We have an exciting piece of content for you today! Today in our grammar corner here at Access Marketing Company, we’re going to review title case. I know…almost overwhelming… so keep your joy and gratitude to a minimum. Be professional, for goodness’ sake!
Why are we reviewing title case? Because so many people get it wrong. And, when you’re a copywriter trying to promote any given piece of content, and you get simple stuff like this wrong—well, you look foolish. And when you look foolish, people don’t trust you. When people don’t trust you, they don’t buy from you. In other words, incorrect capitalization can be a slippery slope. Here’s a little advice to ensure you don’t go down that path.
If you’re curious how to correctly use AP style title case, visit this article.
The rules for standard title case are pretty straightforward.
- Capitalize the first and the last word.
- Capitalize nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, and subordinate conjunctions.
- Lowercase articles (a, an, the), coordinating conjunctions and prepositions.
- Lowercase the ‘to’ in an infinitive
Other capitalization rules:
(Sampled from Grammarly)
Capitalize the First Word of a Quote (Sometimes)
Capitalize the first word of a quote when the quote is a complete sentence.
Mario asked, “What is everyone doing this weekend?”
Stacy answered, “My sister and I are going to the water park.”
Don’t capitalize the first word of partial quotes.
Gretchen said she was “way too busy” to join the gym.
Mr. Thompson described the rules as “extremely difficult to understand if you don’t have a law degree.”
Capitalize Days, Months, and Holidays, But Not Seasons
The names of days, months, and holidays are proper nouns, so you should capitalize them.
I hate Mondays!
Tom’s birthday is in June.
Oh no! I forgot about Valentine’s Day!
The names of seasons, however, are not proper nouns, so there’s no need to capitalize them.
I hate winter!
Having a summer birthday is the best.
Capitalize Cities, Countries, Nationalities and Languages
These are all proper nouns, so you should capitalize them.
English is made up of many languages, including Latin, German and French.
My mother is British and my father is Dutch.
The capital of Botswana is Gaborone.
Capitalize Time Periods and Events (Sometimes)
Specific periods, eras and historical events that have proper names should be capitalized.
Most World War I veterans are now deceased.
In the Middle Ages, poor hygiene was partly responsible for the spreading of bubonic plague.
Middle school students often enjoy studying the social changes that took place during the Roaring Twenties.
However, centuries—and the numbers before them—are not capitalized.
In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, England blossomed into an empire.
There you have it… everything you wanted to know about capitalization perfectly packaged into your writing toolkit. If you have questions about capitalization, always consult your style guide. Here at Access Marketing Company, we use the Associated Press Stylebook. If you have a real head-scratcher capitalization question, go ahead and leave it in the comments! Thanks again for reading this utterly gripping material!
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