But Can I Start a Sentence with "but"?: Advice from the Chicago Style Q&A

Author(s): The University of Chicago Press Editorial Staff

Writing & Reading

Q. Is it happy medium or happy median ? My author writes: We would all be much better served as stewards of finite public funds if we could find that happy median where trust reigns supreme. Thanks! A. The idiom is happy medium, but I like the image of commuters taking refuge from road rage on the happy median. Q. How do I write a title of a song in the body of the work (caps, bold, underline, italics, etc.)? Example: The Zombies She s Not There looped in his head. A. Noooo! Now that song is looping in my head ( but it s too late to say you re sorry ... ). Use quotation marks. Thanks a lot. Every month, tens of thousands of self-declared word nerds converge upon a single site: "The Chicago Manual of Style Online"'sQA. There the "Manual" s editors open the mailbag and tackle readers questions on topics ranging from abbreviation to word division to how to reform that coworker who still insists on two spaces between sentences. Champions of common sense, the editors offer smart, direct, and occasionally tongue-in-cheek responses that have guided writers and settled arguments for more than fifteen years. "But Can I Start a Sentence with But ? "brings together the best of theChicago Style QA." "Curated from years of entries, it features some of the most popular and hotly debated rulings and also recovers old favorites long buried in the archives. Questions touch on myriad matters of editorial style capitalization, punctuation, alphabetizing, special characters as well as grammar, usage, and beyond ( How do I spell out the sound of a scream? ). A foreword by Carol Fisher Saller, the QA s longtime editor, takes readers through the history of the QA and addresses its reputation for mischief. ( It s not that we set out to be cheeky, she writes.) Taken together, the questions and answers offer insights into some of the most common issues that face anyone who works with words. They re also a comforting reminder that even the best writer or editor needs a little help and humor sometimes."


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A wonderful blend of substance and snark both a useful reference and a fun (yes, fun) read. --Mignon Fogarty, author of the New York Times bestseller Grammar Girl s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing"

General Fields

  • : 9780226370644
  • : 24015
  • : University of Chicago Press
  • : United States
  • : March 2016
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Hardback
  • : 1
  • : 808.027
  • : 112
  • : illustrations
  • : The University of Chicago Press Editorial Staff