You are here: Home

Capitalizing words in titles, headings and subheadings

by Catherine Jan on August 22, 2013

I get a bit crazy when it comes to capitalizing as you may have seen in Brand names and internal capital letters. It irks me to see MasterCard and PayPal misspelled. I equate this lack of attention to detail with downright sloppiness. As writers and translators, it’s our job to keep our eyes peeled for what is capitalized and what is not.

My current gig involves using title case on headings of Canadian English-language websites. So when do you press that shift button and use that mighty capital letter? Titlecase.com has the answer. Thanks to a colleague who recommended this magical converter, my capitalization conundrums are over.

Titlecase.com to the rescue

Insert your title into the text box. Let’s type “Bringing fresh produce right to your doorstep” and see what happens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then press “convert” and your decision about what to capitalize is made for you.

 

 

 

 

 

The resulting title: Bringing Fresh Produce Right to Your Doorstep. So only the word “to” does not get capitalized.

Easy, right? Well…

Is titlecase.com 100% fool-proof?

No. Enter compound adjectives.

Let’s try “Promoting eco-friendly lifestyles” and you’ll see where it errs (in my humble opinion).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is how it converts.

 

 

 

 

 

I’d rather see the letter F capitalized: Promoting Eco-Friendly Lifestyles. This title has more visual appeal.

Let’s experiment a bit more: Prosecutors expect more arrests in art-fraud scheme.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Press “convert” and see what happens to the compound adjective.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh no. That sentence doesn’t sit right. The latter part of a compound adjective should be capitalized.

Thankfully, The New York Times doesn’t put all of its faith in titlecase.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fraud gets a capital F. Much better!

Title case folly

Some writers over-capitalize. (This hurts me as much as seeing French headlines in title case. Just say non.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Show restraint, people!

 

 

All smiles today: I contributed to a book called Jesuisfreelance.com

March 31, 2013

Holy smokes: Dominique Dufour, a Paris-based freelancer par excellence, published my submission to his book Jesuisfreelance.com. We’re talking print here. Print! Electronic versions are also available, but who cares, who cares, who cares—the book is available in actual paper made from actual trees. And those papery pages (as opposed to virtual pages) automatically increase, by […]

Read more →

Style and Translation: Workshop by Lisa Carter

March 25, 2013

Lisa Carter’s blog Intralingo is a fascinating blog about literary translation. So when I heard that Lisa was giving an ATIO Style and Translation workshop in Toronto, I jumped at the opportunity. During Saturday’s workshop, Lisa gave us much food for thought about examining source texts, as we took apart short passages and looked at various elements […]

Read more →

Being back in Canada

March 4, 2013

As I mentioned in an earlier post, a move back to Canada was in the works. I’m here now in chilly Toronto after living in France for 14 years. A few random observations about Toronto: Sidewalks are clean. Dog owners are such responsible citizens. Incidentally, dogs come in bigger sizes here compared with their Parisian […]

Read more →

Do endorsements on LinkedIn matter?

February 4, 2013

The Endorsements feature on LinkedIn was introduced last September. I became aware of this around Halloween when my timeline was suddenly taken over by endorsement-related updates. Do clients care about endorsements? I don’t know. Introducing LinkedIn Endorsements from LinkedIn On being selective about endorsements People had kindly endorsed me for about 10 different skills. THANK […]

Read more →