Proper Names

Q. When printing the name of someone whose last name is instantly recognizable and unmistakable like, say, Warhol, would you still advise that the person’s given name be included upon first mention? Or is it acceptable to refer to the individual by his/her last name right off the bat (Bach, Shakespeare, Warhol, etc.)?

A. The editor should consider the intended audience and decide accordingly. You don’t want to insult readers’ intelligence by stating the obvious, but sometimes you might want to educate the uninitiated by providing the full information.