Everything about Nicole J. Levin’s open letter to Class of 1981 grad Nicholas Kristof is spot-on. Right down to the way she signs her missive:
Nicole J. Levin
Magazine Editor at Large, former Executive Editor, and
future Pulitzer Prize potential nominee.
Levin’s letter strikes just the right tone with respect to where Kristof’s recent decision to drop the “D.” middle-initial from his byline falls in the grand scheme of things:
I’m sorry, but you can’t just drop the D. It goes against everything in The Crimson’s Style Guide. Once you break one rule, what’s next? Maybe you will start writing “first-year’s dean’s office” instead of “Freshman Dean’s Office.” Worse, you might start writing “am” instead of “a.m.” If you set the precedent of no middle initial soon the Crimson Style Guide will have no authority; all 15 pages in our Google Drive will be completely meaningless and arbitrary.
Levin hints that perhaps the best plan of byline action for Kristof would have been to drop the middle initial only on “casual” journalism Fridays. Ha ha. Well done, future Pulitzer Prize contender. Well. Done.
Previously on FishbowlNY:
Nicholas Kristof Writes About Minor Byline Change, Whines When People Read It