Created By: TelcontarDecember 20, 2012 Last Edited By: TelcontarDecember 31, 2012
Nuked

Capitalising Key Words

In a work title, the important words will start with a capital letter but small words won't.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Alternately, "Key Words are Capitalised".

There's a trend to, in a title, capitalise three types of word.

  1. The first word, to make it look like a sentence.
  2. Any which are normally capitalised, such as character names.
  3. Other words deemed important -- this trope.

This means that small connecter words don't stand out when someone reads the title, making it smoother. However, the important ones are eye-catching and distinguish a work's title from normal text. If a small word does use upper-case, it's often a hint that the word is significant after all.

We like to do this on the wiki. Use the title customiser to make a Wiki Word word lower-case.

See also Camel Case and All Lowercase Letters. Capital Letters Are Magic can be an In Universe version. If there's a Title Drop in the work, it will use normal capitalisation patterns rather than this.

This is an Omnipresent Trope and thus too common for examples.
Community Feedback Replies: 12
  • December 20, 2012
    Telcontar
  • December 20, 2012
    Stratadrake
    The first two items in your list are textbook Chairs.
  • December 20, 2012
    Telcontar
    I have them there to establish that this trope isn't the only reason to capitalise. I've edited it slightly; better now?
  • December 20, 2012
    bulmabriefs144
    Capital Letters Are Magic also covers. Motion to drop.
  • December 30, 2012
    Telcontar
    I don't think they're quite the same thing. Capital Letters Are Magic is naming things with, well, their names and showing that it's different through capitals. This is a stylistic choice for titles that highlights important concepts in a different way. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café doesn't have any Fried Green Tomatoes, just ordinary fried green tomatoes; this trope is in effect but Capital Letters Are Magic isn't.

    If I'm just splitting hairs and all this deserves is a mention on that page, though, do say.
  • December 30, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
    Sorry, Tel, but I am quite straining at finding a distinction between this and Capital Letters Are Magic.
  • December 30, 2012
    Stratadrake
    The reason Capital Letters Are Magic works is because capitalizing a term conveys that it's a proper noun instead of your ordinary, fried-green-tomato-variety noun. The 'example' you cited is basically Key Words Are Capitalized Because Every OTHER Word Is Capitalized Anyway, which is Not A Trope.

    For a point of comparison - Full Name Ultimatim is a trope except in cases where everyone goes on a Full Name Basis.
  • December 31, 2012
    Telcontar
    Strata: Thing is, not all the words in that title were capitalised; specifically, "a" and "the" were lowercase. "Whistle Stop Café" is written like that in the story as it's a place name, and "Fried" would be done anyway because it's the first word. "Green" and "Tomatoes", though, are capitalised not because Capital Letters Are Magic nor because All Words Are Capitalised, but because of this trope.

    Sep: Eh, fair enough. I am going to hope for another reply from Stratadrake, but I expect I'll end up discarding this.
  • December 31, 2012
    Stratadrake
    Still Not A Trope. See the Wikipedia article on capitalization and the variants thereof ([1]) -- common practice includes capitalizing every word except for articles, conjunctions, prepositions.
  • December 31, 2012
    Folamh3
    This is just a basic grammatical rule. We don't have a trope for "putting a space after a semicolon". Motion to discard.
  • December 31, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
    I think the point is to capitalize words that are important in sentences even when grammatical usage would not do that.
  • December 31, 2012
    Telcontar
    Yes. However, with another person voting discard (and four such tags now!) I'm letting it go.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable