Friday, September 28, 2012

Grammar Day: Title Capitalization

Grammar is a tricky subject. With all the rules and exceptions, how can a person keep track? I can't answer that, but I can help with little pieces here and there.

Today's Topic: Title Capitalizaton

This is one of those deceptively confusing pieces of grammar. Which words are or aren't capitalized in a title can sometimes seem arbitrary. For example, picture the previous sentence as a title:

Which Words Are or Aren't Capitalized in a Title Can Sometimes Seem Arbitrary

Who decides this??

Any tips? Small words such as 'the', 'and', or 'a' are generally not capitalized, unless they begin the sentence.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

A general rule I use is that if the word is three letters or fewer, it won't be capitalized.

Any Exceptions? Unfortunately, there are a lot of exceptions. In the first example, you can see that there are two three letter words that are capitalized: Are and Can. The word 'be' would also be capitalized.

How to Be an Artist

Perhaps a better rule is: If the word is a connecting word, it shouldn't be capitalized.

Some connecting words:

  • to
  • and
  • but
  • an/a
  • the
  • in
  • or
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