My post last week on whether the abbreviation for electronic discovery should include the dash (E-Discovery) or no dash (eDiscovery) or whether we should drop the “e” altogether has gotten a lot of attention out there, spawning ten comments on the post and an entire side discussion on LinkedIn. eDiscovery Assistant has even started a poll on the topic on LinkedIn which has 315 votes as of this writing, with two days left. And now Mike Quartararo (aka “Mike Q”) of ACEDS has weighed in on the topic as well.
The blog post by Mike Q – Grammar, Style, and the Rule of Law in E-Discovery (plus Cheesecake) – addresses his counterpoint to my argument from last week. Mike doesn’t say “Come on, man” (like my favorite curmudgeon Tom O’Connor did last year in response to a post here), but he talks about being a “big believer in rules”, then follows that up by letting us know he likes to run stop signs when no one is looking. Hmmm.
With regard to the question of whether or not to include the dash in the abbreviation for electronic discovery, Mike Q consults the Chicago Manual of Style to make his determination that it should be abbreviated with the dash. Here’s what the Chicago Manual of Style says about itself:
“The Chicago Manual of Style Online is the venerable, time-tested guide to style, usage, and grammar in an accessible online format.”
Venerable?!? That’s another word for “old”. How old? According to Wikipedia, the guide has been published since 1906(!). So, Mike Q is consulting a guide that was written 116 years ago to make his determination.
Imagine if the Chicago Manual of Style people had gone back 116 years to decide how people should write. Back then, in 1790, people still used the “long s” – which looked like this: ʃ – in their writing (and weird spacing and punctuation, to boot). Here’s an example from the “The American Young Man’s beʃt Companion”, written in 1786 (close enough):
“Imitate the beʃt Examples, and have a conʃtant Eye at your Copy ; and be not ambitious of writing faʃt, before you can write well”
Yeah, let’s do that.
All kidding aside, Mike Q is a great guy – and a smart guy. As I’ve said many times, he literally wrote the book on Project Management in Electronic Discovery. Want the full title of his book? It’s:
Project Management in Electronic Discovery: An Introduction to Core Principles of Legal Project Management and Leadership In eDiscovery
Writing is meant to evolve over time. Rules are great, but we have the freedom of choice to update the rules when most of us agree to do so. And, so far, with two days left on the eDiscovery Assistant poll, most of us are agreeing to do so. How one-sided is the voting so far? Let’s just say it’s so one-sided, even “you know who” couldn’t challenge the results! 😉
FWIW, I do agree with Mike Q that cheesecake should be plain, with no toppings. See – common ground! But I wouldn’t want to live in his neighborhood. Drivers beware!
So, what do you think? Do you prefer dash or no dash? Or neither? Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.
Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by my employer, my partners or my clients. eDiscovery Today is made available solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Today should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.