Hart's Rules for Compositors and Readers at the University Press, Oxford
was an authoritative reference book and style guide
A style guide or style manual is a set of standards for the writing and design of documents, either for general use or for a specific publication, organization or field...
published in England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...
by Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press is the largest university press in the world. It is a department of the University of Oxford and is governed by a group of 15 academics appointed by the Vice-Chancellor known as the Delegates of the Press. They are headed by the Secretary to the Delegates, who serves as...
(OUP). Hart's Rules
originated as a compilation of rules and standards by Horace Hart
Horace Henry Hart was an English printer and biographer, best known as the author of Hart's Rules for Compositors and Readers, first issued in 1893....
over almost three decades during his employment at other printing establishments, but they were first printed as a single broadsheet page for in-house use by the OUP in 1893 while Hart was Controller of the University Press. They were originally intended as a concise style-guide for the staff of the OUP, but they developed continuously over the years, were published in 1904, and soon gained wider use as a source for authoritative instructions on typesetting
Typesetting is the composition of text by means of types.Typesetting requires the prior process of designing a font and storing it in some manner...
In linguistics, grammar is the set of structural rules that govern the composition of clauses, phrases, and words in any given natural language. The term refers also to the study of such rules, and this field includes morphology, syntax, and phonology, often complemented by phonetics, semantics,...
Punctuation marks are symbols that indicate the structure and organization of written language, as well as intonation and pauses to be observed when reading aloud.In written English, punctuation is vital to disambiguate the meaning of sentences...
After their first appearance, Hart's rules were reissued in a second edition in 1894, and two further editions in 1895. They were continually revised, enlarged and reissued, and had reached their 15th edition by the time they were eventually published as a book in March 1904. New editions and reprints continued to appear over almost eight decades, until the 39th edition (1983) which was reprinted four times (with corrections)—the last in 1989.
In February 2002, Oxford University Press published a new and much longer edition (the fortieth) of Hart's Rules
under the title The Oxford Guide to Style
, promoted as "Hart's Rules for the 21st Century", which is of more value to editors than to typesetters. From this version was adapted New Hart's Rules: The Handbook of Style for Writers and Editors
, first published in September 2005.
The Oxford Style Manual
(2003) combined in a single volume of 1033 pages The Oxford Guide to Style
(2002) and The Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors
(2000). It again provided considerably more information about editing style than Hart's Rules
did, but also less about typography.
The Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors
, compiled by Robert M. Ritter, was earlier published as a separate companion volume, in line with the eleven editions of its famous predecessor the Authors’ and Printers’ Dictionary
by Frederick Howard Collins (first published in 1905 and renamed in 1983). A freshly compiled successor, published in 2005, returned to the "traditional small handbook form" and is titled The New Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors
. It is intended for "people who work with words—authors, copy-editors, proofreaders, students writing essays and dissertations, journalists, people writing reports or other documents, and website editors."
- Style guides (for corresponding American and other usage guides)
- The King's English
The King's English is a book on English usage and grammar. It was written by the Fowler brothers, Henry Watson Fowler and Francis George Fowler, and published in 1906, and thus pre-dates by 20 years Modern English Usage, which was written by Henry alone after Francis's death in 1918.The King's...
- Fowler's Modern English Usage
A Dictionary of Modern English Usage , by Henry Watson Fowler , is a style guide to British English usage, pronunciation, and writing...