What? Capitalization Rules Don’t Fascinate You?

We love to do research

My friends, my colleagues, and I have a rousing good time whenever one of us is stumped by a spelling, grammar, or punctuation rule. (Have I mentioned before that I am an editor/tech writer by day?) The amount of gusto with which we throw ourselves into figuring out the right answer has got to look funny to passersby at work (luckily at home no one can see us).

Recently, there have been a few capitalization questions that have come up, mostly because we are revising some old content and adding new headings. Every once in a while something looks “funny” to one of us.

Even coffee doesn’t help you sometimes.

Luckily, we solved most of the first mysteries by going to our preferred style guides. Microsoft disagreed with Chicago Manual of Style on hyphenated words in sentence case, but since we are a software company, Microsoft won.

Thus, Hyphenated-Word Capitalization Looks Like This

But then, we came to one that we could not solve using our usual resources. They had NOTHING to say about “that” in a heading like:

Many items that constitute this issue

My coworker said there MUST be something online that will tell us the answer. Then we realized we couldn’t remember what part of speech “that” is in the above, so felt like grammar failures.

But, hooray! The answer was found! There is a fantastic website called “Capitalize My Title” that answers ALL your burning capitalization questions. You just plug in your title and BOOM, it does it. It gave me:

Many Items That Constitute This Issue

And that is correct! No more banging our heads on our monitors.

We were very excited. And the page explains the rules, which we care about a LOT in the editorial world. The site also told us “that” is a subordinating conjunction in the phrase we were working on. Of course, this is a thing which we knew (grammar humor!).

Yes, we want the rules for ENGLISH.

I signed up for the email list, and have really enjoyed it, too. The most recent one was on the handiest online tools for writers. I use most of them, like Grammarly and WordPress tools, though I prefer Microsoft Planner to Trello (mainly because I already have it).

A whole page is dedicated to capitalization rules of all sorts, like holidays, email subjects, and references. The creators of the site also have lots of links to other blogs and articles that can keep you quite entertained, but still technically working, you know, like an editor does.

We’ll get started any minute now.

I had a point here…oh, yes. If you’re writing a book, article, newsletter, or whatever, just keep Capitalize My Title in your bookmarks, and you’ll be set. (Bonus: the ads aren’t irritating.)

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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