Friday, November 20, 2009

more lowercase silliness


Filter magazine's review of the Regina Spektor album "Far" begins:
The lowercase 'f' in far is telling.
No, it isn't.

The review continues to lowercase the album title (and, in an extra added bonus blow to reading comprehension, uses neither italics nor quotation marks), presumably because that's the way it is on the album cover, while uppercasing "Regina Spektor" (also lowercase on the album cover) and "Begin to Hope," a previous Spektor album whose cover art also lowercases both title and artist. ("Begin to Hope" and the other pre-"Far" albums merit italics.)

If you're going to be silly, at least be consistent.

As I've said many times, graphic artists do what graphic artists do. They play with capitalization and typefaces and type colors and type sizes. And they should. If they didn't, we'd die of visual boredom. None of that has anything to do with the very basic principle that proper nouns are capitalized. Just as you need not duplicate the cover art's typeface, type size or type color when you're referring to a book or a CD, you need not duplicate the playful use of all caps or all lowercase.

13 comments:

Jonathon said...

I've recently noticed that "MSNBC" is appearing lowercased in articles on msnbc.com (As in "Sources tell msnbc that . . ."), presumably because of the new logo.

Susan W. said...

I'm with you, bb.

ptotheatsign said...

In my college copy-editing days, a reporter gave me hell for changing his lowercased spelling of a band's name and removing the period he put at the end of that band's name. (Which, I believe, is how the band's logo rendered the band name.) I can't remember that band's name, but his story was full of nonsense like "On Tuesday, radiohead. is performing." Ugh.

Kristen said...

Now AOL is changing its "name" to Aol. and insisting the "dot" is important. Yeah, right. And how are we supposed to pronounce that? AY-ohl-dot, Ah-OHL-dot or "the computer service formerly known as AOL?"

Mike D. said...

Not for nothing, but despite the fact that original logo might have said "radiohead.", as far as I know the band refers to itself properly as "Radiohead," no period, even on its own Web site... for what that's worth.

Damonius said...

re: ptotheatsign

was it the diamondback? was the reporter upset about the band "moe." being fixed? because i certainly remember that one.

ptotheatsign said...

Damonius, yes, it was Moe (or moe.), although this was at a student paper in the Midwest.

Jim Wynn said...

moe. silliness

Laura said...

Editors and writers are also confused when it comes to logos that are in all caps. A recent Yahoo front page referred to the network as both FOX and Fox. For the actual text, see http://terriblywrite.wordpress.com/2010/01/11/what-network-is-that/

sbergus said...

I was wondering what your thoughts were on brand names which combine two words into one? I ask because I have recently started using an app on my phone called WaveSecure.

Should I keep the capitalization as shown above in the name of clarity or does Wavesecure bring you less pain?

Bill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bill said...

Nothing wrong with WaveSecure, because "secure" is a word. I'd have a problem with "wAVEseCURE."

Karen said...

I always quote you on this topic when teaching my advanced copy editing class. Of course, I referenced K.D. Lang and got blank stares. But they started to listen when we began discussing what to do with the singer who stylizes as Ke$ha. I said use a regular "s."