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The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

Category: Titles

Capitalizing Titles

Posted on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, at 6:00 am

When and how to capitalize titles of works and titles of formal rank or professional status can remain a common question. We'll focus on that topic today for additional clarity. (Note that style for capitalizing titles can vary among stylebooks and in-house style guidelines. What we share here offers a baseline that you can follow; …

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Punctuation for Abbreviations

Posted on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, at 6:00 am

Those who write in American English may sometimes wonder when to abbreviate a word as well as how to abbreviate it. This review will help address those questions. An abbreviation is a shortened or contracted form of a word or a phrase (e.g., Mister to Mr.). If you're ever in doubt about when and how …

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Ms., Mrs., or Miss: Which One Should You Use?

Posted on Monday, March 22, 2021, at 9:00 am

Some speakers of American English think Ms., Mrs., and Miss all mean the same thing. They don't, and learning their differences can enhance your grammar while ensuring you communicate politely. Before we dive into details, we'll start by saying that each form of address is intended as a respectful title. To be well-mannered, you would …

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A Study of Style: The U.S. Military

Posted on Tuesday, August 18, 2020, at 11:00 pm

Our exploration of American English strives to venture even further than the principles that guide writing with precision and eloquence. We are also interested in the language variances beyond what we accept as common for information exchange. For example, we know that United States can be abbreviated, often as either US or U.S. One might …

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American vs. British English: Punctuation

Posted on Tuesday, June 23, 2020, at 11:00 pm

During the last several weeks we've covered some meaningful ground about the language we share with our friends across the water. For us, it's been fun to reflect on what we have in common as well as how each dialect varies its voice. So far, we've examined spelling, vocabulary, and points of grammar. We'll conclude …

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& What About the Ampersand?

Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2018, at 11:00 pm

The ampersand (&): We see it often in our daily communication, which adheres to a modern ethos of speed and brevity as seen in letters, emails, texts, tweets, memos, and notes. The mark is appealing because it helps save character space, it fits right in with other letters’ heights, and many could argue it’s one …

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Year-End Quiz 2017

Posted on Tuesday, January 9, 2018, at 12:01 pm

Review is good for retention. That’s why GrammarBook.com likes to start the new year with a jumbo quiz that spans the last twelve months of topics we’ve covered with you. In 2017 we explored an array of ways to enhance your grammar and writing. We hope what you learned follows you well into 2018 as …

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Capitalizing Composition Titles, Part II

Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2015, at 9:53 am

Some may question the need for a two-part series on this esoteric topic. But even those who consider themselves top-notch at identifying parts of speech in a word grouping will find composition-title capitalization a skill worth mastering. Any title of more than two words can be a challenge. How would you capitalize a title such …

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Capitalizing Composition Titles: The Lowdown

Posted on Tuesday, March 3, 2015, at 7:55 pm

Which words should be capitalized in titles of books, plays, films, songs, poems, essays, chapters, and the like? This is a vexing matter, and policies vary. The time-honored advice—capitalize only the “important” words—doesn’t help much. Aren’t all words in a title important? The following rules for capitalizing composition titles are virtually universal. • Capitalize the …

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Kinship Names: To Capitalize or Not to Capitalize?

Posted on Sunday, July 29, 2012, at 4:16 pm

Several readers have asked why kinship names, such as names of brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, etc., are sometimes capitalized and sometimes not. Let’s have a closer look. Rule 1: Capitalize a kinship name when it immediately precedes a personal name or is used alone, in place of a personal name. Examples Andy and …

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