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Titles and Capitalization

24 Nov 2008

Being the geek that I am, it drives me nuts to see improper capitalization in titles.  So, I dug out my trusty little (well, not so little) The Chicago Manual of Style and have summarized it for your reading pleasure:

  1. Always capitalize the first and the last word.
  2. Capitalize all nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, and subordinate conjunctions (e.g. as, because, although).
  3. Lowercase all articles, coordinate conjunctions (e.g. and, or, nor), and prepositions regardless of length, when they are other than the first or last word.
  4. Lowercase the to in an infinitive.

I understand some styles allow an exception to rule 3, which is to capitalize all prepositions that are 5 letters or longer in length (e.g. after, among, between).

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 24 Nov 2008 9:12 AM

    I’ve looked this up more than once and have found conflicting information. My first title is often written Dangerous To Touch (on Amazon, etc.), which I would definitely consider incorrect. My current title is always written Crash Into Me.

    Maybe this is a house style issue? Harlequin omits the serial comma, for instance.

  2. 1 Dec 2008 7:28 PM

    Sometimes I think improper capitalization is done purposely because it looks better.

  3. 2 Dec 2008 9:41 AM

    Yes! Crash Into Me looks stronger, I think.

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