Thursday, January 25, 2007

Just Remember These

If I should be swallowed by a shark tomorrow (no particular reason why, just ...), let me leave you with these final bullet points:

  • In headlines, you need to capitalize "Is" and "It." The first is a verb, the second a pronoun. Just do it.
  • An ellipsis is three periods. Not four, not five. Three. And there should be a space on either side.
  • It's "home in," not "hone in."
  • It's "revolve around" and "center on." Not "center around."
  • Apostrophes don't denote plurals. Apostrophes don't denote plurals. Apostrophes don't denote plurals. (Unless we're talking about single letters or numbers, but don't worry about that right now.)
  • Also in headlines, if a word is more than three letters, capitalize it. Even piddly words like "from" or "than." Just do it.

16 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sound advice, Craig! You want to take on the New York Times and its bizarre idea that it is okay to put an apostrophe in 1980s (or 1990s or whatever)? Also, of course, I work at a publication that follows Chicago's capitalization rules, so we lower-case piddly words like "from."
In the meantime, maybe you should stay out of the water. We need guys like you.

Laurie

11:40 AM  
Blogger Craig said...

I'm alive. Since I am, two points:

1. I wasn't aware that was the Chicago rule. Thanks for dropping that knowledge, Laurie. Guess that's a Weekly thang.

2. Disinterested = objective, not involved

Uninterested = not caring

12:55 PM  
Anonymous Shulman said...

I've come to feel strongly that an ellipsis is not three periods but three dots; the pursuit of true syntactic splendor sometimes demands that these dots be preceded by or followed by (but not revolved around by) a period, resulting in what appears to be four fucking dots (or periods), evenly spaced. And them such duets -- often wrongfullogically misidentificationized as four-dot ellipses -- deserve our publicational respect as legitimate punctuational combo platters.

Which is to say: Yup -- an ellipsis is three dots. But sometimes it's got to look like four.

Mm-hmm. Yup. Mmm-hm.

ds

10:12 PM  
Blogger Craig said...

Who says punctuation can't inspire prose bordering on poetry?

Dave ... Column Dave ... is of course correct. It's a small quirk of Weekly style that we never employ periods between sentences that are separated by ellipses. It took me a while to get used to that one.

1:31 PM  
Blogger Amy B. said...

First, embracing the serial comma and now capitalizing piddily words?

It's like Christmas all over again.

1:57 PM  
Blogger Amy B. said...

Piddly, shit, piddly.

I KNEW that would happen.

1:59 PM  
Anonymous Pat said...

"Apostrophes don't denote plurals. (Unless we're talking about single letters or numbers, but don't worry about that right now.)"

Don't worry about that right now?

Who are you? And, more to the point, who are you to tell me what I should worry about and when I should worry about what it is you've told me not to worry about?

I'm worried about single letters, and I'm worried about them right now.

Take, for instance, the letter "H."

3:23 PM  
Blogger Craig said...

Amy: You're too much.

Pat: I hold that when referring to a letter in the plural sense, the use of an apostrophe clearly helps the reader understand the sentence and could not possibly confuse the reader.

CLEAR: Pat earned three A's.
CONFUSING: Pat earned three As.

Pat, how did you earn one "As," not to mention three? What's an "As"? What's that? It's supposed to refer to three instances of the letter "A"? Well why didn't write that?

This should clear things up.

12:09 AM  
Anonymous Jeanne said...

"Chicago" style? "Chicago" capitalization rules?
Let's just all step back and remember what their Tribune has done to The (L.A.) Times.
There is no good reason for any decent newspaper to copy or emulate or especially, follow...Chicago.

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