It looks like our Big Data is getting smaller. At least that’s the impression I get from the exhaustive investigation carried out by the editor on our current project. Of course, “data” is actually a plural word so perhaps it’s just that each datum is getting smaller. Or maybe there are fewer (not “less”) of them.
The reason for all of this shrinkage is that, according to our most recent documentation style guides, there are no capital letters in our large quantities of information. It’s now only “big data” and no longer “Big Data”. Is it just me that feels it somehow loses its impact when deprived of capitals? “Big Data” seems to be saying “look at me – see how huge and important I am!” But “big data” just looks like its shrinking into a corner and hoping it won’t be noticed.
And the enforced decapitalization makes some of my wonderfully delicate and skilfully crafted text sound plain odd. After I watched a documentary about how Big Data techniques are being used by many organizations around the world, I came up with:
Police forces are using Big Data techniques to predict crime patterns, researchers are using them to explore the human genome, particle physicists are using them to search for information about the structure of matter, and astronomers are using them to plot the entire universe. Perhaps the last of these really is a big Big Data solution!
But now that last sentence makes no sense at all, it just looks as though I had brain fade while I was writing it:
Perhaps the last of these really is a big big data solution!
I suppose it’s all part of our ongoing drive to remove capital letters from the language – perhaps to suit the “txting” generation who don’t know what a Shift (shift?) key is. My rants in An Upper Case of Indecisive Instruction, Hyphenless Decapitalization, and even I Can’t Yell Any More obviously had no impact at all on our style guidance team.
perhaps it’s time i gave up my crusade, and just be grateful i have a job at microsoft writing about sql server and azure…