Capitalization of Titles

Subject: Capitalization of Titles
From: John Bell <jbell -at- PARAGREN -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 1 Oct 1997 10:53:35 -0400

Jason Willebeek-LeMair wrote:

<<I was reading the current issue of Technical Communication and
finally noticed something that has been bothering me. In the
editor's blob, he referred to the journal as "Technical
communication" rather than "Technical Communication" [note the

George Hayhoe (Editor of Technical communication)
responded that he has adopted "down style" for
titles in Technical communication.

Several years ago I was confronted with the issue of
how to capitalize headings, captions, and table titles.
We had a problem in that we had to use many abbreviations
(DCS, SMS, TMS, VSO, and many more) in our documents, and
our readers would scan the headings looking for these key
terms. The style of capitalizing most words made it harder
for the readers to scan.

Another writer and I did a little bit of looking into
why headings generally have every noun and most verbs
capitalized, but we couldn't come up with any good reasons.

Why then are there two styles of for
sentences and one for headings? Lacking any justification
for supporting two styles, I decided to apply sentence-style
capitalization to all headings, captions, and table titles.
I like the look of it better, and the few comments from readers
that I do get are all positive.

--- John Bell
jbell -at- paragren -dot- com

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