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Chriss Scherer Scherer has been the editor of Radio magazine since 1997. His experience in radio includes work as chief engineer at stations in Cleveland (WMMS-FM, WHK-AM, WZJM-FM, WJMO-AM...more

Archive for September 16th, 2009

WhAt’S tHe DeAl wItH MiXeD cApS?

I’m really tired of the mixed caps being used everywhere. I received a press today that has every company and product mention listed with all sorts of wacky upper and lower case letters.

I may as well join in: I’Ll jUsT wRiTe EvErYtHiNg iN mIxEd CaPs AlL ThE TiMe.

Yeah, that looks so much better.

The style we use at Radio magazine is to normalize all company and product names. Many respected national publications include this practice as well. It may seem trivial that we print Ibiquity instead of iBiquity, and Ipod instead of iPod, but it serves two purposes: It puts everything on equal footing, and it makes it easier for us to edit and post material.

I admit the second reason is purely personal, but having to remember that a product has a capital U in the middle and capital Z at the end is tedious. I would rather focus on the content, not the ridiculous marketing decision. The first reason is the most important. No one gets special treatment. We owe that to you, the reader. We’re being fair and unbiased.

Some companies insist that their name is to be published in all capital letters. Why? Is the company that insecure it feels its name must be shouted at all times? PERHAPS I SHOULD JUST USE ALL CAPS WHEN I TYPE.

Some companies have told me they use the caps to make it easier to read the name of the product. Here’s an idea: Give it a better name and don’t rely on gratuitous capitalization to differentiate it. And put some spaces in there, too, instead of running it all together.

If you’re interested, you can find the style guidelines we follow on the Radio magazine website. Read that and you’ll see how we rationalize the irrational uses. By normalizing all the names we maintain an unbiased position with all companies. That’s only fair to you.

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