ôô

CamelCase

Programmers have always liked CamelCase, but now marketers are making it trendy.

By
Mignon Fogarty
1-minute read

CamelCase

CamelCase (also known as medial capitals, intercaps, humpbacking, CapWords, and BiCapitalials, among other names) is the practice that has now become trendy of promoting a letter in the middle of a word to uppercase.

CamelCase Examples

Most often the capital letter in the middle seems to result from squishing two words together that would normally be separated by a space (e.g., MySpace), but occasionally the capital just seems to pop up at a convenient syllable (e.g., OutKast).

CamelCase History

Although the phenomenon can be traced back to at least the 1950s, it gained steam among computer programmers (probably because spaces are often discouraged or disallowed in programming, so a convenient way to highlight multiple words in a file name or variable is to capitalize the first letter of each squished-together word). More recently, marketers decided it was a trendy way to make a company name stand out.

CamelCase Use

If a formal company name uses CamelCase (e.g., YouTube, PayPal, TiVo), use that form in your writing; but other than honoring official names, leave the camel at the zoo--don't go around calling a plain old help desk a HelpDesk. It's UnNecessary!
 

The Grammar DevotionalGet more tips like this in The Grammar Devotional:

 Print: Amazon, Barnes & NoblePowell’s

E-book: Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Apple iBook

 

About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of Quick and Dirty Tips and the author of seven books on language, including the New York Times bestseller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing." She is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame, and the show is a five-time winner of Best Education Podcast in the Podcast Awards. She has appeared as a guest expert on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Today Show.