capital letters for titles?

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Serbian, Serbia
Hello :)

I have noticed that, even though titles are usually written with capital initial letters, this rule doesn't apply to every word. It is quite often that one sees only nouns written with capital initials, or even all the words except, for example, articles, prepositions and conjunctions.

If we write "Creatures of Circumstance" or "The Day the World Stopped", is there a reason for "of" and "the" to be in lowercase?

So, is there a general rule?

  • MrBobby

    English, US
    I'll keep it short since I'm sure someone will come and link you to a comprehensive source.

    -Capitalize first and last word
    -Everything is capitalized except:

    -All articles, coordinate conjunctions ("and", "or", "nor").
    -Prepositions (this is the technical rule but it's not followed)
    -The "to" in an infinitive. (also not strictly followed)


    Senior Member
    Try the Search function for this forum. The topic has been discussed in great detail many times here. Various style manuals suggest different approaches. There are no ironclad rules.


    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    It's a drag to hit that shift key all the time when you're typing out a long title. This is especially true if you're copying a dozen or so album tracks from a site where there are links or bullets, and you can't just copy-paste and have to type it all out by hand.

    So I just type it all in lower case, then highlight it all and hit alt + e, v, i. This capitalizes the first letter of every word, very slick. This must be similar to what the forum software uses when it neutralizes a rudely-shouting all-caps post.

    Why is this relevant? Because if it becomes common practice, the exceptians about articles and conjunctions may fall by the wayside.

    Yet another way that computer users will change language-- like the way we write dates (yy-mm-dd).
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