Migraine with a Capital "M"
If you're a writer, you probably know that it's technically incorrect to capitalize the word Migraine.
According to all the style guides, only diseases and conditions that are named for a person, such as Alzheimer's, should be capitalized. I once had an editor who insisted that I stop capitalizing Migraine, and it made him absolutely livid if I forgot and capitalized it even once in an article where it appeared many times. UGH! Before I accepted my contract to work with the HealthCentral Network here on MyMigraineConnection, I asked if capitalizing Migraine would be a problem and explained my reasoning. The staff here graciously said it would be no problem and that they would support me on this issue. Our site producer has also started capitalizing Migraine. (Thanks, Dan!)
So, why DO I capitalize Migraine? It's an issue of advocacy and disease awareness, and there are several reasons...
- To make the word Migraine stand out from the word headache. Too many myths and misconceptions about Migraine disease still exist. One of the most aggravating misconceptions is that Migraine is "just a bad headache." To see if you can tell truth from misconception, see our Dispelling Migraine Myths Quiz.
- To raise both patient and public awareness. More attention is typically paid to capitalized words.
- To indicate that Migraine is a potentially serious disease. More and more, we're learning that Migraines may not be harmless. Take a look at the recent article Yes, Migraines Can Cause Brain Damage.
- Just on general principles. I figure that any disease that causes so many people so much pain and so many problems should be capitalized.
If you've been wondering why I capitalize Migraine, now you know. I realize it's technically incorrect but don't care. It's my little rebellion.