the camels are coming

It seems to shame to waste a Biggles’ reference on a typography discussion but here we are and I am talking about a pet peeve – camelCase. I have to deal with it regularly in my profession with things like:

  • eResources
  • eBooks
  • eNews
  • eMagazines

and that’s not even touching on more egregious versions such as e-Books or e-Resources. Come to think of it, I’m not fond of the hyphen in such usage either. Trying to spell “hyphen” correctly is something else I find challenging :)

I seem to have developed something of a side career in stamping out camelcase travesties and insist on using “eresources” and “ebooks.” I have sat in meetings and discussed term after term looking for some nice short term that would fit but there ain’t no such thing so we persevere with “eresources”.

However we do not need to persevere with “eResources” nor “e-resources” nor even “e-Resources”. Thankfully I have work’s style guide to back me up though to be honest, if it didn’t I would have argued to have it changed. So at work at least, we do not have unusual capitalisations with eresources.

I long for the day when we can drop the “e” altogether. I don’t like the idea of a special spelling or typography to denote a material type. I prefer books and resources, allowing the need of the user to set the context. Eresources is a problematic mashup of electronic resources that attempts to move away from some of the misunderstandings around “databases” though that does remain a common alternative.