Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • German
      • Home Country:
      • Germany
      • Current Location:
      • Germany

    • Join Date: Jan 2011
    • Posts: 2
    #1

    Question capital letters in headlines

    In most headlines every (or most) words start with capital letters.

    Is there any rule I can learn to know which words don't start with a capital letter in headlines? Articles maybe or really short words?

    I've come across the following headlines:

    "Offers Without Engagement"
    "Offers with Limited Validity"

    Why is "Without" written with a capital letter here and "with" is not? To me they seem to be of the same type of words so I don't understand.

    Thanks in advance!

  1. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #2

    Re: capital letters in headlines

    The 'little words' (prepositions, determiners, conjunctions( often begin with lower-case letters, but there are no 'rules' for headlines.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 6,332
    #3

    Re: capital letters in headlines

    Quote Originally Posted by wineforparis View Post
    In most headlines every (or most) words start with capital letters.

    Is there any rule I can learn to know which words don't start with a capital letter in headlines? Articles maybe or really short words?

    I've come across the following headlines:

    "Offers Without Engagement"
    "Offers with Limited Validity"

    Why is "Without" written with a capital letter here and "with" is not? To me they seem to be of the same type of words so I don't understand.

    Thanks in advance!

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    WineforParis,


    (1) As the teacher told us, (sadly) there is no one rule.

    (2) I have a 1994 U.S. News Stylebook. U.S. News magazine

    is now only online (no more print). Its reporters are expected to

    follow the stylebook's rules. This is what it tells reporters (in 1994):

    In headlines ... [do not capitalize] the articles a, an, and the; the

    conjunctions and, but, or, and if, and prepositions OF THREE

    LETTERS OR FEWER [my emphasis]. (CAREFUL: if a preposition is


    being used as an adverb -- or particle -- you DO capitalize it. The book

    gives these examples: [Country X] Holds On to Islands; Jumping Up

    and Down.)

    Since "with" has four letters, then it should be capitalized -- according

    to this guide.

    *****


    I also have a copy of the 1993 The Chicago Manual of Style, which is

    followed by many people, especially professional writers and university

    students. Let's see what it says (in 1993):

    [In] headline style ... Articles (a, an, the), coordinating conjunctions

    (and, but, or, for, nor) AND PREPOSITIONS, REGARDLESS OF

    LENGTH, ARE LOWERCASED [my emphasis].

    So -- unless the 2010 edition of this famous book has changed its

    mind -- "with" should not be capitalized -- according to this guide.

    The bottom line: If you are writing for a newspaper or for a

    university class, you will be told which guide to follow. The most

    important thing: regardless of which "rule" you follow, be CONSISTENT.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,221
    #4

    Re: capital letters in headlines

    These are style guidelines, as The Parser has pointed out.

    It has never made sense to me that prepositions are capitalized or not, according to how many letters they have. Chicago makes more sense to me.

    However, The Parser's final bit of advice is so important that I want to repeat it:

    The most important thing: regardless of which "rule" you follow, be CONSISTENT.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. Khosro's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Persian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • Iran

    • Join Date: Jan 2011
    • Posts: 530
    #5

    Re: capital letters in headlines

    What if a sentence starts with a quotation? Should I capitalize the first letter which is also the first letter of the quotation?

    "could be a honest man" is not part of that sentence.
    "Could be a honest man" is not part of that sentence.

    Which one is correct? I think I should not capitalize it because we are not allowed to change words in quotations. What's your opinion?

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,221
    #6

    Re: capital letters in headlines

    When you need to qutoe something but just can't stand an error, or more usefully, need to provide some clarifcation about an unclear reference, square brackets are your friend.

    "[C]ould be an honest man" is ...

    A more meaningful example is a partial quote.

    The mayor said "Tim Smith is a great public servant and will serve us well. He has my complete confidence."

    You write The mayor said "[Smith] has my complete confidence."

    The brackets show that you've made a replacement.

    To me, a more perplexing example would be a trademarked name with a lower-case first letter, like iPhone. I can't imagine writing iPhones are sweeping the market. It goes against the grain. I'd have to rewrite.
    Last edited by Barb_D; 11-Mar-2011 at 14:42.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. Khosro's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Persian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • Iran

    • Join Date: Jan 2011
    • Posts: 530
    #7

    Re: capital letters in headlines

    Sounds like beginning a sentence with a capital letter is such a strict rule that we should change all other things to match it!

  6. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,221
    #8

    Re: capital letters in headlines

    Well, give me a few years and I'll probably be okay writing things like
    iPhones are great inventions.

    Things change. Just a bit more slowy for some of us.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  7. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #9

    Re: capital letters in headlines

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    To me, a more perflexing example would be a trademarked name with a lower-case first letter, like iPhone. I can't imagine writing iPhones are sweeping the market. It goes against the grain. I'd have to rewrite.
    It's not just trademarked names. How does one begin a sentence with my username? If I begin a sentence with my own UE name, I am happy with the lower case f. I feel uneasy about what to do for for others, even though they have chosen this form for themselves.

  8. Khosro's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Persian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • Iran

    • Join Date: Jan 2011
    • Posts: 530
    #10

    Re: capital letters in headlines

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    It's not just trademarked names. How does one begin a sentence with my username? If I begin a sentence with my own UE name, I am happy with the lower case f. I feel uneasy about what to do for for others, even though they have chosen this form for themselves.
    I never change member's usernames in such cases. I always say "fivejedjon" whereever it stands.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. [Grammar] Capital letters
    By mettemarie in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 08-Jan-2009, 10:56
  2. Capital Letters
    By GrammarQuestion in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-Mar-2008, 14:19
  3. Capital letters.
    By samfat33 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 20-Nov-2007, 22:00
  4. capital letters
    By berni in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 13-Nov-2007, 21:22
  5. capital letters
    By cat80 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 27-Aug-2006, 16:52

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •