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Whovian linguistics

As the resident expert (sorry, sudge), I've been asked to have a look at our style sheet for Doctor Who. Naturally I have Opinions, but I want them backed up by you lot.

(Actually, I'm well aware it should probably be TARDIS, but it annoys me. I think Tardis is fine: I know it's an acronym, but it's like Unicef or laser, a proper acronym rather than an initialism. And all-caps is shouty. Breaks the flow. Also, I'm pretty sure Time Lord is two words, but just to check. These are all things the BBC website has both ways...)

Poll #1500161 Do my job for me

TARDIS or Tardis?

TARDIS
31(60.8%)
Tardis
20(39.2%)

the Doctor or The Doctor?

the Doctor
33(61.1%)
The Doctor
21(38.9%)

Time Lord or Timelord?

Time Lord
40(75.5%)
Timelord
13(24.5%)

K9 or K-9?

K9
13(23.6%)
K-9
42(76.4%)

Tags:

Comments

( 26 comments — Comment )
marrog
Dec. 17th, 2009 09:34 am (UTC)
I think Tardis is fine too - it's never pronounced as initials and has fallen into common useage. Like Aids, which is the standard in many newspapers now.

I would have said either the doctor or The Doctor, if you think about it.


Edited at 2009-12-17 12:34 pm (UTC)
pickwick
Dec. 17th, 2009 09:38 am (UTC)
The BBC still mostly uses TARDIS, and I think some of the more...obsessive* fans would write in and complain vehemently if we used Tardis, sadly. Interesting point about Aids, though, yeah.

I don't think I'd ever use a lower case D for the Doctor (for a doctor, maybe!) but I don't use an upper case T unless it's the start of a sentence. It just looks unwieldy.

* trans: batshit
tanngrisnir
Dec. 17th, 2009 09:44 am (UTC)
ISTR in the Sixties Tardis was usual. It was the name of the ship; just because Susan had made it up from the initial of Time and Relative Dimensions in Space didn't make them treat it pedantically as an acronym.

pickwick
Dec. 17th, 2009 09:47 am (UTC)
Ooh, interesting. So the TARDIS thing is more recent.
caitirin
Dec. 17th, 2009 09:59 am (UTC)
I agree on the Tardis thing as well. I picked the all caps since it is technically an acronym. But I find it acceptable either way.
myfirstkitchen
Dec. 17th, 2009 09:41 am (UTC)
I use TARDIS because the Beeb generally do. See also: K9, despite what it says on his side.
strange_complex
Dec. 17th, 2009 09:46 am (UTC)
I'm pretty committed to 'K-9', precisely because of what it says on his side. That seems to me to trump other sources, because it is right there in the programme itself.
pickwick
Dec. 17th, 2009 09:48 am (UTC)
I don't think I'd ever consciously noticed what it said on his side, but I knew that K9 looked wrong to me for some reason!
glamhag
Dec. 17th, 2009 06:39 pm (UTC)
It actually says K•9, because that's a big bolt or something in the middle rather than a hyphen. I'm pretty sure we don't want to use that as the style though.
pickwick
Dec. 18th, 2009 08:16 am (UTC)
Yeah, I don't think our software could deal with that o.O
fortuneandglory
Dec. 17th, 2009 11:08 am (UTC)
I never agreed with that style sheet when I used to subtitle Doctor Who. Tardis, Tardis, Tardis!
pickwick
Dec. 17th, 2009 12:41 pm (UTC)
I feel a bit of a hypocrite updating the thing, considering I never look at them!
londonkds
Dec. 17th, 2009 11:19 am (UTC)
Upper case T's on "the" in the names of renegade Time Lords set my teeth on edge for worse than any of the other things do.

Edited at 2009-12-17 02:19 pm (UTC)
pickwick
Dec. 17th, 2009 12:41 pm (UTC)
Me too, for some reason. I just had a half-hour argument via msn with a colleague about it. No, it's not a title like Sir! Dammit!
redatt
Dec. 17th, 2009 11:30 am (UTC)
I stand very firm on all my choices except TARDIS/Tardis.
pickwick
Dec. 17th, 2009 12:42 pm (UTC)
I think I'm going to have to stick with TARDIS just because the people who prefer it think Tardis is wrong, but the people who prefer Tardis think the other is OK as well...
glamhag
Dec. 17th, 2009 06:42 pm (UTC)
I don't! Current practice is to treat pronouncable acronyms as words, and quite rightly too in the Hag's opinion. Which is by definition right. Until she changes her mind. Which she won't on this matter.

Are these feet mine on the end of my legs?
pickwick
Dec. 18th, 2009 08:16 am (UTC)
Hee. Fair enough. And you're right, of course.
kaiserdad
Dec. 17th, 2009 01:40 pm (UTC)
Should change mine to K-9 forgot it was written on his side, stand by The Doctor because he is the only one of his kind thus he is not "a" Doctor. I see Time Lord as a title and Timelord as a race. TARDIS is, in my humble opinion, indisputably an acronym.
pickwick
Dec. 17th, 2009 03:05 pm (UTC)
Ooh, the Time Lord/ Timelord distinction there is interesting, like it!

TARDIS is definitely an acronym, but some acronyms get lower case...just seems to depend. I'll be leaving it upper case anyway, I think!
thessalian
Dec. 17th, 2009 07:17 pm (UTC)
I suppose I stick with the TARDIS because I think that 'Time and Relative Dimensions in Space' is too awesome an acronym to be forgotten about. Writing it in all caps reminds that, while spoken as a word (like, say, laser), it is an acronym, and a funky one at that.
pickwick
Dec. 18th, 2009 08:18 am (UTC)
True! Tardis is more of a stealth acronym.
elaby
Dec. 17th, 2009 08:48 pm (UTC)
If I were writing fic myself, I'd probably use TARDIS, but I see nothing wrong with Tardis, either :)
pickwick
Dec. 18th, 2009 08:19 am (UTC)
Seems reasonable! As long as you wouldn't be writing in and complaining about it :->
elaby
Dec. 18th, 2009 08:37 pm (UTC)
I so wouldn't! I trust the closed captioning people on TV :D
sudge
Dec. 18th, 2009 06:38 pm (UTC)
Resident expert? A quiz. We must find a suitable quiz.

Yes.
( 26 comments — Comment )

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