None of the Above

Q. Good morning! Do sayings on bumper stickers and T-shirts (and the like) follow the same rule as mottoes?

Q. It would be more helpful if all the questions and answers in the Chicago Style Q&A were searchable. They are so useful, but I spend a lot of time slogging through the questions and answers. (Don’t get me wrong—the browsing and slogging are without fail a pleasurable diversion.)

Q. Dear CMOS:

Your Q&A answers are like haiku. I cannot help but admire such clear, concise, compassionate responses. Nor can I resist sending fan mail where you must expect a question.

An Admirer

In February 1997, manuscript editors here at the University of Chicago Press posted the first “Chicago Style Q&A.”

To celebrate the Q&A’s twentieth anniversary, we’re introducing a brand-new category of answers called “Second Thoughts,” where we will occasionally clarify or correct answers from our archives. (We realize that as celebrations go, this is pretty nerdy, but that is just our way.)

When we revise an answer, we’ll append our correction to the original in addition to posting it in the “Second Thoughts” browsing category.

Our second thoughts are almost always prompted by e-mails from readers, so please keep them coming! Your comments keep us on our toes and are important to our planning for future editions of The Chicago Manual of Style

Just for fun (to make it a real party!), here’s one Q&A from the original 1997 “Chicago Style Q&A.” (Note that some styles have shifted slightly since then.)

Q. I’m doing a report on typographic systems and thought it would be great to analyze the guide that everyone uses. I can’t find anything on who designed your style guide, what typeface was used, and why. Is there a resource you can point me to or provide the information?

Q. Authors younger than myself have recently included the following phrase in their writing: “If you think that, you’ve got another thing coming.” I’ve tried to point out the illogic of “another thing,” but I’m met with baffled looks. An informal poll shows me that nearly everyone today believes the expression is “another thing coming.” A rock band seems to have compounded the problem by using this phrase in one of their hit songs. I’ve gotten firm resistance when suggesting that the phrase be rendered “another think coming.” At what point does a mondegreen supersede the original phrase and become the accepted norm? Is it time for me to “stet” and move on?

Q. I’m writing this with tears in my eyes, my family and I were mugged at the park of the hotel where we stayed all cash, credit card and mobile phone were stolen off us. It would take me 5 working days to access funds in my account, our flight will be leaving in less than 8-hrs but the hotel manager won’t let us leave until we settle the bills, i promise to make the refund once we get back home.I need about $1,940. You can have the cash wired via Money Gram transfer, thank God i have my passport ID as identification to pick up the money. John Brewer, 54 Boulevard Chave, 13005 Marseille, France. Let me know if you are heading to the Money Gram outlet now.

Q. There is no guidance in the manual to settle a difference between editors and a graphic designer about the interior design of books. Our audience is educators. The graphic designer makes the back of the title page (with copyright and ordering information) part of the design, uses fancy font in the headers of body text, etc. The introductory chapter has a photo occupying two-thirds of the page. I contend that the visuals dominate the text and distract the reader. She contends that pages of gray print are not appealing.

Q. Oh dear, is it really true that Merriam-Webster Dictionary says you can break the word recommendation after the c? I am in Cuba and don’t have M-W handy, but it seems very odd.

Q. Is it safe to assume that the Chicago Manual of Style itself is written in Chicago style? Sometimes I can’t find a specific answer, but the word or phrase itself is actually used somewhere therein.