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May 30th, 2013

from the preface, Chicago Manual, 16th ed.

"We have come to understand that even in the case of somewhat arbitrary rules, writers and editors tend to look to this manual for the most efficient, logical, and defensible solution to a given editorial problem. On the other hand, none of our recommendations are meant to foreclose breaking or bending rules to fit a particular case, something we continue to do ourselves. Once again, we have looked to what has become a maxim (from the first edition of the manual in 1906): 'Rules and regulations such as these, in the nature of the case, cannot be endowed with the fixity of rock-ribbed law. They are meant for the average case, and must be applied with a certain degree of elasticity.'"
 
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