One random citation out of hundreds has the author's name backward. Why?

OK, so I’m set for APA, all the citations look fine. The reference lists the author as “Smith, A.”, as it does in 5 other references by the same author. The style is set to display the name as “Doe, John”, which has never changed and works as advertised 99.99% of the time. I drop in the citation and I get “(A. Smith, 2017)” when every other one reads “(Smith, 2017)”, or “(Smith, A., 2017)” when there’s more than one Smith.

I’ve read through all the posts, many similar but not the same. “Fix the style setting”, “Correct the reference data”, etc. … Did it, tried it, been there … citation is not changing.

Why doesn’t the style preference apply to every citation? In fact, what is the point of having a preference setting if the software just treats it like a suggestion? This is like when MS Word suddenly decides to do my spell-check in French for no apparent reason.

OK, I get it … there’s some little bit flipped someplace, but I really don’t have time to search every little drop-down menu for preference exception, or got through the file source searching for wayward flags that should have been erased. It would be easier for me to just type it in correctly as text without EndNote, but part of me wants to understand why, fix it, and go back to trusting the software.

There’s some little mysterious situation or condition that’s causing the software to make this choice over the preference I selected and I’m appealing to the EndNote gurus who are intimately familiar with all the various subtle nuances of this code to tell me exactly where I can give this product a swift kick so I can move on.

I can usually only do that by looking at the document itself.  

But –

It looks to me like the A. Smith might have been entered incorrectly into the record itself.  

Is is possible it was A. Smith followed by a comma?  If so, and you fixed it in the library during your trouble shooting, the citation in the document may still looking for a record that has  “A. Smith” and not “Smith, A.”  so it is pulling it from the travelling library and not from your endnote libarary.  Find that citation in the manuscript, delete it and reinsert it, from the library copy, and it should be fixed.  If it is multiple times, you can make a copy of your document and then convert citations to temporary citations and update citations and bibliography from the endnote ribbon in word, and it should pop up as not finding that citaiton in your library and you can replace it with the proper citation.