Thursday, August 7, 2003

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What gets my neighborhood excited

The 15th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style -- published, of course by the University of Chicago Press -- will be released on August 15th. It's the first new edition since 1993.

I have no doubt this will elicit groans from those under the age of 18. who over the next few years will be receiving this weighty tome as a bar/bat mitzvah, confirmation, or graduation gift. However, according to the Chicago Tribune, my neighborhood's reaction has been somewhat different:

Even in this age of ubiquitous blogging and dress-down Fridays -- an age when rhetorical etiquette presumably is a quaintly touching anachronism, like a dance card at a cotillion -- the new version of the manual was eagerly awaited, said Jack Cella, general manager of the Seminary Co-Op bookstore in Hyde Park.

"For the past few years, it seemed like every second or third person who came in here wanted to know when the new edition was coming out," he said. "It's been one of the most anticipated new books in years." (emphasis added)

I will admit to some eagerness as well, if for no other reason than to see how they handle citations of electronic texts.

For more on this, there's a nice Q&A tool from the press, and Gary Lutz has already written a critique of the new grammar section for Slate.

posted by Dan on 08.07.03 at 11:18 AM


Yes, but what of those of us who had just purchased the 14th edition sometime within the last year?

posted by: George on 08.07.03 at 11:18 AM [permalink]

At least it's better than the damned bluebook (the legal citation guide). They put out a new edition every other year, it seems.

posted by: Andy on 08.07.03 at 11:18 AM [permalink]

I feel your pain George--I bought mine last September when I got into the publishing business. Previously, Turabian had been adequate.

posted by: James Joyner on 08.07.03 at 11:18 AM [permalink]

this is an exemplar of why i love my school.

/nerd, unabashed

posted by: patrick woods on 08.07.03 at 11:18 AM [permalink]

I think they've done a good job with website citations, but the citations of electronic databases still feel a bit clunky (do people still use things like ERIC thesedays?).

posted by: Amanda on 08.07.03 at 11:18 AM [permalink]

Us aspiring linguists are taught to not be such big fans of the prescriptivism represented by such a Manual, and I confess... I have been brainwashed into thinking it an enemy of sorts, LOL. I, too, would really like to see what they have in there-- not as a basis for me or for others, but to see what the "elites" and "prescribers" are accepting and not accepting! :) Language is natural, as is style, but prescribing it seems a bit... oh... artificial and Royal Academy of [insert Romance Language here] to me.

Really guys, what's the big deal? :)

posted by: Christian Waugh on 08.07.03 at 11:18 AM [permalink]

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