It is no longer necessary to have the three-pound Bible of publishing on your bookshelf. The Chicago Manual of Style has just gone online. According to today’s announcement, an introductory one-year subscription is $25 if you subscribe by September 30, 2007–$30 after that date. Thirty-day free trials are available.
As I just read Chicago’s blurb, I noticed it used the word Bible, as I did (above), but Chicago used a lowercase version. So I have decided to see how long it takes me in the new electronic version to find the rule for capitalization of the term Bible. Ready . . . I’ve set my watch . . . Go!
Tick . . . Tick . . . Tick . . . Tick . . . Tick . . .
Here are the results:
After more than 6 minutes, I gave up looking for the answer in the online version. Since I am usually more successful with actual books I can touch, I pulled my volume of Chicago off my bookshelf, and I spent another 3+ minutes searching for the rule. Although Chicago covered the Bible and its books and versions in detail, it did not answer my question. So I gave up on Chicago and decided to check my AP Stylebook instead.
In AP it took about 10 seconds to find the answer: The word bible is not capitalized when used as a "nonreligious term." AP gave this example: "My dictionary is my bible." And for today The Associated Press Stylebook is mine.
As I so often realize, one "bible" is not big enough for me as a writer. How about you?
In any case, Chicago Manual of Style Online, welcome!