PLOS shift

Camel case (the practice of writing words with some inner uppercase letters) is one of my pet hates, as it demands sufficient finger dexterity to make sure you hit the shift key at just the right point in the middle of the word. Prime offenders are brands such as EndNote, iPad and PowerPoint. A reverse example is the open access publisher PLoS (Public Library of Science).

Imagine my delight therefore to learn that PLoS will henceforth be know as PLOS. As part of a design refresh it has amended its logo, adopted a new colour scheme for the different journals, and abandoned that inner lower case ‘o’ –

to address community feedback regarding the difficulty with consistent pronunciation and writing our organization’s name.

I can’t help noticing that the name in the logo still looks more like “PLoS” than “PLOS”, but never mind. I am very grateful for the shift (geddit?).

About Frank Norman

I am a librarian in a biomedical research institute. I've been around a few years, long enough to know that exciting new things fall into the same familiar patterns. I'm interested in navigating a path for libraries as we slip from print through to electronic information resources.
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11 Responses to PLOS shift

  1. Eva says:

    How is it going to help with pronunciation? Isn’t it just as likely (if not more so) that people will say “pee ell oh ess”? Was there another mispronunciation that I’ve just never heard? (I’ve only ever heard “plos”, which I’m pretty sure is correct, or all the letters pronounced individually.)

  2. Frank says:

    I wondered about that too. Maybe people felt there should be a ‘subito piano‘ at the vowel sound to properly reflect the lower case.

    • Eva says:

      I’m now trying to do this, and I’m in public, so it’s also sotto voce. It doesn’t work.

      PL! o. Ssss!

  3. cromercrox says:

    I always thought ‘PLoS’ meant something or other in Klingon.

  4. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    CamelCase, eh? I didn’t realise this phenomenon had a name. I love it – the visual version of an onomatopoeia! (is there a word for that, too?)

    My industry job was rife with CamelCase – almost every single product name had to be written as ProductName – but at least all examples followed one of maybe three or four consistent templates. I don’t mind PLoS too much, because it’s fairly obvious to me that the only vowel (belonging to a word that goes uncapitalised in titles and section headers anyway) is the only lower case letter. In contrast, our affiliated university has a site I use a lot that is called Researcher Information Services, or RISe. I almost always type it as RiSE for some reason.

  5. Frank says:

    Another mildly annoying phenomenon is what we might call “cummings case” where capitalisation of a proper name is studiously avoided. Our internal newsletter is called “Communicate” except it isn’t. It is actually called “communicate”. So sometimes it is not clear whether you are referring to the name “communicate” or using the word “communicate”.

  6. Grace Baynes says:

    Eva, I’ve heard scientists refer to it as ” pi LOS” (as in phonetic long p, not π). I suspect that is the pronunciation in question….

  7. cromercrox says:

    Crox Minor, whom some of you know as Phoebe, has been helping me indulge my tsundoku habit by buying secondhand pop-science books to get her into the mood for her GCSEs. She says she’s starting PLOS – Phoebe’s Library of Science.