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Use of "Then" in titles

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Matt1735, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. Matt1735

    Matt1735 Well-Known Member

    The question came up around my office, and quick look through stylebooks offers no reference, so I turn to you:

    What are the guidelines for using the word "then" in front of titles?

    For example, in an upcoming story where someone looks back on a key moment in their career, he refers to being interviewed for a job by three people who are in different positions than they are now.

    All three men -- Jones, Smith and James -- are famous enough and have moved on to different roles. Do you need to put "then" in front of each of their previous titles? Are there any hard and fast rules?

    As always, appreciate the help of SportsJournalists.com.
  2. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    I will give one of my appropriately wishy-washy opinions.

    I think it depends on the context.

    I read a story the other day, and the "then" was clearly unnecessary. You know: "Then-Packers coach Vince Lombardi."

    I think generally, it will be clear from context and isn't needed.

    Every now and then, though, it might be confusing without it -- although I'm having a hard time of thinking of a good example.

    So OK: You hardly ever need it.
  3. Matt1735

    Matt1735 Well-Known Member

    Adding more specifics to the situation that came up:

    Referring to Bud Selig as the Brewers owner, since he's now the commissioner. Do you need to distinguish between the two positions, since he's no longer the former?
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