Sunday, October 22, 2006

Thumbs Down for About.com Editor

In an earlier entry, I explained that, following Teri Robert's lead, I always capitalize Migraine. When I first asked Teri why she capitalizes it, she told me,
I capitalize Migraine as an advocacy issue. Too many people still believe that Migraines are "just bad headaches" when, in reality, Migraine is a potentially debilitating genetic neurological disease. By capitalizing Migraine and various forms of the word, we set it apart and, hopefully, cause people to question and come to a new awareness of Migraine as a disease.
Last week, when reading Teri's new article on About.com, "What Is Retinal Migraine?" I noticed that she had capitalized Migraine only in the title. I asked her why. She replied,
My new editor has asked me to follow standard style guidelines. That means that only diseases named after a person would be capitalized, and migraine was not named after a person.
What?! Of all the petty nonsense!

To that editor, should you ever happen to read this...

However subtle, capitalizing Migraine is important. The constant recognition of what Migraine can do to our lives is one thing that has set your headaches and Migraine site apart from other web sites, part of what has made it the site many people consider to be the absolute best on the entire internet. Have you never heard the saying that there are exceptions to every rule? Shouldn't standing out from and above everyone else be more important than style guidelines? Shouldn't style guidelines complement what's written rather than constraining it?

What a pity.

Shalom,
Abi

4 comments:

Kerrie said...

Having worked as an editor, I don't capitalize migraine for the very same reason. When you live and breathe editing, the rules dictate all!

That said, I see your point.

Kerrie

deborah said...

Abi, Haven't seen you around the block in awhile. hope you're feeling well

Abigail said...

Hi Deborah,

Thanks for asking. I'm feeling fine. Somehow, finding time to search and blog just hasn't been happening lately. :-)

Abi

Kerrie said...

I hope my earlier comment didn't seem snotty. I didn't mean it to at all.

It's been nearly a month but I keep thinking about it, so I thought I'd say something.

Take care of yourself.

Kerrie