© Nani, 2013
33. Am I Being Consistent?
Certain grammatical and stylistic rules are not so much concrete as they are conventional. In that case, consistency becomes paramount. If the party for whom you are writing gives you a standard about certain items, follow their guidelines as opposed to your own. When you are free to choose for yourself, you may use either as long as you are consistent. I. BC/AD vs. BCE/CE Both forms refer to the same event in history—the supposed date of Jesus' birth—as the dividing line which separates the ascending versus descending count of years. As such, both forms are correct. So pick your favorite but don't use BC for dates before the modern era and CE for dates after. II. Euripides' versus Euripides's Showing possession with an –'s is always important and always follows the hard and fast rules laid out in Section 13. But, as we indicate there, forming the possessive on a noun that ends in –s has two accepted styles. Some publishers prefer one over the other, yet neither is technically more correct than the other. So pick which form you like and stick with it. III. The Oxford Comma While many people have a strong preference regarding the Oxford comma—and as a serious author you should develop a serious preference!—there isn't a rule governing when it should and should not be employed. By convention (and as indicated in section 31), the Oxford comma is the default form in English writing. However, many publishers are moving away from its use—including Oxford, for whom it is named!
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