From The Wall Street Journal:
Roll over William Strunk, and tell E.B. White the news. The music business now has its own grammar guide that might have had the “Elements of Style” authors singing the blues.
The song titles “In da House,” “Kill ‘Em ‘n Grill ‘Em” and “It’s fo’ Realz,” for instance, all get thumbs up in the music industry’s newly issued Style Guide as examples of proper capitalization.
“Intentionally misspelled words must respect the same title casing rules” as those spelled normally, says the guide.
Released last month at the National Association of Recording Merchandisers’ annual convention, rock ‘n’ roll’s new rule book aims to establish basic rules for data entry in the fragmenting world of music, where some folks have become a little too creative for their own good—at least when it comes to spelling, grammar and description.
To ensure content can be “easily discovered, correctly presented, and accurately disclosed,” the guide warns against a range of seemingly innocent offenses that are in fact so grave they could cause digital merchants to “reject the content.”
Don’t use ampersands when two artists collaborate, the guide cautions, unless they are as inseparable as Hootie & the Blowfish. Beware excessive description when identifying artists, such as “Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin,” or “Jimi Hendrix (Guitarist).” Avoid using “random capitalization” in song titles such as “a TIMe to love.” And if superstars like Dr. Dre and Eminem feature briefly on a track, or don’t appear at all, resist the temptation to list them as primary artists—a common trick for selling more downloads.
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