Capital letters (again :) )

Hi :slight_smile:

You know there is a style of writing the headlines with all words starting with capital letters.

I know (see) that articles and prepositions in the middle of the headline should normally begin with lowercase letters.
And conjunctions. And ‘to’ as a part of the Infinitive form.

But what about not?

Can anybody say the formal rule for this style or give a trusty link?

P.S. I’m sorry for so many today’s questions…

Hi Tamara

There isn’t really a “trusty rule” since publishers, for example, usually have their own “house style”. I’d say you’ve already figured out the basics for the most common style. I found this quote from The Oxford Manual of Style mentioned on the web:

“the first word and all nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs, but generally not articles, conjunctions and short prepositions”.

Have you already looked at the Wikipedia write-up?
[size=92](Scroll down to “Headings and publication titles”)[/size]


Thanks, Amy.

(Just to make my question more specific - in terms of the list you (and Wikipedia) gave.)
I asked:

What should I do with not when the third or the fourth style is :slight_smile: applied


As I understand (thank you) I should write ‘… Not the Best …’

Hi Tamara

I’d capitalize ‘not’.
I don’t think I’d ever capitalize ‘to’ unless it were the first word.

Maybe one of the other moderators will have some further or better input. :wink:


Thank you, Amy.

Hi Tamara,

I’d be reluctant to set rules for the use of capitals. It wasn’t so long ago when it was looked on as the height of fashion to use lower case for everything and everyone. And that seems to be coming back again. For examples of how headlines use first letters I’d recommend you have a look at this site that gives extracts from all British newspapers and also other English language papers in the world:


Thank you, Alan, for the link! Very useful and very interesting in the context of the topic.

I’ve found what I sought – ‘Not’.

But the general picture looks actually mixed and multicolour(ed?), doesn’t it?…
Even the same newspaper can allow different styles for headlines…
‘is’ and From can be used in the same headline… (what’s the rule here - from is “long enough” to be capitalised??? :))
Not to mention uncertainties with phrasal verbs’ particles. :slight_smile: