Blog Talkback: A Few Random Thoughts on the 2010 Oscar Nominations
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Originally Posted by Ed Liu
Many writers and news reporters at least refer to their subjects by first name and last name in the first reference. Instead, the writer only used a person’s surname and that comes off as rude and disrespectful, especially on the first reference. Some readers may not even know who James Cameron is. Some readers with the same surname may even think, “Who is this person who shares my last/first name?”
In any event, Cameron himself insists that Avatar is not animation
, with an attitude that I think is merely another variation on the, "Cartoons are just for kids" mentality, so I'm happy to lock him out of the clubhouse.
I would suggest using titles (Mr. and Ms.) when referencing persons after their first names and last names, since not many writers do this anymore, or just use first names and last names for all references. Some writers and reporters may find these suggestions consuming and unnecessary, but I believe in helping viewers get to know their subjects and showing respect for the subjects. Simplicity does not always help.
The initial reference to "James Cameron" in the article was removed during the editing process and I missed the fact that I never mentioned him by his full name. I apologize for the error, which has been corrected. However, I think it astonishingly unlikely that anybody named "Cameron" as their given name or surname would believe that I was talking about them, given the amount of coverage Mr. James Cameron has been getting in the entertainment press and the context of this site's weblog.
Originally Posted by Mario500
I also do not think that referring to Mr. James Cameron by his last name is (or is intended to be) rude or disrespectful, since the two articles that I linked to (one on Entertainment Weekly and one on New York Magazine) both do the same thing. I see this usage frequently throughout the mainstream media -- a quick search on Google News catches The New York Daily News, Forbes magazine, the Los Angeles Times, the UK's Guardian, CNN, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Boston Herald all referring to Mr. James Cameron as "Cameron" in their articles (after, of course, the initial reference to his full name). If I am wrong to refer to Mr. James Cameron as "Cameron" throughout my blog post, then I believe I am in good company. However, I will be happy to apologize to him about this if it turns out that he is insulted by it.
I suspect that if he cares at all, he will be more upset by other things I say in there, though.
Edward Liu | Disney Forum moderator | Toon Zone News Interviews Editor
"What I believe is that all clear-minded people should remain two things throughout their lifetimes: Curious and teachable."
-- Roger Ebert, 1942 - 2013
I'd add that this is a blog post / op-ed piece, not a news article, so Ed's minuscule error in omitting Cameron's first name is easily forgivable. Bloggers frequently break the rule on standard style guides, if they use them at all.
And I generally agree with your points too, Ed, especially on Avatar's hybridity (if that's not a word, I just made it one).
One item I would like to have seen you mention, though, was Variety's recent article on voice acting in animation which even seemed to push for a voice-only category for the Oscars, with which I whole-heartedly agree. It frustrates me a little more every year that the Oscars snub the entire voice acting industry. Ditto for the SAG awards -- so much for honoring their own.
But it's just more sad evidence that they equate voice acting and animation as "kids' stuff" and thus somehow unworthy of recognition.