General Question

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

What are the rules for split conjunctions in title case?

Asked by malevolentbutticklish (2137 points ) May 11th, 2010

If you have a conjunction in title case you are not suppose to capitalize it. There is an exception in that the first and last words are always capitalized in title case. What happens when you have a split conjunction such as neither… nor starting or ending a title? Is the entire split conjunction suppose to be capitalized or only the first / last word of the title mixed-case split conjunction be damned?

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8 Answers

lillycoyote's avatar

Jeruba, do you want to take this one?

ETpro's avatar

You know you are in trouble when you Google it and this question is the first item in the SERPs. Style manuals say capitalize subordinate conjunctions, and both elements of hyphenated words. Some say not to capitalize coordinate conjunctions, and others say do so if they are more than four letters long. So that should work for a rule of thumb.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I think it may depend on what writing style you are using. I know the rules differ in some of them.

ETpro's avatar

@Seaofclouds It definitely depends. If you are writing for someone who has a preferred book of style, simply do what it says. If not, adopt a respected one like the Chicago Book of Style and be consistent in following it. There is enough disagreement among various schools of style that you can’t go wrong using a major one and remaining true to it unless a different style is imposed.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@ETpro Yeah, all of my college work has required APA format, but all of my husband’s required the Chicago Book of Style. Proof reading each other’s papers was interesting.

ETpro's avatar

@Seaofclouds I can well imagine. :-)

Jeruba's avatar

Do you mean like this [title of an imaginary article]:

“Neither a Borrower nor a Lender Be”

?

(“Neither” and “nor” are correlatives.)

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