So I’ve been doing copy edits on the seventh DIY mystery, HOME FOR THE HOMICIDE – due out December 3rd and available for preorder HERE – and I ran into a conundrum about Elvis Presley.
You know, Elvis the Pelvis. The King of Rock’n Roll.
In the text, I referred to him as “The King.”
The copy editor thinks it should be “the King.”
I think “the King” could refer to any king of any country, including my own. I’m a Norwegian citizen, and Norway is a constitutional monarchy. We have a king. King Harald. Long live the King!
A statement which, to me, is quite different from “long live The King.”
Of course, The King is dead. But still.
I took a Facebook poll, and most people agreed with me. Elvis is The King, not simply the King.
He’s also The Pelvis, not simply the Pelvis. Unless he’s Elvis the Pelvis, and then it’s OK.
The Chicago Manual of Style disagrees, it seems. It says that “the,” when run into a sentence (particularly with places, but also names), is lowercased.
I’m thinking rude thoughts about the Chicago Manual of Style right now.
In copy editing, there’s something called STET, though.
Per Wikipedia, STET is a Latin word that means “let it stand,” which is used by proofreaders and editors to instruct the typesetter or writer to disregard a change the editor or proofreader had previously marked.
In connection with this usage, STET is also sometimes used as a verb, e.g., “Stet that colon.”
I’m so stetting The King!
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