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Title Capitalization Rules

Today's topic is capitalizing titles.

By
Mignon Fogarty
Episode #182

 

title capitalization rulesToday's topic is capitalizing titles.

In an e-mail, Michelle from Manila asked, "Should I capitalize all the first letters of the words in a title or just the first letter of the first word?"

This is one of those style questions. For the Grammar Girl website, I capitalize every letter of the title; but there are many different ways of capitalizing the words in a title, and which one you use is simply a matter of style. So both of the ways you asked about could be correct; it just depends on what your employer or teacher prefers. It's another reason to ask for the style guide!

In addition to capitalizing the first word, and capitalizing all the words, other methods include capitalizing only the nouns (e.g., Grammar Girl loves Tea) and capitalizing every single letter, which on a computer looks like screaming to most people but is still sometimes done for book titles (e.g., GRAMMAR GIRL WOULD KILL FOR SOME ICED TEA). There are even more options, so I'll put some links in the transcript to a few good websites that cover all the possibilities. It's kind of a visual thing anyway, so it's good to look at the examples.


Links

Wikipedia Entry on Capitalization

About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of the Quick and Dirty Tips network and creator of Grammar Girl, which has been named one of Writer's Digest's 101 best websites for writers multiple times. The Grammar Girl podcast has also won Best Education Podcast multiple times in the Podcast Awards, and Mignon is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame. Mignon is the author of the New York Times best-seller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing" and six other books on writing. She has appeared as a guest on the "Oprah Winfrey Show" and the "Today Show" and has been featured in the New York Times, Business Week, the Washington Post, USA Today, CNN.com, and more. She was previously the chair of media entrepreneurship in the Reynolds School of Journalism in Reno, NV. She hates the phrase "grammar nazi" and loves the word "kerfuffle." She has a B.A. in English from the University of Washington in Seattle and an M.S. in biology from Stanford University. Mignon believes that learning is fun, and the vast rules of grammar are wonderful fodder for lifelong study. 

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