Alignment — good or evil?

Not that kind of alignment, D&D players. What I’m talking about is text alignment.

One of the annoying variances in manuscript formatting that tends to annoy me as an editor–or rather as a reader who happens to be reading something in manuscript format–is when writers put their name and/or any other information in the header aligned to the left margin. You see, there is a reason that standard ms. format dictates you put your name/title of the story/page count, etc. on the right. Well, there might actually be more than one reason, but the one that seems obvious to me, having read so many thousands of mss. over the years is that when that information is left-aligned, the reader trips over it every time he/she turns the page. If you look, you’ll notice books never do that either–so when you flick your eyes to the top of the next page, the first words you see are the continuation of the text, rather than being interrupted by the title of the story or the name of the author.