Why Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is driving copy editors crazy

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Sep 11, 2013

As we hit the home stretch before the premiere of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. later this month, the series is ramping up a battle that doesn’t have anything to do with supervillains. No, this battle is being fought at the news site copy desk. Huh?

The folks at The Atlantic Wire have put together a thoroughly entertaining little piece looking at how different media outlets plan to cover the series — specifically, how they plan to spell the title. See, Marvel has officially titled the series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 

But the Atlantic has decided to call the show Agents of SHIELD because it’s easier to type — and they’re not the only media outlet with that debate raging around the copy desk.

Lost my battle with copydesk to keep periods out of Marvel's Agents of SHIELD in print. But they can't make me use them on Twitter! #rebel

— James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) September 10, 2013

Put up your ring finger and just say no to the extreme punctuation of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. http://t.co/UzZFHNxtt0 cc @poniewozik

— Gabriel Snyder (@gabrielsnyder) September 10, 2013

Just type 'SHIELD,' and do rapid-fire punctuation in editing. It's not hard. http://t.co/ZTWEpBdDmc

— Kevin Fitzpatrick (@TVKevLance) September 10, 2013

Here’s how The Atlantic Wire’s Richard Lawson explained the decision in the post, where they also go on to check in with Salon, the A.V. Club, Vulture and the New Yorker:

“We're looking forward to Joss Whedon's new series as much as any dweeb, and have dutifully, painstakingly used the extreme punctuation used in all the marketing materials. But increasingly, the thought of writing out that whole ungainly title, periods and all, every time this show is mentioned — which presumably will happen a lot in the coming months — is entirely exhausting.”

If nothing else, this little tidbit is a testament to the insane amount of media coverage Marvel can generate for any given project these days. If you have media outlets trying to figure out the best way to title your show, that’s a pretty good problem to have.

(Via The Atlantic Wire)