Proper Names

Q. We are working on a biography of Pope John Paul II in which the author refers to the subject alternately as Wojtyla and Karol. The question is, should it be made consistent throughout?

A. Yes, but consistent with what? The name should conform to the context. For instance, if the passage is about the pope’s childhood and refers to a brother or sister by first name, the author may have written “Karol” for consistency. In any passage where others are called by first names or surnames for reasons of clarity or convention, the author may have chosen accordingly.