Jones, Thomas W. "Capitalization, Italics, Punctuation and other Citation Subtelties." In Mastering Genealogical Documentation, 49-62. Arlington, VA: National Genealogical Society, 2017.Dr. Jones assurance at the beginning of this chapter that punctuating a citation is just as easy as punctuating a sentence is not exactly reassuring when you had to take a remedial English class as a college freshman because you never learned proper comma placement. Actually, I think that punctuating, at least with commas, is probably easier in a citation than a sentence, so I think I'm okay.
This chapter again refers to Chicago Manual of Style and Evidence Explained several times, so I did my second reading of the chapter with both books out, sort of. There's no room in my budget for books at the moment, and the copy of CMOS that you see above was due at the library last week. This week I started a free 30-day trial to the CMOS online subscription. I didn't think I would like the way it ties me to my computer to read it, and I don't, but it was worth a try. I just ordered the hard copy of the 17th edition through inter-library loan, so it should be here before my trial is up. Hopefully, by the time it is due back at the library, I will have room in the budget to purchase either an online subscription ($39 for one year) or a copy of the book (currently $53.22 on Amazon).
Back to the topic at hand. My comments aside, most of the punctuation covered in his chapter is common knowledge but there were a number of things that I noted.
I'm pretty comfortable with apostrophes but I did learn from CMOS that lower case letters used as nouns form the plural with an apostrophe and an s (1). For example, there are two n's in Anna or two t's in Matthews.
I already knew that square brackets are used to note text added by the author, but I didn't realize that you could use them around the reader's translation of a title in a foreign language. I have a copy of an unpublished family history that takes one of my Swedish lines back to my 5th great-grandparents. It was researched and compiled by a Swedish couple and is in Swedish.
So, once I learn how to cite the whole work, the title could be written as Kyrkebo-Släkten Släktbok for Ättlingar Till Helje Larsson och Maria Ericsdotter I Kyrkebo, N. Hestra: Enligt forskning och uppteckning 1965-1968 av Annie och Bertil Friedlitz [Kyrkebo Family Book for Descendants of Helje Larsson and Maria Ericsdotter from Kyrkebo, N. Hestra: According to research 1965-1968 by Annie and Bertil Friedlitz].
I thought that use of the Oxford comma was passé, but COMS recommends that it be used to prevent ambiguity.
As for other uses, I may have to study this in more depth, that remedial course was a long time ago.
Dashes (– and —)
I guess it was my first time through Evidence Explained that I first learned about en dashes (twice the width of a hyphen or the width of the letter n) and em dashes (twice the width of an en dash and the width of a letter m). Who knew I'd been using the hyphen on my keyboard incorrectly all these years?
There is actually a bit more information about dashes in Evidence Explained that isn't found in this chapter of Mastering Genealogical Documentation. Elizabeth Shown Mills also explains the uses of the 2-em dash and the 3-em dash as well as substitutions. (2)
Greater than signs ( > )
Also known as waypoints when used in a citation, I think this is the most useful part of the chapter for me. I had seen one or two discussions of waypoints before reading this book, but both of those (which I can't find now) discussed why waypoints were not appropriate or the best option for the citation being discussed in that instance. There wasn't much discussion there about where waypoints would be most appropriate, but I thought they would probably be the best way to cite Quebec church records found at the BAnQ (Bibiothèque et Archives nationales du Québec) website, which has no search functionality. Waypoints, which take the reader step-by-step from the collection to the individual record, would be the best way to show someone how to find a record here quickly.
Panelist Marceline Beem gave an excellent step-by-step example of waypoints which you can find on her blog here.
Capitalization, colons, ellipsis dots, hyphens, italics, numerals, parentheses, periods, quotation marks, semicolons, and slashes are also addressed in this chapter, all in alphabetical order, handy for future reference. Although it can sometimes seem fussy and complicated to apply proper capitalization, italics, punctuation and other subtleties to citations, we have to make sure we are communicating clearly to our readers.
You can find the Chapter 5 hangout here and you can buy Dr. Jones book from NGS (discounted for members) or in Kindle format at Amazon.
(1) Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed. (Chicago University Press, 2010), 353 for section 7.15.
(2) Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence Explained, 3rd ed. (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2010), 78, for "Dashes vs. Hyphens."