On Sunday, I gave a final quick edit to the scrapbook I'm going to have printed soon. And guess what? I got to use one of my favorite reference books.

The phrase in question was "master's degree." Of course, I wrote it how I thought was right—with lower-case letters and an apostrophe. But I wasn't 100% sure that it was correct, and I wanted to be.

Chicago Manual of Style, how I missed you! I used the 14th edition in my college editing class, but a few months after I started work as a technical writer, the 15th edition came out (as well as a new version of Merriam-Webster's Dictionary). Being a highly skilled professional (cough!), I had to stay with the times. So I bought you (and the dictionary) and I'm sure I impressed everyone in the office with my grammatical up-to-dateness. Or not.

Poking around on the internet, I see that my version is no longer the latest: there is now a 16th edition. But I'm not going to buy it. Times change, and I hardly ever have a reason anymore to consult this piece of wonderful editorial nerdiness. But when I do, I want it to be the same book I used to use and love.

Oh, and the verdict? I was right. It's "master's degree." Hah.


  1. Oooh, I like it. :D I'll add it to my list of books I'd like to buy, but probably wouldn't use enough to make it worth it. Along with the OED. I love grammar books and nerdy word books!

  2. Ooh, I wish I'd taken some classes in editing during college. Sounds like fun! I'm sure I make many punctuation mistakes in my writing. Oh, and no doubt my grammar isn't ideal, but I write the way I talk so....

    I'll have to look into that book.