Avoid the Caps!
|Photo Credit | Recite.com|
Wayward capitalization is one of my pet peeves.
(Granted, I have made my own share of capitalization mistakes, but it can still be a pet peeve even if I sometimes make that mistake, right?)
When I’m reading along, a Writer who adds capitals to a general noun has my attention. But that Person has received my Attention for the Wrong Reasons. In reality, I’m looking for the next item that is capitalized and forget about the Plot or the Characters or the Author’s Important Information.
Instead, I enjoy reading authors who use a style manual* that suggests lowercasing job titles, especially those with modifiers:
tennis coach John Bee** versus Coach John Bee and definitely not Tennis Coach John Bee
In my experience, capitalization often occurs when the professionals in the sentence request their titles are capitalized. In doing so, the subjects of those sentences are communicating more about themselves and feelings of importance than they are about their knowledge of style.
The capitalization, to me, screams THIS IS IMPORTANT. But with all the caps, it would seem that nothing is important.
Instead, a fictional character should not appear as Badminton Coach Josie Cee*** because badminton is modifying coach. Josie Cee, badminton coach, may be introduced with no less importance, but simply with the proper lowercase style.
Job descriptions are best situated after the subject’s name so the reader may remember the person’s name and not the large letters lurking in front of the name, blocking the reader’s view.
I don’t know why errant capitalization bothers me so much. I just know that I like the smooth lines of lowercase titles.
Do you like capitalization? Or are you a lowercase-aphile?
Elizabeth King Humphrey, Editor and Writer, lives in Coastal North Carolina. Just kidding! Elizabeth King Humphrey, an editor and writer, lives in coastal North Carolina.
*In my experience, the Associated Press or Chicago styles
** I do not know a John Bee, tennis coach or otherwise. In no way did I mean to disparage any and all capitalized John Bees of the world.
*** I do not know a Josie Cee, badminton coach or otherwise. In no way did I mean to disparage any and all capitalized Josie Cees of the world.