I just saw a tag get "corrected" to imply that there's space between the initials of an author who doesn't put spaces between her initials. In fact, neither JK Rowling nor the Tolkien Estate use initial spaces, and neither do most sources referring to them, but we do: j-k-rowling, j-r-r-tolkien (Wikipedia, btw, DOES use initial spacing and seems to be regularly violating their own policy in the process).
English style is, of course, inconsistent on the subject. Any way we choose will be applauded by some style guides and reviled by others. My problem is that a new tag was invented out of the blue and made dominant over an existing one, in order to adhere to a style guide we haven't actually chosen yet.
The way I see it, we've got three basic options:
- Standardise by author's choice and have internally inconsistent tagging practices, or
- Standardise our tagging practices and have tags that don't reflect common reality about how authors' names are written, or
- Stop worrying and learn to love the bomb.
I'm not entirely sanguine about any of these but I'm not sure we need a firm tagging style guide at this point anyway. Thoughts? Suggestions? Please.