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DR. ENGLISH: Titles

from GBA

When it comes to titles, like the title of a geoprofessional report, song, or government program, you have two approaches to capitalization: Capitalize every word or, more commonly, capitalize all words except articles (a, an, and the), conjunctions (and, but, or, etc.), and prepositions (e.g., to, in, under, and for), unless one of them is the first word of a title, like The Creature That Ate Sheboygan. You may have been taught to deny capitalization to little words, like is; just two letters. Dumb, on the other hand, would be capitalized, given its four letters. What happens, then, when the word is isn't, which has four letters and an apostrophe? And perhaps more to the point, what happens when you have important little words like pi, ox, ax, and no? "Make exceptions," some grammarians would say, which would make an already-confusing language even more so. Every-word capitalization is the simplest approach, of course, but it can look strange. If that bothers you, try the best alternative just described. more


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