Should we allow readers to go to the theatre?
An article in the Chicago Sun-Times -- about the nuances of spelling theater or theatre -- has sparked a riveting discussion on the Testy Copy Editors site that is worth reading.
The great debate started like this:
Nearing the final lap of my stylebook overhaul, I'm going to suggest taking "Theatre/Theater" out of the name of each venue, lowercasing it and making it "-er" every time. Still considering alternatives. (Thus, the Biloxi Theatre would be the Biloxi theater. Or just the Biloxi if clear in context.)I disagree with the move, opting to let companies choose among accepted alternate spellings. (Hell, if they want to name their business the Biloxi Theeeter, I wouldn't say peep.)
But there are intelligent arguments coming from both sides of the fence. And this is the type of style change that can be broadly applied and should be decided before deadline.
By the way, the TCE board has been hopping lately. Other good threads to check out include one on decreasing time edit copy because of paginating duties, three things a starting reporter should know and whether copy editors -- or the news desk -- get the last say.