Devices on Proper Names

The Simplified manual applies all the devices to proper nouns. But I worry that this turns John Donne into John Tain, Gerard Manley Hopkins into Gerard Manny Hopkins, Robert Burns into Robert Bens, and Bertolt Brecht into Bertold Brick. (Suggestions for a British poet with an “ect” ending welcome.) And in some such cases the “If in doubt spell it out” (“IIDSIO”) principle still doesn’t resolve ambiguity since a reader may have no way of telling that it is being applied.

Wouldn’t it be a nice convention that IIDSIO applies absolutely across the board with names?

Is this is too drastic? Unnecessary? Otherwise I hereby move that it be considered as an article in that future Gregg Consortium Online Manual. (Incidentally, John, do you think McGraw-Hill would consider an offer from the group? I can pitch in twenty bucks. We could copyleft it…)


(by routine-sibling for everyone)

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  1. Names are always spelled out for that very reason.  So   Donne = d – o – n  Burns = b – r – n – left s Manley = m – a – n – l – e Brecht = b – r – e (with dot underneath) – k   Now, since Donne and Don are written the same way, one writes in longhand "ne" on top of the outline.  Likewise, Brecht and Breck have the same outline, so one writes "cht" in longhand over the stroke.

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