Tuesday, October 16, 2012

"The Beatles" vs. "the Beatles"

This debate will make you yearn for the futile sparring between Team John and Team Paul. Never underestimate man's capacity for the trivial, and never tell a Beatles fan which form of "the" he or she should use.
For some eight years, editors at the online encyclopedia have been debating whether the article "the" should be uppercased when referring to the band. Is it "the" Beatles or "The" Beatles?
The lowercase faction says the Wikipedia manual of style and external style guides are on its side.
The uppercase faction says that trademarks should be capitalized and that the official Beatles website uses an uppercase definite article.
The dispute has become so contentious that some Wikipedia editors have been banned from participating. "Discussions on this page may escalate into heated debate," warns the internal "Talk" page where editors discuss changes to the Beatles entry.
For the record, I go with "The," but I won't consider you a savage if you prefer "the."

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