Take the 2-minute tour ×
Movies & TV Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for movie and tv enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I would like to know why most of the movie titles are in medial capitals? few examples like,

The Dark Knight

He's Just Not That Into You

I thought all the movie titles are medial capitalized but I've observed few titles like,

Out of the Furnace

where middle two words are not medial capitalized, why?

Who decides the naming convention of movie titles?

share|improve this question
1  
The people that produce them, I guess. This is entirely up to the authors of the movie and thus a mere matter of taste or of cultural preference (for example small connective tissue like "a", "and", "the" or "of" seems to be preferred in small when not starting the title, at least in English). But there is no general institution guarding some convention (apart from maybe the "soft" law of marketability), I think, and this seems entirely up to the filmmakers' preference. (Yet I don't know it either, making this only a comment.) –  Sonny Burnett Mar 19 at 11:43
    
napoleon's answer/comment is wrong. In the US, at least. See Darrick's answer for the correct one. –  Johnny Bones Mar 19 at 13:46
1  
This is nothing specifically to do with films. This is just how titles work in English (as Derrick's answer makes clear). –  TRiG Mar 19 at 15:49
1  
The Dark Knight: He's Just Not That Into You would be a movie I'd pay to see. –  Eric Lippert Mar 19 at 15:58
    
@ Eric Lippert, good one. –  chaitanya89 Mar 20 at 5:23

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Movie titles typically use what is called Title Case for their names. This is a very common practice in the US for anything with a title (books, articles, headlines, movies, ... ).

Each production house has its own variation on which words to capitalize, but they are usually pretty standard with minor deviations. According to grammer.About.com:

Capitalize the first and last words of the title and all nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, and subordinating conjunctions (if, because, as, that, and so on): "Rules for Capitalizing the Words in a Title."

It's the little words that style guides disagree on. The Chicago Manual of Style, for instance, notes that "articles (a, an, the), coordinating conjunctions (and, but, or, for, nor), and prepositions, regardless of length, are lowercased unless they are the first or last word of the title."

But The Associated Press Stylebook is fussier:

Capitalize the principal words, including prepositions and conjunctions of four or more letters. Capitalize an article--the, a, an--or words of fewer than four letters if it is the first or last word in a title. Other guides say that prepositions and conjunctions of fewer than five letters should be in lowercase--except at the beginning or end of a title. (For additional guidelines, see the glossary entry for title case.) So pick a form--any form. And then try to be consistent.

share|improve this answer

Different grammatical rules are observed by different titles, often simply for the aesthetic choice.

A a

Capitalized letters often appear visually bolder due to their comparative size.

Factor the consideration that font is something that is only controlled by officially licensed marketing material, and you can see why cramming in as much capitalization can make the title of the film 'pop' when written in print media; which may well explain the preference.

There is no explicit convention, its simply the result of what a creative team decides is most effective.


  • Some films employ Title Case capitalization, where the principal words are capitalized: After the initial word, short prepositions, articles and conjunctions are all lower case.
  • Others go for Pascal Case, a derivative of Camel Case where all the words are capitalized.
share|improve this answer
    
Camel case is used for compound words. "YouTube" is written in camel case; "The Dark Knight" and "Spider-Man" are not, because the words are still separated. –  nmclean Mar 19 at 13:54
1  
Hence the specification of 'Pascal Case', which is derived from Camel Case. –  John Smith Optional Mar 19 at 15:44
    
@nmclean, "YouTube" is PascalCase. "youTube" would be camelCase. –  Brian S Mar 19 at 16:42
1  
@JohnSmithOptional No, they are synonyms, and they are specifically distinguished by a lack of spaces. Pascal Case refers to the programming language Pascal, where this style was used for multi-word names to work around the limitation that spaces were not allowed in names. –  nmclean Mar 19 at 16:46
1  
@BrianS Both versions are camel case (distinguished by "lower camel case" and "upper camel case"). –  nmclean Mar 19 at 16:48

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.