Friday, July 13, 2012
Tricks of the Trade: Capitalizations in Titles
by Jill Williamson
1. The first and the last word in the title.
2. All nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs.
3. Subordinate conjunctions (as, if, when, so, because, that, although). Ex: She’s So Unusual
4. The first world following a colon or dash. Ex: Replication: The Jason Experiment
1. Articles (a, an, the) except when it’s the first or last word of the title
2. Coordinate conjunctions (and, but, for, or, nor)
3. Prepositions (through, up, down, on, by, in, of, to, etc.)
4. The words “to” and “as” should always be lowercase unless they are the first or last word in the title, unless “as” is a subordinate conjunction (Ex: For As Long As We Both Shall Live), or unless “to” is used in a verb phrase (Ex: To Be or Not To Be).
This can be really tricky as many words fall into different categories, and I often have to refer to these rules again and go looking up the duty each word is performing or what a coordinate conjunctions or a subordinate conjunction is to remember. But these are the rules. There are more exceptions, too. But I won’t fry your brain further today.
Have a tricky title? Share it with us.