Punctuality Rules!

MM: Simply Capital!

MM: Simply Capital!


So, Brad was wondering what words in titles need to be capitalized.

This is actually one of the topics I keep meaning to write about, so I’m glad he asked. Here’s a quick overview for you:

  • You capitalize the first and last words, all the nouns, verbs, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, and any prepositions of 5 letters or more.
  • You do NOT capitalize articles, conjunctions, or the word “to” when it’s part of an infinitive … unless they’re the first word.

Basically, what I was taught in second grade? You capitalize the “important” words–the ones that give the title substance–and leave the unimportant ones lowercase.

Some examples? Let’s see, just looking at my nearest bookcases:

  • The Game of Kings
  • Legacy of the Dead
  • New Pathways for Sock Knitters
  • Jeeves in the Morning
  • Woe Is I
  • Waiting for the Weekend
  • The Most Beautiful House in the World
  • Pride and Prejudice 

The trick, though, is that different rules apply depending on where you live and the medium which you are titling. A book in England, for example, may have different capitalization applied than a newspaper article in the United States, which may use different rules than a blog post … just about anywhere.

You can read more thorough instructions here, here, and here.

3 thoughts on “MM: Simply Capital!

  1. --Deb Post author

    It can’t! I mean, just because all the other kids are doing it, doesn’t mean you should, too. (grin)

  2. Melissa Donovan

    This is one of those grammar rules where I just wing it. I’ve looked this one up a few times and haven’t gotten a straight answer until now 🙂 but this is pretty much how I capitalize my titles anyway.

    Melissa Donovan’s last blog post..Freelance Cutout Q&A