At work, which I’m going to call the Blenkinsop Foundation (not its real name), one of the things I do is look after our house style guide.
Today I am delighted to discover that the way we refer to ourselves has been changed. While we still prefer to use the first person, that’s not practical in every context, so in other cases we’ve used “Blenkinsop Foundation” on first mention and just “Foundation” thereafter.
No longer: now, when in the third person, it must always be “Blenkinsop Foundation”. In full. Every time. Methinks somebody high up is overcompensating for brand name performance anxiety. I have two problems with this:
- It’s a bad decision. It is going to grate very quickly in those paragraphs where we use the name repeatedly in quick succession.
- It was badly made. You’d think they would have wanted to seek my opinion on this, what with it being a prominent house style decision; failing that, you’d think they would at least have kept me informed, as I’m one of the key people who makes these things happen.
My writer colleague, from whom I discovered this, was able to reassure me on this point: “Tom knows all about it,” she was told. Phew. I guess I just didn’t know that I knew. Where’s Donald Rumsfeld when you need him?