I’m looking forward to seeing the new (15th) edition of the Chicago Manual of Style, even though Chicago isn’t the style bible where I work. A NY Times story by Dinitia Smith lays out some of the changes (aside from the inevitably extended coverage of web addresses):
¶Capital letters. The old manual recommended using small capitals in some cases, like AM and PM. But it is difficult for writers on a word processor to switch from regular size capitals to smaller. “In the new edition we now prefer lower case a.m. and p.m., with periods in between,” Ms. Samen said, “and we are saying small caps are an alternative.”
¶Ordinal numbers. The Manual used to prefer 3d and 2d, but it is now O.K. to use 2nd and 3rd, “like the rest of the world,” Ms. Samen pointed out.
¶Dates. Previous editions recommended the British style: 1 July 2003. Now one can write them “the way everybody does it in real life,” Ms. Samen said: July 1, 2003.
As a linguist (ret’d), I welcome the approval given to sentences beginning with “and” or “but” (a study apparently showed that 10% of “sentences in first-rate writing” so begin). And as an editor I am delighted that they are retaining the time-honored en dash (–), however much Jim at UJG may deplore it. Sorry, my friend, but some things are sacred.