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Which: Oxford Style Manual or Butcher's Copy Editing
Thread poster: diana bb

diana bb  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:33
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
Jun 13, 2008

I have one simple question: if you had to choose between Oxford Style Manual (ed. by R.M. Ritter, OUP, 2003) and Butcher's Copy-editing: The Cambridge handbook for editors, copy-editors and proofreaders by Judith Butcher, Caroline Drake and Maureen Leach (Cambridge University press, 2006) - which would you go for?
Are there many differences between the two, and if yes, what are the major ones?

Thanks in advance,

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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:33
Spanish to English
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My choice Jun 13, 2008

First of all, I'd ask my clients if they have any preference.

If they don't, I'd go with the Oxford. I have style guides by both Oxford and Cambridge but have found the Oxford guide very user friendly and helpful with punctuation, etc.

I think the most important thing is to stick with the one you choose and learn its style well for reasons of consistency in your writing.

Good luck!

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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:33
Italian to English
Both are excellent Jun 13, 2008

As John says, both are excellent and his advice to check with clients is also very sound.

In general, it is useful to elect a benchmark style guide before you embark on a project, even if the client hasn't thought about the issue.

If you do opt for the Oxford Manual, you might want to make one or two adjustments. For example, most UK users of English are reluctant to adopt the "-ize" suffix for verbs like "realise", which Oxford prefers, and the "Oxford comma" - the one before the "and" in lists like "right, left, and centre" - may look odd to UK users (it's not used by the New York Times, either, so it's not just a UK/US thing).

I use "adjusted Oxford" as a default for UK and the Chicago Manual of Style for US but there are plenty of other good guides in all flavours of English. The important thing is to use them!


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Gennady Lapardin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 12:33
Italian to Russian
+ ...
Taking occasion Jun 13, 2008

Sorry for off-topic: at what extent Merriam Webster's Handbook For Writers reflects British English rules?

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