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  1. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #1

    Capital letters in titles

    Dear teachers,
    my question is about capital letters in titles. Yes, I know the rules (to write all important words in a heading in capitals), but are they strict grammar rules? (like to add -s to a 3rd person singular verb in Present Simple?)

    And one more question related to the previous one: Could you help me find some serious reference books where it would be stated whether it is obligatory or not?

    Looking forward to your replies,
    Me

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Capital letters in titles

    The capitalization is a matter of style, not grammar. You can look at any number of style guides, including the Chicago Manual of Style or the AP Stylebook for guidance on that.

    Yes, grammar is followed on things like subject verb agreement, but headlines are often written in a shorted style, omitting articles or perhaps prepositions.

    A headline in a newspaper is not the same as a title used as a chapter heading. Newspaper headlines omit articles and other words because they don't have much space. If you are writing a title that will be used as a chapter heading, then YES you should follow all the rules of grammar.
    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.

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    #3

    Re: Capital letters in titles

    There are links to some common style guides here: Style Guides - ESL Web Directory - UsingEnglish.com

  3. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Capital letters in titles

    Thank you for your answers. Still it's not qute clear to me. Even though we regard capitalization as a matter of style, not grammar - will it be a mistake (or will it be considered strange, unnatural etc. by native speakers of English) if I write, say, a title of a recipe in a recipe book with only the first letter capitalized? (e.g. Red current biscuit)

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Capital letters in titles

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    ... will it be a mistake (or will it be considered strange, unnatural etc. by native speakers of English) if I write, say, a title of a recipe in a recipe book with only the first letter capitalized? (e.g. Red curreant biscuit)
    It will probably seem a mistake to many people, as we normally write the fruit as one word - redcurrant.

    For a title, I think that Most people would write Redcurrant Tarts; It is possible that some might write redcurrant tarts if they were against capitalisation in titles for some reason. Redcurrant tarts seems strange to me.

  5. riquecohen's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Capital letters in titles

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    It will probably seem a mistake to many people, as we normally write the fruit as one word - redcurrant.

    For a title, I think that Most people would write Redcurrant Tarts; It is possible that some might write redcurrant tarts if they were against capitalisation in titles for some reason. Redcurrant tarts seems strange to me.
    It seems strange to me as well. A quick search through several of my English-language cookbooks confirms what 5jj has said.
    Pumpkin Pie, Pineapple-Carrot Cake, Braised Beef Brisket, etc.

  6. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Capital letters in titles

    Thank you very much!!!

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