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Q: Title Case ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Title Case
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: j_philipp-ga
List Price: $6.00
Posted: 21 May 2004 06:44 PDT
Expires: 20 Jun 2004 06:44 PDT
Question ID: 349913
Which words in a typical American-English title do you write with the
first letter in upper-case, and which in lower-case?
If I asked this before, I forgot the answer and am definitely getting old.
Subject: Re: Title Case
Answered By: paul_b_18-ga on 21 May 2004 07:11 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
There are many different ways in using capitalization in titles. 
Three of the most common ways are:

1. The "The Chicago Manual of Style" says the following about
capitalization in titles:
-Always capitalize the first and the last word. 
-Capitalize all nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, and
subordinate conjunctions ("as", "because", "although").
-Lowercase all articles, coordinate conjunctions ("and", "or", "nor"),
and prepositions regardless of length, when they are other than the
first or last word.
-Lowercase the "to" in an infinitive."


"Capitalize in Heading and Title:
-First and last word 
-Nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives 
-Subordinating conjunctions (for example: before, after, when...) 
-Hyphenated compound words 
-First word following a colon 

Do Not Capitalize: 
-Articles (a, an, the) 
-Coordinating conjunctions (and, but, or, nor, so) 
-The word 'to' when it precedes a verb 
-Prepositions with fewer than five letters."

Source: Capitalization of Headings and Titles 

-Capitalize all nouns, verbs (including is and other forms of to be),
adverbs (including than and when), adjectives (including this and
that), and pronouns (including its).
-Always capitalize the first and last words, regardless of their part
of speech ("The Text to Look For").
-Capitalize prepositions that are part of a verb phrase ("Backing Up Your Disk"). 
-Do not capitalize articles (a, an, the) unless an article is the
first word in the title.
-Do not capitalize coordinate conjunctions (and, but, for, nor, or). 
-Do not capitalize prepositions of four or fewer letters. 
-Do not capitalize to in an infinitive phrase ("How to Format Your Hard Disk"). 
-Capitalize the second word in compound words if it is a noun or
proper adjective or the words have equal weight (Cross-Reference,
Pre-Microsoft Software, Read/Write Access, Run-Time). Do not
capitalize the second word if it is another part of speech or a
participle modifying the first word (How-to, Take-off)."

Source: Capitalization of Headings and Titles 

A more simple method is the following:
"...that the first word and all the 'main' words in a title should
have initial capitals, and all the 'joining' words should be left in
lower case, e.g.:
To Be, or Not to Be, That is the Question. 
Business Case for Selling Fridges to Eskimos."

Source: Capitalization of Headings and Titles 

Finally, the following bit of advice:
"There are many modern style guides and they are much more liberal
than the traditional ones: you can make your own decision what you can
do, what you want to do - but once you have, stick to it!"

Source: Capitalization of Headings and Titles 

Search strategy:
Google: capatalization title

I hope you have enough information. If you need any more, please ask
for a clarification!

Thank you,
j_philipp-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
I like the simple method, the others are a bit complicated... thanks!

Subject: Re: Title Case
From: mkilly-ga on 27 Jan 2005 03:35 PST
Thank you very much for this answer. I've been trying to figure out
how to properly database my DVD and CD titles. Now I just have to
figure out how to differentiate all these different parts of speech...

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