Wednesday, June 27, 2001

It's Called a Byline for a Reason

Here's a major gripe of mine that, amazingly, I've never before discussed in print: bylines without the word "By." I'm not talking about publications in which that's the style; that affectation is annoying, but at least it's intentional. I mean stories on which the writer has apparently never read the publication before and the editor has neglected to notice the most basic of errors at the very beginning of a story, where fatigue is no excuse. It's true that ignoring such "furniture" is an occupational hazard, but the byline is a pretty important piece of furniture. Read past it and you'll miss not only the very common "By"-gone goof, but also the more-common-than-you'd-think phenomenon of writers spelling their own names wrong.