Episode 15: September 24, 2006
by Mignon Fogarty
Grammar Girl here.
Today's topic is capitalizing titles.
In an email, 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.
Thanks for listening, and remember: if you want to to email a question or comment the address is email@example.com
Writers.com Tips on Title Capitalization
Wikipedia Entry on Capitalization