 4, 2018

Editor’s Corner: CMOS April 2018

I chose today’s items from the Chicago Manual of Style because they’re both related to hyphens and dashes. As a reminder, the three symbols people often confuse are:

  • Hyphen (-)
  • En dash (–)
  • Em dash (—)

A more detailed refresher is here: Editor’s Corner.

From the CMOS:

Q. In cases where a single short quotation stands completely on its own (such as in the front matter of a book or in a social media post), I generally see it attributed using a dash and the person’s name (“—Albert Einstein,” for example). Is this format accepted by Chicago, or is it strictly informal? Also, is it an em dash, en dash, or hyphen?

A. The use of an em dash with the source of an epigraph indeed fits with Chicago style.

Q. If someone has a compound surname like “De Chicago-Smith,” do we use an en dash? I understand the rationale, but I think it looks weird (but who cares what I think?). What about “De Chicago-Von Suedkurve Auf Der CSS&SBRR,” for example?

A. Although a simple hyphenated name normally takes (no surprise) a hyphen, a name with multiple appendages might be able to pull off the slightly longer en dash. Anyone with such a dazzling name as “De Chicago–Von Suedkurve Auf Der CSS&SBRR” deserves all the dashes and doodads they want. (And we care what you think.)

[KC – Yes, of course they care. They care so much they basically called the writer an ignoramus in the first sentence. Thanks, CMOS, for always following through with the superior

And an old favorite:

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

Symitar Documentation Services

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