The best way to learn any style manual is to use it conscientiously and repeatedly, but there are a few other ways you can begin to build your skill before busting out that red pen.
It might sound odd if you’re not already an editor, but the differences in style guides at publishing houses can be a tedious affair if you’re not at least a bit fluent in the main English-language house styles.
Communication is key! Once you’ve determined that you can’t find the answer, ask someone.
Opinions are like . . . you know: everybody’s got one. House editing style guides and preferences are no different. Browse through any random collection of imprint house publications, periodicals, or online articles, and you’ll witness a menagerie of guides, including The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS), the Associated Press Stylebook(AP), and a smattering of personal preferences seemingly chosen at random. The resulting style format can resemble an amalgamation of spare parts—something akin to a Frankenstein’s monster of house style. The curious aspect is the specific, obscure details individual editors decide to take a stand on—the hills upon which they choose to fight and die.