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Do not capitalize the second or subsequent words in an article title, unless the title is a proper name. For multiword page titles, one should leave the second and subsequent words in lowercase unless the title phrase is a "proper name that would always occur "capitalized, even in the middle of a sentence.

This convention often also applies within the article body, as there is usually no good reason to use capitals. Outside Wikipedia, and within certain specific fields (such as medicine), the usage of all-capital terms may be a proper way to feature new or important items. However these cases are typically examples of "buzzwords, which by capitalization are (improperly) given featured status.

In general, each word in English titles of "books, "films, and other works takes an initial capital, except for articles ("a", "an", "the"), the word "to" as part of an infinitive, and prepositions and coordinating conjunctions shorter than five letters (e.g., "on", "from", "and", "with"), unless they begin or end a title or subtitle. Examples: "A New Kind of Science, "Ghost in the Shell, "To Be or Not to Be, "The World We Live In. (For details, see "Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Capital letters § Composition titles.)

Because credibility is a primary objective in the creation of any reference work, and because Wikipedia strives to become a leading (if not the leading) reference work in its genre, formality and an adherence to conventions widely used in the genre are critically important to credibility. For these reasons, Wikipedia has carefully built its "WP:Manual of Style (MoS) to address modern, global encyclopedic writing and reading needs. Please consult in particular its sections "on capital letters and, when relevant, "on trademarks. When in doubt, reliable reference works for capitalization conventions and other style matters may be useful.[1] Note that all style guides conflict on some points; the Wikipedia MoS and naming conventions are a "consensus-based balance between them, drawing primarily upon academic style, not journalistic or marketing/business styles, and taking into account Wikipedia-specific concerns.

Contents

Software characteristics[edit]

The software treats all article titles as beginning with a capital letter (unless the first character is not a letter). For information on how to display article titles beginning with lower-case letters (as in "eBay), see "Wikipedia:Naming conventions (technical restrictions)#Lowercase first letter.

However, when you create a link with the first letter of the link uncapitalized, like this, the first letter of the target page is automatically capitalized by the software. So like this points to the page titled "Like this". However, the remainder of the link (after the initial character) is case-sensitive.

Searching using the Go or Search button is, generally speaking, case-insensitive. It is not necessary to create redirects from alternative capitalizations, unless editors are likely to link from the differently capitalized form. For example, "National Park should be created as a redirect to "National park, but it is unnecessary to create Isle of wight as a redirect to "Isle of Wight. Many such redirects do nevertheless exist, and these are harmless; the only indication to the reader is small message of the form "(redirected from Isle of wight)". You can use a page-views analysis tool to determine whether a significant number of people ever look for the variant you are thinking of creating a redirect for [1], or what the frequency of one version is versus another [2].

Specific topics and examples[edit]

Page names that differ only by capitalization[edit]

It is acceptable to create two articles (on different topics) with titles that differ only in capitalization. If this arises, place a "hatnote at the top of each page, linking each to a dedicated disambiguation page or to the other article. It is also acceptable to use names that are differentiated in other ways; which approach should be taken may vary from case to case, balancing such considerations as the risk of confusion in using one set of names against the departure from brevity and common usage in using the other.

Organisms[edit]

See: "Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Animals, plants, and other organisms, as well as "Wikipedia:Naming conventions (fauna) and "Wikipedia:Naming conventions (flora).

English common names of species and of general types of organisms are not capitalized, and article titles about them are sentence-cased, except where "proper names appear and are capitalized: "Bottlenose dolphin, "Mountain dog, "Red oak, but "Small Indian civet. Redirects should be created from the alternative capitalized form(s), e.g., "Bottlenose Dolphin, and from plural forms of each spelling.

Capitalization of expressions borrowed from other languages[edit]

For French, see for instance "Wikipedia:Manual of Style/France and French-related#Works of art. In French the capitalization rules (for books, works of art, and many other topics) are different from those in English. The situation is further complicated by "loanwords, for example a French expression can be adopted in English (such that you'll find it in English dictionaries), but with a different capitalization:

Expressions[edit]

For expressions borrowed from other languages a two-step approach is advised (example explained for expressions borrowed from French):

For Spanish, German, and any language usually written in the Latin alphabet the same (or something similar) would apply.

Works of art[edit]

If the article is about a work of art (such as a book or other written work, movie, album, song, or composition) with a title in a foreign language, or by a foreign language creator, usually the capitalization found in English-language "reliable sources is recommended, but when such sources use different capitalizations there is some leaning towards the capitalization rules valid for the language of the creator.

Examples[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Current editions of some mainstream, general style references frequently used by MoS editors (current editions as of May 2016):

External links[edit]

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