รดรด

Titled or Entitled?

Is a book titled or entitled?

By
Mignon Fogarty,

Titled or Entitled?

Some people think entitled can't be used in this sense: 

She sold her book, which was entitled Squiggly and Aardvark Rule the World

They are entitled to their opinion, but they are wrong. The Chicago Manual of Style calls this belief a zombie rule

Of course, entitled does mean that someone has a certain right—that they are entitled to something—but major dictionaries and usage guides also state that titled and entitled are synonyms in the meaning "named or called" when referring to a book, article, or speech. 

Saying a book is “entitled something” isn’t wrong. On the other hand, simpler language is almost always better, and since titled is simpler than entitled, I do consider titled the better choice, as does the Associated Press. In fact, it's the better choice for no other reason than you won't have to deal with people incorrectly correcting you. 

Better yet, rewrite the sentence without either word; that usually gives you a simpler, more direct sentence anyway. For example, instead of writing 

She sold her book, which was entitled Squiggly and Aardvark Rule the World, 

you could write

She sold her book, Squiggly and Aardvark Rule the World.

That was your quick and dirty tip: entitled and titled can both be used to introduce the name of a publication, but titled is the better choice, and often it’s an even better choice to get rid of the word entirely. 

Get more tips like this in The Grammar Devotional:

 Print: Amazon, Barnes & NoblePowell’s

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

This article was originally published February 24, 2011 and was updated April 13, 2016.

 

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. 

The Quick and Dirty Tips Privacy Notice has been updated to explain how we use cookies, which you accept by continuing to use this website. To withdraw your consent, see Your Choices.