Today I want to talk about something that has been bugging me...well, pretty much since Writer Beware was founded.
Ann, I, and several others who prefer to remain nameless are volunteer staff members of WRITER BEWARE. Not the most inventive or exciting name, perhaps--but simple and descriptive and our own. Note that there are no plurals or possessives. There's a functional, attractive space between Writer and Beware. The W and the B are capitalized, and the rest is in lower case.
You wouldn't think there'd be much margin for error, would you? Nevertheless, people get it wrong. A lot. For instance...
- Writers Beware (this is an understandable mistake, since our warnings are aimed at all writers. However, we wanted our name to be declarative. Hey! You over there! Writer! Beware!)
- Writer's Beware (a manifestation of the misplaced aspostrophe disease which seems to afflict so many people. Think about it. Which writer does Beware belong to?)
- Writer Bewares (this kinda sorta makes sense, I guess, since there are lots of Bewares. However, it's clunky and awkward--and it's a noun. Our name is meant to suggest the general action of Beware-ing.)
- Writer BEWARE (Ann and I are much too ladylike to shout. OK, you can stop laughing now.)
- WriterBeware (this is our URL, not our name.)
- writerbeware (the discount version of the above. What, we don't deserve capital letters?)
- WritersBeware (this is neither our URL nor our name. It is, unfortunately, the URL of one of those ad sites that hijack people who mis-type the names of legitimate sites. Check out the first listing.)
- Author Beware (what's the difference between an author and a writer? Publication? State of mind? Level of income? We'd rather not get into that controversy. "Writer" is more inclusive, anyway.)
So please, folks, get it right. It's Beware. Writer Beware.
So endeth the lesson.