Snark at the U. of C. Press | Bleader

Snark at the U. of C. Press

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Get your questions on the fine points of written English answered by University of Chicago Press manuscript editors, with a side dish of snark:

"Q: Is there any standard for the usage of emoticons? In particular, is there an accepted practice for the use of emoticons that includes an opening or closing parenthesis as the final token within a set of parenthesis? Should I incorporate the emoticon into the closing of the parenthesis (giving a dual purpose to the closing parenthesis, such as in this case :-); simply leave the emoticon up against the closing parenthesis, ignoring the bizarre visual effect of the doubled closing parenthesis (as I am doing here, producing a double-chin effect :-)); or avoid the situation by using a different emoticon (some emoticons are similar :-D), placing the emoticon elsewhere, or doing without it (i.e., reword to avoid awkwardness)?

"A: Until academic standards decline enough to accommodate the use of emoticons, I'm afraid CMOS is unlikely to treat their styling, since the manual is aimed primarily at scholarly publications. And the problems you've posed in this note have given us added incentive to keep our distance.

"Q. I am editing an article in which two organizations are named. Each has the word 'roundtable' in its name, but one is Round Table and the other is Roundtable. Should I leave the spellings as they are (and risk looking like I have made a mistake) or 'nudge' the one into a single word?

"A. Alas, copy editors don’t have the authority to change the names of organizations. In this case, as is often true in life, it’s better to look wrong than to be wrong."

If you're just there for fun, check out "None of the Above." 

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