The Grammar Belle

Spiffing y'all up, one typo at a time

A Capital Idea

Hey, y’all.

Each morning, if I’m not catching up on one of my (many) recorded reality TV shows, I like to watch the local news. From my time spent with Izzy and Ron and the rest of the Daybreak crew, I have come to this very solid conclusion: The person in charge of the graphics (and, really, any words that appear on-screen) is the least-skilled, lowest-paid member of their staff.

There is no other explanation for it.

I could write every blog post for the rest of my time as The Grammar Belle simply centered around the crazy stuff I see on WFAA each day. Seriously, y’all. Amidst my eye shadowing and blush applying and hair drying, I do a lot of bitchin’ and moanin’ and TV yelling.

One day last week, I saw a graphic that reminded me of a topic I wanted to cover with you guys: random capitalization.


When giving something you’re writing a title or making a nice, bulleted-type list, here’s all you need to do: Pick a style—and then stick with it.

If you’d like to use sentence case, all you have to do is capitalize the first word in the title or entry, along with, of course, proper names and the word “I.” I think that’s what this graphic maker intended at the beginning. He or she started off well and made it through four words before the dreaded random capital letters showed up.

WFAA’s second list entry, “Extremely Toxic,” is a wonderful example of title case. With title case, the first word, the last word, and all important words in between are capitalized. Now, the rules for what makes a word “important” are a bit more complex, simply because the rule makers don’t totally agree. (I have a future blog post planned for what I believe the rules oughta be. If only I had some sort of actual say in the matter.) But, as with all things capitalization-related, just choose how you are gonna do it and be consistent.

Do you believe ALL words with fewer than four letters should be lowercase? Fine, then do that. Do you think that verbs should be initial caps, no matter their length? Great. So do I. We will be fast friends. In any case, my book title could be:

One Blogger’s Odyssey Through Hours of Mind-Numbing, Anger-Inducing TV


Like a train wreck—why I love reality television


Seriously, Y’all? How Does The Graphics Guy Keep His Job?

It’s three different approaches for the same book, with each one maintaining the chosen style throughout.

Here’s hoping it’ll be on a bookstore shelf near you someday!


6 comments on “A Capital Idea

  1. fransiweinstein
    June 6, 2013

    Post this on their website, or on their FB page if they have one.

    • The Grammar Belle
      June 6, 2013

      Will do! I do love how you think, smart lady. 🙂

      • fransiweinstein
        June 6, 2013


  2. Yvonne Streeter
    June 6, 2013

    Once again, stellar comments that make the grammar jungle easier to hack through.


    Yes, I know that’s an incomplete sentence.

    • The Grammar Belle
      June 6, 2013

      No worries, Yvonne. The “These are” or “Those are” is implied and understood! 🙂 Thank you for stopping by!

  3. ourmom
    June 6, 2013

    Thank you, I needed a refresher course.

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This entry was posted on June 6, 2013 by in Don't Make Me Beg, Somebody Needs an Editor and tagged , , , , .

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