This Thanksgiving, we at Inkblot Editing are thankful for all of you who support us!
Happiest of Thanksgivings!
Happy Friday, friends! This has been a hard month for the world, so here’s a few links that will hopefully provide a little cheer.
Have a great weekend!
Every month, the Chicago Manual of Style folks answer questions they’ve received. Following are a couple excerpts from the Q&A of November 2015. To read the full month’s Q&A, visit www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/qanda/latest.html.
Q. How do you handle the spacing with a name that is only initials? Do you put a space between the initials or not? For example: “My friend B.J. is an awesome skater.” Or “My friend B. J. is an awesome skater.”
A. Chicago style for initials that are used as a name is to take out the periods and close up the letters: BJ. Please see CMOS 8.4.
Q. Many of our news blurbs contain conference and presentation titles. Folks here, including the head of the organization, insist on constructing sentences with titles thus: “He gave a presentation on ‘Planetary Boundaries and Peacebuilding’ in a parallel session of the conference.” I have explained that this must be recast, either omitting the preposition and adding commas (gave a presentation, “Planetary Boundaries”) or retaining the preposition and translating the title into lowercase (gave a presentation on planetary boundaries and peacebuilding). But everyone here ignores my suggestion. My understanding is that it is a non-negotiable grammatical error, but the error is so widespread, at least in science circles, that I’m beginning to wonder now if it is permissible in other style guides. Is there anything you can tell me to bolster my case?
A. There are some nonnegotiable grammar errors, but this is probably not one of them. The rule (CMOS 8.172) was made to prevent misunderstanding. For instance, in your original sentence, it’s not clear whether the presenter was speaking about a published article titled “Planetary Boundaries and Peacebuilding” or whether that was the title of his own talk. Much of the time, readers will know what you mean whichever way you style it. When there’s a risk of ambiguity, however, it’s worth enforcing the rule.
No one knows just where this superstition originated, though there are a few links to literature that may be responsible for keeping the curse alive:
Do you have any Friday the 13th stories? If so, we’d love to hear them!
Since Wednesday is Veterans Day, we want to remember those who have bravely served our country. Sometimes writing about war experiences helps veterans better understand what they went through. For instance, Rachel’s great uncle George Hatcher (who turned ninety-five this year!) served during World War II. His plane, the poetically named Delayed Lady, was shot down over Germany, and he was captured and held as a prisoner of war at Stalag Luft IV. He wrote a little pamphlet about his experiences, and it has become not only family lore but also a story held dear by his entire community. As it so happened, nine men from the tiny town of Erwin, Tennessee, were held at that prisoner of war camp. His captors believed Erwin was a large city because so many young men called it home. They are now known as the Erwin Nine.
Many of the authors we know and love have also served their countries in times of war. Not all wrote about it, but the experience surely helped define who they became.
Here, we celebrate just a few of these authors and their service.
J.D. Salinger served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was in one of the early waves of men who came ashore on D-Day and fought throughout France, Belgium, and Germany. He witnessed such historical moments as the Battle of the Bulge and the liberation of a concentration camp. It’s rumored that he had six chapters of The Catcher in the Rye in his pocket as he stormed the shores of Utah Beach.
Thank you, veterans, for your service and your bravery.
Rachel’s most awkward moment happened in the Seattle Westin. She was fifteen, and was following a tour guide—Marco—out to the parking lot. (Said tour guide was the hottest man she’d seen to date.) Rachel, busy gawking, failed to recognize that the twelve-foot sliding glass doors had shut behind him and had not reopened for her due to her lack of height. She ran smack into these heavy doors, knocking them off track. The valet crew fell to the sidewalk laughing. Fortunately Marco did not notice.
Lesley’s most awkward moment happened at Walt Disney World when she was a tween. She and her sister were finally at the front of the line, and Lesley felt like she was going to be sick. She grabbed her sister and ran toward a trash can. She did not, in fact, get sick. Instead she fainted, and with the forward momentum she had going, it looked to passersby as though she dove into the trash can. Her grandfather tucked one leg under each arm and tried to pull her back out. Her sister sat down on a bench next to a stranger to watch the show, pretending she was not at all related to the scene.
It’s Election Day, folks! Have you voted yet? We hope so.
Politics, as we’ve seen already this election season, can be quite dramatic. There are impassioned speeches, name calling, and critical issues on the line. After all, politics affects everyone—rich or poor, man or woman, adult or child. All of the bright hopes and dark secrets are brought to the surface for the world to judge.
The political process, and everything that entails, provides an often overlooked dramatic element for characters to become embroiled in. Here are a few books that have taken advantage of the chaos of politics.
Addressing politics can be a great way to introduce the issues of your fictional world while also building the tension. Use it to your advantage! And check out Flavorwire for more novels using politics.