There's an episode of Arrested Development that perfectly encapsulates my experiences with copyedited material.
Michael: Well, I’ll tell you what. I’m going to give you a promotion. Welcome aboard, Mr. Manager. George Michael: Wow. I’m Mr. Manager.
Michael: Well, manager; we just say manager. And you can hire an employee if you need one. George Michael: Do you think I need one?
Michael: Don’t look at me, Mr. Manager.
George Michael: Right, it’s up to me now. I’m Mr. Manager.
Michael: Manager. We just say--
George Michael: I know, but you...
Michael: Doesn’t matter who.
So which is it? Mr. Manager or just plain manager?
Dates in parentheses after a work is mentioned in the text? If I put them in, the copyeditor deletes them. If I don't put them in, I get an AU QUERY: "Please insert dates after titles."
Spell out "University Press"? If I do, it gets abbreviated to "UP." If I don't, it appears in full or sometimes as "Univ. Press."
Western, Eastern? I consult The Chicago Manual of Style and think I have it set, but if I have it capitalized, it's made lower-case and vice versa.
US or U.S.? If I use the periods, the copyeditor changes it to US--and vice versa.
Use a short form of the publisher's name? If I spell it out, it gets shortened. If I don't, it gets added back in.
Include the number of a journal that is paginated by issue? Don't get me started.
I'm more amused by this than anything else. I have heard of senior scholars who wax splenetic at the thought of changing a capital (think: Romanticism versus romanticism), but for me, that's not a hill to die on. I embrace a sort of learned helplessness since there's no point in fighting some of these. Only if there's a change that creates a grammatical mistake will I shout "STET!" in the margins.
The new loosey-goosey MLA Handbook, 8th Edition, which is sort of Chicago-lite, doesn't help much. I actually went to the session on this at MLA and asked questions that had been puzzling me, but they mostly said something along the lines of "Well, that is a pretty pickle, isn't it?" without answering the question.
Between MLA 8, Chicago 16 (and now 17), and various quirky house styles, I now take my best shot with the help of Endnote and Zotero, knowing that this is a battle that can never be won.
For I am Mr. Manager.