Among book formatting guides, the foremost style used for the American English language is the Chicago Manual of Style created by the Chicago Press and the style in use at the University of Chicago Press. This style has a universal ruling on writing in a sense that it is not limited to a single application, type of publication or field of topic. The style guide also dips into the editing and publishing stages expressing to writers the reality of it as well as discussing tips to editors.
The style focuses on typography rules such as spelling, capitalization, grammar, punctuation and mainly preference in linguistic use. It also includes proper format for Footnotes, Tabular Data, References and Citations. Originally published as, The Manual of Style, this book formatting guide was released in 1906 as “The Style in Force in The University of Chicago Press.” The style was, in fact, a set of rules that developed since the opening of the Chicago Press. In order to ease the process, Chicago Press typesetters and composing staff created these rules for writers to follow. From a simple style sheet, this book formatting guide proved useful in writing and publishing that it developed profoundly from its first edition . It was soon called Chicago Manual of Style as it spread beyond the Chicago territory. However, the book was officially retitled only in its 13th edition in 1982.
In the printing press, it was necessary to enforce rules in order to refine the process of deciphering handwritten manuscripts. It started simply as a set of rules of typography. The book formatting guide later expanded with linguistics such as proper grammar and writing style. While the notion to correct linguistics in a predominantly English-speaking nation may be unnecessary, the reality is quite the opposite. In every culture and societal structure, language may vary even in the use of a singular language. For example, New Yorkers speak differently from Texans. The South has a very distinctive accent and manner of speaking and so does New York. More so, the English language is used differently from its origins in England. Chicago, at the time was one of the cities that accumulated a large number of migrants. Their language and culture mixed with other cultures. Spoken and written English had very different treatments even during the Shakesperean Era. When the style guide was enforced, commonality and structure in the written language prevailed in the publishing world and later throughout the academe. This structure standardized writing as a means of establishing effective communication.
Since the first set of rules, the Chicago Press have enforced the book formatting guide with continuous updates. The most significant developments to writing mainly revolve around, sentence & title structure, use of punctuation, changes in possessive nouns and proper capitalization of words. Over time, previous rules are amended or changed due to the cause of confusion. Mathematics is also discussed in the book formatting guide in both sentence treatment and graphical treatment such as tabular method. Recently, updates involve the presence of new technology such as the internet, Ipod and software. In the latest release, the 16th edition now contains treatment of footnotes, citations and references to film, television and online data. It also involves well-immersed rulings on online and ebook publishing to address the growing popularity of such publications. Online and ebook publishing may still be young in comparison to the tangible published book, there is, however, increasing encouragement and support for virtual publication. Therefore,, the goal is to maintain the system of book formatting within the established rulings as that of the Chicago Manual of Style.
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