Re: Capitalization of Titles

Subject: Re: Capitalization of Titles
From: "Huber, Mike" <mrhuber -at- SOFTWARE -dot- ROCKWELL -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 1 Oct 1997 10:40:24 -0500

I think the reason is historical. What is now heading style used to be
the style for everything, as I discovered when I read Ben Franklin's
autobiography.

In technical writing, the same people write and format headings and body
text, but in newspapers and traditional books that is not the case.
Writers in those fields crank out raw paragraphs and editors and
typesetters handle the formatting, including the headers. In newspapers,
the writer has no control over the headlines at all, which sometimes
leads to amusing results. Since separate professions produce body text
and headings, it seems hardly surprising that the traditions have
diverged.

I ran a book through usability testing with traditional headers and then
with sentence-style (I didn't just change the capitalization, I added
verbs and made a few other changes) headers. The readers found the
information they needed much more readily with the sentence-style
headers.

Mike Huber
mike -dot- huber -at- software -dot- rockwell -dot- com

>-----Original Message-----
>From: John Bell [SMTP:jbell -at- PARAGREN -dot- COM]
>...
>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 capitalizing...one 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.
>

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