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Old 08-05-2006, 08:51 PM   #1
marlene
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Default Drop that cap

Workin' on a magazine that uses one-letter, three-line drop caps in the first paragraph of each article.

This article begins with "U.S. Senators" (yeah, that S should be l/c, but who am I to argue with the editor).

My feeling is that the paragraph should be rewritten, but if not, should I use a one-letter or two-letter drop cap?

It looks weird either way.

mxh
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Old 08-06-2006, 12:37 AM   #2
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All you need now is a two-line paragraph to make it all perfect.

My opinion, for what it's worth, is that because we say 'yew es' in our heads when we see that, only the first letter should be set as a drop cap. But I agree with you – the paragraph should be rewritten.

   
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Old 08-06-2006, 03:57 PM   #3
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I agree - rewrite needed. Wouldn't it be better to begin an article with "United States" rather than "U.S." anyway?

   
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Old 08-06-2006, 08:02 PM   #4
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All you need now is a two-line paragraph to make it all perfect.
LOL!

I will lobby for a rewrite, but for now am dropping just the yew.

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Old 08-06-2006, 08:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Wouldn't it be better to begin an article with "United States" rather than "U.S." anyway?
Yes, IMHO. Dunno if the editor agrees, but I'll find out.

mxh
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Old 08-06-2006, 11:24 PM   #6
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A dropped cap at the beginning of an article might be good. Quite often the title and theme picture is at the bottom of the page, or on the page opposite, and I cannot immediately see that we have a new article here, or whether they are still blathering on carried forward from a previous page.

   
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Old 08-07-2006, 06:47 AM   #7
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Franca:

Wouldn't it be better to begin an article with "United States" rather than "U.S." anyway?

I have a 'rule' that I never begin a sentence with an abbreviation; it's almost as bad as starting a sentence with a numeral.

   
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Old 08-07-2006, 04:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Rowley
I have a 'rule' that I never begin a sentence with an abbreviation; it's almost as bad as starting a sentence with a numeral.
That's one of my rules also. It's even worse to begin an entire article with an abbreviation.

   
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Old 08-08-2006, 05:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franca
I agree - rewrite needed. Wouldn't it be better to begin an article with "United States" rather than "U.S." anyway?
Then it would probably have to be “The United States” so it would begin with a T.

Oops, I see from rereading Marlene’s message that that would not necessarily be the case here. But my other comments still stand.

One of my problems with drop caps (and I have many) is that in a magazine or journal you may get story after story with drop T or drop W. It is odd and wearying to see. (I rarely see lead paragraphs beginning with Q, Z, or even G — no, it is mainly one of the standby letters on the TV show Wheel of Fortune: R, S, T, L, N. Plus the dratted W!)

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Old 08-08-2006, 05:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marlene
This article begins with "U.S. Senators" (yeah, that S should be l/c, but who am I to argue with the editor).
Can you salvage it making the rest of the first line (or a good portion of it) small caps? That would at least be intelligible, and it is the classic usage (in books, anyway).

Of course, then it would have to be the general style.

I am really sick of drop caps. It was much better when they were tricky and expensive to do, so we rarely saw them, and then they were exquisitely spaced and contoured, and worth the wait.

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