GrammarPhile Blog

Some Notes on Titles of Works

Posted by Phil Jamieson   May 29, 2012 6:30:00 AM

Authoritative style guide books contain pages and pages of notes on titles of works. Do you know that headlines, titles, and subtitles in proposals, white papers, and brochures are the most common spots for typos? And they are also hotspots for innocent errors (errors you look at and don't realize are errors) as well, mostly in capitalization and hyphenation. This week we're covering classic headline style.

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Topics: capitalization

Structures and Public Places

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Mar 6, 2012 5:30:00 AM

Our client documents often have names of famous places incorrectly presented. This week's post covers how to properly punctuate names of places and structures. Names of buildings, architecturally or historically significant houses, thoroughfares, monuments, and the like are capitalized. An introductory the, even if part of the name, is not capitalized in running text.

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Topics: capitalization

Calendar and Time Designations

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Aug 9, 2011 5:30:00 AM

In the United States, one of our major holidays is Independence Day, also referred to as the Fourth of July. In neighboring Canada, as anywhere else outside America, the same day is noted simply the fourth of July, of course. (Yes, they have a fourth of July in Canada.) What about capitalizing (or capitalising) other calendar and time designations? Here is a list we hope you find useful.

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Topics: capitalization

The Internet, Email, and E-Books

Posted by Conni Eversull   May 10, 2011 5:30:00 AM

The following is a guest post by Alexis Bonari.

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Topics: hyphenation, capitalization

Headline Style -- Read All About It!

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Aug 24, 2010 4:30:00 AM

If you're in the newspaper business, you know how to properly capitalize headlines. But people writing white papers, press releases, brochures, and even résumés need to know what's right and what's wrong in order to retain the respect and admiration, to say nothing of the trust, of their readers. So take note!

Most style guides call for lower-casing prepositions, articles, and many conjunctions. But there are lots of extenuating circumstances that call for uppercasing those words sometimes. Read on, but first:

- A preposition is a word that could describe your relationship to a cloud: you're in the cloud, under the cloud, above the cloud, around the cloud, by the cloud, before the cloud, after the cloud. These italicized words are prepositions.
- The articles are the, a, and an -- they point out things: the boy, a man.
- Conjunctions join things: and, or, nor, while, etc.

The Chicago Manual of Style says to always capitalize the first and last words of a headline, no matter what. Lowercase prepositions, regardless of length, except when they are stressed (as through in A River Runs Through It), are used adverbially or adjectivally (as up in Look Up, down in Turn Down, on in The On Button, etc.), are used as conjunctions (such as before in Look Before You Leap), or are part of a Latin expression used adjectivally or adverbially (e.g., De Facto, In Vitro, etc.). CMS specifies lowercasing the conjunctions and, but, for, or, nor. Always lowercase to and as.


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Topics: capitalization, conjunctions, preposition, style guide, Chicago Manual of Style, Gregg Reference Manual

North, East, South or West - Capitalize or Not?

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Feb 16, 2010 5:00:00 AM

When proofreading or editing documents, we often find that writers are confused about when to capitalize these terms. Here are some rules to follow.

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Topics: editing, proofreading, capitalization

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