- Series: Chicago Manual of Style
- Hardcover: 1146 pages
- Publisher: University of Chicago Press; Seventeenth edition (September 5, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780226287058
- ISBN-13: 978-0226287058
- ASIN: 022628705X
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 3.5 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 74 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition Seventeenth Edition
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The biggest changes in content in CMOS 17, compared with CMOS 16, are an added subsection on syntax and expansion of the discussions of copyright and permissions. These changes should be especially helpful for writers, and Chicago notes that as well in the Introduction. I also noted new tables and additional examples scattered throughout the text.
Another change one may not notice without CMOS 16 in hand, unless one happens to be a publisher/typographer, is with fonts. The inline subheads now use sans serif fonts and a deeper bolding, and the major heads use less bolding and all-capping. (You like it? Sure, use it.) Generally, the font sizing, capping, bolding, etc. is in the direction of making everything look more contemporary.
As another reviewer noted, United States as a noun can now be abbreviated “US” rather than “USA” or spelled out (about time). The two main technology-related changes in usage (really more like spelling than usage): (1) “email” replacing “e-mail” and (2) “internet” replacing “Internet,” are welcome as well. For those, like me, for whom the use of singular “they” and “their” is deemed horrific except for those writers too lazy to rewrite, take solace—Chicago still supports your worthy cause. Heed the warning signs, though; Chicago now leaves this writing abomination to editorial discretion. Language is a slippery slope, my friends. One day it’s prim and proper and attending a kiddie birthday party, the next it’s getting hammered under a bridge with a bunch of dropouts. Look out.
As was the case in CMOS 16, the index is quite extensive and a great example of what a reference index should be.
All in all, a nice update. Not groundbreaking by any means, but the updates accurately reflect changes in technology and the ways words are used contemporaneously.
Some may find this whole thing a bit weighty (pun intended). If so, I recommend GARNER'S MODERN ENGLISH USAGE by Bryan Garner (still weighty and not quite as comprehensive, but a bit more entertaining—and Garner is the contributor of the Usage chapter in CMOS, so the information in his book is consistent with that provided in CMOS) and EDITOR-PROOF YOUR WRITING by Don McNair (nice and short but absolutely loaded with information that can make a subpar writer an above-average one—maybe). Given the number of discordant reviews of his book by obviously failed writers (and because I've read it cover to cover and can attest to its quality), I'd say McNair has a live one.
I used this back when I edited. I keep it nearby when I go blank on some things about capitalization or approved style or usage, etc. It's a thick book and not as user-friendly as I would wish. It would be lovely if folks who bought a copy of this pricey tome also got access to more examples at the CMOS site and ongoing notifications of revisions of rules before the next edition released. In the digital age, this is not that hard to do.
As far as changes: One of the changes is that the previous recommendation to always spell out "United States" no longer applies. Using "US" is now appropriate as well. Also, they do not prefer the use of "ibid" anymore for multiple citations; rather, they recommend the use of short citations. Some changes to hyphenation-- head hunting becomes head-hunting; e-mail is now email--and some differences in certain uses of commas are also included in the new edition. Also, Internet loses its capital to become "internet." And find how to do a citation for quotes from Twitter. :)
Bottom line: pricey, but useful for knowing what is the "preferred" use/style of punctuation, syntax, etc.
As a historian who works on maps, I am still angry that Chicago does not treat them as a source, just illustrations. (Which means Turabian denigrates them, but at least mentions them, and says to put them in quotes, like an article, instead of italics, like a book.) But, I digress. After a few hours of browsing through this book I think it is a good update, more examples, more citations from internet sources, etc.