Housekeeping Glad We Got That Cleared Up
posted by August 8 at 9:48 AMon
E. E. Cummings should be spelled with capitals but bell hooks should not.
From the University of Chicago Manual of Style, entry 8.6:
The names of certain writers occasionally appear without capitals—for example, bell hooks. If such unconventional spelling is the strong preference of the bearer of the name, it should be respected in appropriate contexts. E. E. Cummings can be capitalized, however, since one of his publishers, not he himself, lowercased his name. (Library catalogs usually capitalize all such names.) For obvious reasons, a lowercased name should begin a sentence.
(Also: We know how much Christopher looooves the library’s quick information line, but it must be said—when I called to ask this question, they cited Wikipedia as their authoritative source. They gave me the right answer—Cummings up, hooks down—but Wikipedia? Seriously?)
UPDATE: Correction! For obvious reasons, a lowercased name should not begin a sentence. Not.