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Copy editor

Joined: February 5, 2013
Comments posted: 2
Votes received: 17

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Recent Comments

See my comment of February 5 above. From the professional copy editor's POV, there is essentially no debate: dos and don'ts, period, for US style today. Chicago 7.13–15. . . .

Copy editor August 8, 2013, 6:47am

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It amazes me that no one in this thread has consulted the one truly essential authority here. The Chicago Manual of Style 16th edition (7.13–7.15) requires:

ifs and buts, dos and don'ts, threes and fours, thank-yous, maybes, yeses and nos
the three Rs, x's and y's [with the x and y italicized for letters as letters, on the model of italics for words as words], the 1990s, URLs, IRAs, BSs, MAs, PhDs, vols., eds., BUT: p., pp., n., nn., MS, MSS

For any professional copy editor working in book publishing, that is likely to settle these issues, since U.S. publishers virtually without exception follow CMS, period. Magazine and newspaper publishers have different styles in many cases.

FYI, every publisher I have ever worked for requires: the 1980s, the '80s.

The use of the apostrophe to signal pluralization for plurals of coinages, letters, numerals, and abbreviations is not a question of grammar, but of typography. It is falling by the wayside; it is a dated convention. Originally intended to forestall confusion, it is now thought by most to cause it—as evidenced by the debate above.

Nonprofessionals (formerly non-professionals) may continue to debate heartily. The rest of us have jobs to do . . .

Copy editor February 5, 2013, 7:25am

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