Whenever I am training a client to use Blogger, so that they can self-manage their ORM, we have the same debate – without fail. No matter what their online reputation management strategy may look like, here’s the questions that’s always posed, in some fashion or another…
“When creating a new post, do I capitalize the first letter, or all of them, or just some of them… and how do I know?”
Whilst much of this depends on personal taste and style, there are some rules to try and stick to. For many of our clients, we advocate the headline kicker rule: keep you blog titles, short, punchy and all caps. But for some, they prefer to be more conversational.
For them, here are 10 great rules to remember!
1. Capitalize the first word in a sentence.
Yes, this is the most basic rule of capitalization – that too many forget…
2. Capitalize the pronoun “I.”
Another basic one, but in today’s information driven world, it bears mentioning, especially in the lazy age of fast-texting mobile communicators.
3. Capitalize proper nouns: the names of specific people, places, organizations, and sometimes things.
For instance, “Austin, Texas,” “Patrick O’Brian,” “Supreme Court.”
This seems to be the rule that trips up many people because they don’t know whether a word is a proper noun. But as the AP Stylebook points out:
“Capitalize nouns that constitute the unique identification for a specific person, place, or thing: John, Mary, America, Boston, England. Some words, such as the examples given, are always proper nouns. Some common nouns receive proper noun status when they are used as the name of a particular entity: General Electric, Gulf Oil.”
There are also derivatives of proper nouns. Capitalize words that are derived from a proper noun and still depend on it for their meaning, such as “American,” “French,” and “Shakespearean.”
But lower case words that are derived from proper nouns that no longer depend on it for their meaning: “french fries,” “pasteurize,” “darwinian.”