History:Capitalization Proposal

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Status: Implemented! This page describes a proposal which is now official and has been implemented.

Proposal number: RFC-Unassigned
Champion: None
Current status: Passed and Implemented
This proposal was not tracked in Trac.

This was the first Capitalization Standard, and today can still be seen as the core of Capitalization Standard English.

Tom Hull's Capitalization Proposal

Use the following standard guidelines for capitalizing titles (of albums or songs) in the English language. Different rules apply for other languages.

All words in a title should be have their first letter capitalized and following letters lower case except as noted below:

  • 1) Always capitalize the first and last word of a title. This rule should be followed even if the words would normally be lowercase according to the other rules. If a title is broken up by major punctuation (colon, question mark, exclamation mark, em-dash, parentheses, or quotes), capitalize each distinct piece of the title as if where a distinct title. Therefore, for example, always capitalize the first and last words of each section.
  • 2) Capitalize all words between the first and last word of a title except:
    • a) Articles: a, an, the
    • b) Coordinate conjunctions: and, but, or, nor
    • c) Short (three letters or less) prepositions: as, at, by, for, in, of, on, to -- except when used as abverbs or as an inseparable part of a verb
    • d) When used to form an infinitive: to
  • 3) In compounds formed by hyphens, capitalize each part exactly as if they were a separate word.
  • 4) Capitalize contractions and slang consistent with the rules above to the extent that such clearly apply. For example, do not capitalize o' for "of", 'n' or n' for "and".

These rules should cover the overwhelming majority of cases, but there will always be exceptions that need to be decided by votes on a case by case basis.

There is a JavaScript GuessCase function that is implemented on the server that does the above plus more.