Capitalization, Grammar, Poor Editing, Titles

Capital Punishment


I found the same error on two posters. The first mistake was the final mistake I found while waiting for my doctor. (Note — I waited for about 15 minutes and found three errors in plain view. That’s quite sad.) The second mistake was on a Colorado Education Association poster — also not a good thing.

The mistake on both posters has to do with the rules of capitalization, which I covered in a previous entry “Capitalizing Titles Chick-Fil-A Style.” I will repost the picture I put in that entry to remind you of the basic rules of capitalizing titles:

Screen Shot 2013-01-08 at 1.00.15 PM

One of the parts of speech we capitalize is verbs. And as you can see in the previous sentence, the word is is a verb! It has to work just has hard as verbs like flummox or masticate or rusticateThough is consists of two measly letters, it deserves just as much to be capitalized!

My theory is that most people go with a how-long-is-the-word strategy when they decide whether to entrust a word with the duty of being capitalized. I think they develop this strategy because short, two-letter words are often prepositions (e.g., at, in, on, by, etc.), which are not capitalized.

Is can be quite tricky, but it is, in fact, a verb and should be capitalized in a title.


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