Thursday, April 14, 2005

Pet Shop Boys Style Guide

Thanks go out to Beaucoup Kevin, who posted today about the Pet Shop Boys and shared with his readers the Pet Shop Boys style guide for song titles. It seems to be from this tribute to "Being boring" site, though he is somewhat unclear. So here's the excerpt, for all you language geeks to enjoy:
Long hours were spent trying to agree on consistent rules for punctuation, particularly in Neil’s lyrics. (The basic rule followed is that a new line begins with a capital letter when the previous sentence—which was often far from the same as the previous line—has finished). One of the many points of dispute in the text itself was Neil’s insistence that the Pet Shop Boys’ rules for how they write their song titles—in particular which letters should be printed in upper or lower case—should be formalised and rigorously followed. The rule is that, in this respect, all Pet Shop Boys song titles should be treated as if they are sentences: the first word should be capitalised, but subsequent words should only be capitalised if they are proper nouns. So it should be I want a dog but it likewise should be Dreaming of the Queen (as the song refers to one particular queen, the Queen of England). Most controversial was Neil’s insistence that—because the West End is a specific area of London— West End girls should henceforth appear like that. This rule only applies to songs the Pet Shop Boys have written, or to the Pet Shop Boys recordings, so it would be correct to write about the Pet Shop Boys number one hit Always on my mind whilst also noting that they were inspired to record it after hearing Elvis Presley’s hit version of Always On My Mind.

1 comment:

Kevin Church said...

It's from this page, which actually quotes from the 24th issue of their fan magazine, Literally.

(I can't recommend the books Literally and Pet Shop Boys versus America enough - they both have some scathingly funny bits. They are bitchy, bitchy men.)