Explain me something from the style guides…

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Neytiri

Explain me something from the style guides…

Post by Neytiri » Wed Apr 21, 2010 7:28 pm

I was reading this one [PDF] and it says:
For dates dependent upon the time of beginning the new year, the form ‘21 January 1564/5’ should be used.
:? I don't understand. How can something be from both 1564 and 1565?

And from this one:
8-1/2 x 11 News
What does this represent exactly? :? :?:

piston
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Re: Explain me something from the style guides…

Post by piston » Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:45 pm

Neytiri wrote:I was reading this one [PDF] and it says:
For dates dependent upon the time of beginning the new year, the form ‘21 January 1564/5’ should be used.
:? I don't understand. How can something be from both 1564 and 1565?

And from this one:
8-1/2 x 11 News
What does this represent exactly? :? :?:
I cannot find the specific reference to the years 1564-1565 in the pdf source you referred us to. Perhaps, all it means is that the exact year is uncertain.

8 1/2 x 11 simply refers to the size of a conventional sheet of paper. (For some reason, people used to also print on 14 inch-paper in the past).
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jbuck919
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Re: Explain me something from the style guides…

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:50 pm

Neytiri wrote:I was reading this one [PDF] and it says:
For dates dependent upon the time of beginning the new year, the form ‘21 January 1564/5’ should be used.
:? I don't understand. How can something be from both 1564 and 1565?
The only thing I can think of is a date that is in question because it is not clear whether it is according to the Julian or the Gregorian Calendar. However, there are two problems with this: It should not affect dates before 1582, the first year any country adopted the Gregorian Calendar; and the dates differ only by 11 days, so a date of 21 January Gregorian would be 10 January Julian, in other words, in the same year.

Such a rule is in any case not necessary as any question of discrepancy can be resolved as it occurs in a scholarly text. Someone seems to have had too much time on his hands.

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piston
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Re: Explain me something from the style guides…

Post by piston » Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:52 pm

Jesus, John, how about a user friendly answer?! :lol:
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Re: Explain me something from the style guides…

Post by RebLem » Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:52 pm

I found it, its on page 38 of the document, and reads as follows:

8.1 DATES

Dates should be given in the form ‘23 April 1564’. The name of the month
should always appear in full between the day (‘23’ not ‘23rd’) and the year.
No internal punctuation should be used except when a day of the week is
mentioned, e.g. ‘Friday, 12 October 2001’. If it is necessary to refer to a date
in both Old and New Styles, the form ‘11/21 July 1605’ should be used.
For dates dependent upon the time of beginning the new year, the form
‘21 January 1564/5’ should be used.
When referring to a period of time, use
the form ‘from 1826 to 1850’ (not ‘from 1826–50’), ‘from January to March
1970’ (not ‘from January–March 1970’). In citations of the era, ‘bc’, ‘bce’,
and ‘ce’ follow the year and ‘ad’ precedes it, and small capitals without full
points are used:
54 bc, 54 bce, 367 ce, ad 367
With reference to centuries, all of these, including ‘ad’, follow:
in the third century ad
In references to decades, an s without an apostrophe should be used:
the 1920s (not the 1920’s)
In references to centuries the ordinal should be spelled out:
the sixteenth century (not the 16th century)
sixteenth-century drama
In giving approximate dates circa should be abbreviated as c. followed by
a space:
c. 1490, c. 300 bc


From Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Style_ ... tyle_dates --

The Julian calendar was formerly in use in many European countries and their colonies, rather than the Gregorian calendar, currently in use in most countries. Consequently and to avoid ambiguity, "Old Style" (OS) and "New Style" (NS) are sometimes added to historical dates to identify which system is being used (when giving a date in the period when both systems were in parallel use). This notation is used in Western European (and colonial) history: similar notations are in use for the equivalent conversions in Eastern Europe and Asia.

For a period of 170 years (1582–1752), both dating systems were in concurrent use in different parts of Western Europe and its colonies. The Julian calendar had drifted by 11 days from the solar calendar (due to its excess of leap years), so dates differ between the systems. System conversion for secular use occurred in Eastern Orthodox countries as late as the twentieth century, and has still not occurred for ecclesiastic use in some of these countries.

Catholic countries such as Italy, Poland, Spain, and Portugal were first to change to the Gregorian calendar. Thursday, 4 October 1582 was followed by Friday, 15 October 1582, with ten days "missing". Countries that did not change until the 1700s observed an additional leap year, necessitating eleven "missing days". Some countries did not change until the 1800s or 1900s, necessitating one or two more "missing days".
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Re: Explain me something from the style guides…

Post by DavidRoss » Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:18 pm

Hi, Neytiri, and welcome to CMG. The Carnegie Mellon style manual suggests using a hyphen to separate the number and a fraction when written together, as in "8-1/2," to minimize confusion in such cases, otherwise the expression "8 1/2 x 11" might be misunderstood to mean "eight one-half inch by eleven inches" sheets of paper, instead of one "eight-and-one-half inch by eleven inches" sheet. I hope that's clear.

The Modern Humanities Research Association Style Guide section 8.1 context relevant to your first question reads:
Dates should be given in the form ‘23 April 1564’. The name of the month should always appear in full between the day (‘23’ not ‘23rd’) and the year. No internal punctuation should be used except when a day of the week is mentioned, e.g. ‘Friday, 12 October 2001’. If it is necessary to refer to a date in both Old and New Styles, the form ‘11/21 July 1605’ should be used. For dates dependent upon the time of beginning the new year, the form ‘21 January 1564/5’ should be used. When referring to a period of time, use the form ‘from 1826 to 1850’ (not ‘from 1826–50’), ‘from January to March 1970’ (not ‘from January–March 1970’). In citations of the era, ‘bc’, ‘bce’, and ‘ce’ follow the year and ‘ad’ precedes it, and small capitals without full points are used:
It's a pity the guide is not more clear. I presume it refers to dates according to alternate calendars, such as the traditional Chinese calendar, in which the date of the new year varies from year to year between late January and mid-February. If so, then "21 January 1564/1565" would apparently refer to the year 1565 for calendars in which the new year begins on or before 21 January, and the year 1564 for calendars with a new year starting after 21 January.

I suspect that anyone needing to use such a form would know what this dating is about, but that for the rest of us it is so specialized that we might never encounter it during the course of even very long lives!
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

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John F
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Re: Explain me something from the style guides…

Post by John F » Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:02 am

And of course in American style, dates should be given in the form April 23, 1564. (Chicago Manual of Style, p. 253 etc.)
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Re: Explain me something from the style guides…

Post by living_stradivarius » Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:31 am

As you can see, Neytiri, we are a bunch of nerds :D
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Neytiri

Re: Explain me something from the style guides…

Post by Neytiri » Thu Apr 22, 2010 6:18 am

Thank you, everyone! :D
jbuck919 wrote:The only thing I can think of is a date that is in question because it is not clear whether it is according to the Julian or the Gregorian Calendar. However, there are two problems with this: It should not affect dates before 1582, the first year any country adopted the Gregorian Calendar; and the dates differ only by 11 days, so a date of 21 January Gregorian would be 10 January Julian, in other words, in the same year.

Such a rule is in any case not necessary as any question of discrepancy can be resolved as it occurs in a scholarly text. Someone seems to have had too much time on his hands.
Precisely.

And if it is a Gregorian/Julian thing, then the difference cannot be one whole year between the two.

21 January 1565 Julian cannot be the same day as 21 January 1565 Gregorian.

Odd.

David, as for the 8-1/2, why is the word news next to it? It puzzles me. :wink:
JohnF wrote:And of course in American style, dates should be given in the form April 23, 1564. (Chicago Manual of Style, p. 253 etc.)
Hm.


Luckily for many Americans, Britons etc., everything in these style guides is so vague and permissive, you can pretty much write as you please. :lol:

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Re: Explain me something from the style guides…

Post by jbuck919 » Thu Apr 22, 2010 6:59 am

RebLem wrote:I found it, its on page 38 of the document, and reads as follows:

8.1 DATES

Dates should be given in the form ‘23 April 1564’. The name of the month
should always appear in full between the day (‘23’ not ‘23rd’) and the year.
No internal punctuation should be used except when a day of the week is
mentioned, e.g. ‘Friday, 12 October 2001’. If it is necessary to refer to a date
in both Old and New Styles, the form ‘11/21 July 1605’ should be used.
For dates dependent upon the time of beginning the new year, the form
‘21 January 1564/5’ should be used.


It would be funny if the next sentence read "The correcting of a text that is anachronistic with respect to this instruction because of, apparently, the author's ignorance is beyond the scope of this guide." ('11/21 July 1605' does make sense. The Gregorian Calendar was accepted at different times by different countries, with England/Great Britain being a notorious hold-out.)

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Re: Explain me something from the style guides…

Post by DavidRoss » Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:16 am

Neytiri wrote:David, as for the 8-1/2, why is the word news next to it? It puzzles me. :wink:
"News" is there for the same reason that "liters," "buildings," and "poodles" are there in other examples, simply to provide a context. Given that 8½ x 11 is a standard paper size, I presume that "News" is short for "newsprint."
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." ~Albert Einstein
"Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end, there it is." ~Winston Churchill

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Re: Explain me something from the style guides…

Post by Proton » Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:57 am

Neytiri wrote:I was reading this one [PDF] and it says:
For dates dependent upon the time of beginning the new year, the form ‘21 January 1564/5’ should be used.
:? I don't understand. How can something be from both 1564 and 1565?
It's Heisenberg Time!


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Re: Explain me something from the style guides…

Post by Proton » Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:01 am

jbuck919 wrote:
RebLem wrote:I found it, its on page 38 of the document, and reads as follows:

8.1 DATES

Dates should be given in the form ‘23 April 1564’. The name of the month
should always appear in full between the day (‘23’ not ‘23rd’) and the year.
No internal punctuation should be used except when a day of the week is
mentioned, e.g. ‘Friday, 12 October 2001’. If it is necessary to refer to a date
in both Old and New Styles, the form ‘11/21 July 1605’ should be used.
For dates dependent upon the time of beginning the new year, the form
‘21 January 1564/5’ should be used.


It would be funny if the next sentence read "The correcting of a text that is anachronistic with respect to this instruction because of, apparently, the author's ignorance is beyond the scope of this guide." ('11/21 July 1605' does make sense. The Gregorian Calendar was accepted at different times by different countries, with England/Great Britain being a notorious hold-out.)


Let's check with the Department of Redundancy Department:

Actually, it's even more complicated than the Gregorian Reform of 1582 that addressed the 11-day drift between the Julian Calendar and the solar cycle.

Although the Julian Calendar stipulated the start of the year as 1 January, by the 1500s different countries in Europe were beginning the year on different dates. This came about as Christianity spread throughout Europe when medieval rulers Christianized the calendar by fiat, moving the start date of the year to more theologically significant dates, such as Christmas or Easter Day.

In France, for legal and bureaucratic purposes, the year began on Easter Day, despite the popular custom of celebrating the beginning of the year on 1 January. This added even more complexity, thanks to the tie-in with the lunar cycle, so the New Year’s Day itself changed from year to year.

Charles IX reformed the French Calendar in 1563 by royal decree, moving New Year’s Day back to 1 January, in keeping with popular custom. The French Parliament ratified this the following year, pre-dating the Gregorian reform by 18 years.

So for 16th century dates between January and March, expect some ambiguity in the year, depending on local convention at the time.

Notorious holdouts that they were, the Brits continued to observe 25 March as New Year’s Day until 1752, but I still like them


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Re: Explain me something from the style guides…

Post by karlhenning » Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:31 am

Neytiri wrote:And if it is a Gregorian/Julian thing, then the difference cannot be one whole year between the two.

21 January 1565 Julian cannot be the same day as 21 January 1565 Gregorian.
Here is the key:
For dates dependent upon the time of beginning the new year, the form ‘21 January 1564/5’ should be used.
New Years Day has not always been 1 January in the English-speaking world:
Wikipedia wrote:Most countries in Western Europe officially adopted January 1 as New Year's Day somewhat before they adopted the Gregorian calendar. In England, the Feast of the Annunciation on 25 March, was the first day of the new year until the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar in 1752. The 25 March date was known as Annunciation Style . . . .
Thus, 21 January 1565 in (say) France was still 21 January 1564 in England, where the new year did not begin until 25 March. In England at the time, the day after 24 March 1564 was 25 March 1565.

Cheers,
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Re: Explain me something from the style guides…

Post by Proton » Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:40 pm

karlhenning wrote:
Neytiri wrote:And if it is a Gregorian/Julian thing, then the difference cannot be one whole year between the two.

21 January 1565 Julian cannot be the same day as 21 January 1565 Gregorian.
Here is the key:
For dates dependent upon the time of beginning the new year, the form ‘21 January 1564/5’ should be used.
New Years Day has not always been 1 January in the English-speaking world:
Wikipedia wrote:Most countries in Western Europe officially adopted January 1 as New Year's Day somewhat before they adopted the Gregorian calendar. In England, the Feast of the Annunciation on 25 March, was the first day of the new year until the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar in 1752. The 25 March date was known as Annunciation Style . . . .
Thus, 21 January 1565 in (say) France was still 21 January 1564 in England, where the new year did not begin until 25 March. In England at the time, the day after 24 March 1564 was 25 March 1565.

Cheers,
~Karl
Karl,
Kudos to you for imparting the same information in many fewer words.
Note to self: Strive for brevity!


"A lie can run around the world before the truth can get its boots on."
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“No government has the right to decide on the truth of scientific principles, nor to prescribe in any way the character of the questions investigated."
Richard Feynman
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Re: Explain me something from the style guides…

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Apr 23, 2010 4:05 pm

Proton wrote:
karlhenning wrote:
Neytiri wrote:And if it is a Gregorian/Julian thing, then the difference cannot be one whole year between the two.

21 January 1565 Julian cannot be the same day as 21 January 1565 Gregorian.
Here is the key:
For dates dependent upon the time of beginning the new year, the form ‘21 January 1564/5’ should be used.
New Years Day has not always been 1 January in the English-speaking world:
Wikipedia wrote:Most countries in Western Europe officially adopted January 1 as New Year's Day somewhat before they adopted the Gregorian calendar. In England, the Feast of the Annunciation on 25 March, was the first day of the new year until the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar in 1752. The 25 March date was known as Annunciation Style . . . .
Thus, 21 January 1565 in (say) France was still 21 January 1564 in England, where the new year did not begin until 25 March. In England at the time, the day after 24 March 1564 was 25 March 1565.

Cheers,
~Karl
Karl,
Kudos to you for imparting the same information in many fewer words.
Note to self: Strive for brevity!
Note to both of you: Thank you for being my teachers on this.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Re: Explain me something from the style guides…

Post by John F » Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:09 am

Neytiri wrote:Luckily for many Americans, Britons etc., everything in these style guides is so vague and permissive, you can pretty much write as you please. :lol:
Not if you're writing for publication. Or, rather, you can write as you please, but the publisher's copyeditor will change what you write to conform to house style, which is applied automatically and strictly. Generally, it's based on a specific style manual, which one depends on the publisher and the subject matter. And if you browse around in any of these style manuals, you can see that they are neither vague nor permissive, but specific and strict. Saves a lot of time and needless arguments between author and publisher about how to handle the mechanical aspects of style.

In the U.S., the standard guide for general book publication is the Chicago Style Manual, which I've mentioned, and which is used for the publications of the American Musicological Society. Newspapers and periodicals have different needs and use different guides; the New York Times Manual of Style and Usage has been widely adopted by newspapers that haven't created their own. Scholarly publications in literature are made to conform to the Modern Language Association's MLA Style Manual; in psychology, to the American Psychological Association's Publication Manual, which has been adopted and adapted by other disciplines.

As for CMG, as in the world of mules (cf. Ogden Nash), there are no rules. :)
John Francis

Neytiri

Re: Explain me something from the style guides…

Post by Neytiri » Sat Apr 24, 2010 11:35 am

John F wrote: Not if you're writing for publication. Or, rather, you can write as you please, but the publisher's copyeditor will change what you write to conform to house style, which is applied automatically and strictly. Generally, it's based on a specific style manual, which one depends on the publisher and the subject matter. And if you browse around in any of these style manuals, you can see that they are neither vague nor permissive, but specific and strict. Saves a lot of time and needless arguments between author and publisher about how to handle the mechanical aspects of style.
Yes, of course. I expressed myself badly. I meant that if you look at them as a whole and inspect what each one of these suggests and prescribes, you will find a bit of everything.

You've mentioned in another thread that you've worked for college textbook publishers. Did their house style rely on Chicago Style Manual or was it a style manual written by the editors of the house?

I like The Oxford Style Manual, which combines The Oxford Guide to Style and The Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors, but also The Times Style and Usage Guide and Financial Times style guide.

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Re: Explain me something from the style guides…

Post by John F » Sat Apr 24, 2010 3:18 pm

Neytiri wrote:You've mentioned in another thread that you've worked for college textbook publishers. Did their house style rely on Chicago Style Manual or was it a style manual written by the editors of the house?

I like The Oxford Style Manual, which combines The Oxford Guide to Style and The Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors, but also The Times Style and Usage Guide and Financial Times style guide.
Yes, both publishers I worked for used Chicago, and so did every American book publisher I have that kind of info about. Many English publishers probably use the style guides you mention.

Writing our own would have been extremely laborious and finally pointless, like creating our own English dictionary. But at Norton we had a few wrinkles of our own, such as serial commas: "Martin, Barton, and Fish" rather than "Martin, Barton and Fish." It's just better. :)
John Francis

Neytiri

Re: Explain me something from the style guides…

Post by Neytiri » Sun Apr 25, 2010 7:52 am

John F wrote: But at Norton we had a few wrinkles of our own, such as serial commas: "Martin, Barton, and Fish" rather than "Martin, Barton and Fish." It's just better. :)
It's , actually, just different. It means different thing when there is a comma before and and when it's not there. :)

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