At my critique group meeting the other night, we were going over some pages from a member we’ll call the Divine Miss M. She’s writing an urban fantasy about a straight-up avenging angel, and it is going to be amazing. But as I was critiquing the pages, I found that she was using uppercase for epithets like “Honey” and “Sweetie” and “Babe.” This bugged me, but I couldn’t find any expert resource that addressed this issue. I went to the Chicago Manual of Style and first of all wasn’t sure how to search for such information. I did a Google search and found forums discussing the issue, but again, no definitive answers (mostly a lot of “I think it should be X” and even worse, “I feel it should be Y.”)
So I hit the Amazon bestseller lists and went through the books that have the “Look inside” option.
Here are the results from Stephen King’s 11/22/63.
So when you can’t find a definitive answer as to whether to use the serial comma or “all right” vs. “alright,” search the bestsellers and/or books produced by your publisher of choice and follow their style rules.