sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

January 15, 2010

grammar debate
posted by soe 11:32 am

Here’s a question for the grammar nerds out there to debate:

Let’s say a book is published. The powers-that-be have incorrectly capitalized some of the words in the title. When referring to the book in print, do you correctly capitalize the title or do you propagate the error?

Category: life -- uncategorized. There is/are 7 Comments.

Not a big grammar nerd, but I think you have to leave the title as it is, because that’s the title. It’s like the people who give their kids “creatively spelled” names – the poor kid is Abbyghale, not Abigail, much as it may pain people to have to spell it that way. (Note – I’m using a vaguely remembered example from somewhere on the internet – there may be no such cursed child.)

Comment by Sarah 01.15.10 @ 1:49 pm

I’d leave it as is and use [sic].

Comment by Kat with a K 01.15.10 @ 2:18 pm

Bad grammar makes me [sic].

Comment by Elspeth 01.16.10 @ 10:27 am

Couldn’t find an address for you to email this – in case you want to post or forward – this is from the web site for the Embassy of Haiti

01/17/10 – Survival Kit Drive at Embassy of Haiti http://www.haiti.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=140

From the National Organization for the Advancement of Haitians (NOAH)


NOAH will be conducting a Survival Kit Drive THIS Sunday, January 17, 2010 from 11am – 4pm at the Embassy of the Republic of Haiti in Washington D.C. located at 2311 Massachusetts Avenue NW.

In appreciation of your assistance light refreshments will be available. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact (718.755.0119) or (202.904.9070).

Below are a list of items needed immediately. Many can be found at your local dollar store or even the One Spot in your local Target. Please spread the word to all because a MAJOR group effort is needed to get Haiti through this. I appreciate and thank you in advance for all your prayers, help and support.


Baby formula (dry/powder)

Baby wipes

Baby bottles


Baby clothes

Toiletries (shampoo, soap, toothpaste)

Hand sanitizer


First aid kits

Over the counter medicines



Mosquito repellent




Flip flops



Lightweight jackets

Non perishable food that’s not in cans (seal-paks of tuna or sardines, for example)

Think flat, lightweight, easily packable. Remember, L’union fait la force!

Comment by MJ 01.16.10 @ 1:51 pm

I’m with the [sic] crowd. Hope your weekend is going well!

Comment by Debby 01.16.10 @ 3:21 pm

I came to the comments to see what the consensus was, because that is a great question!
I nearly always write it the way the book says, but it pains me at times.

Comment by raidergirl3 01.19.10 @ 8:34 pm

I checked with David and his answer is “You leave it the way it is titled, because that’s its title.”

I would take it on a case by case basis. If the title had proper nouns that were uncapitalized, I would leave them that way, but if it capitalized “Of” “And” or other simple words that shouldn’t be capitalized, I would generally not feel bad about referring to the book with those words in lower case.

Comment by Grey Kitten 01.21.10 @ 12:14 am