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Is there any quality English orthography book that contains rules for capitalising in pure British English? I’ve noticed that an American newspaper capitalises every word in the title of an article (except special words like “to”), but a British newspaper does not. I’m pretty confused. I’ve managed to find just an orthography book which apparently describes American rules. Where can I find a British version?

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British newspapers and American newspapers have different rules for capitalizing words in the titles of articles. I believe this specific difference only applies to the titles of articles in newspapers; in general, the rules for capitalization in British and American writing are very similar. –  Peter Shor Jul 31 '12 at 10:53
    
Good question that has brought up good answers. Should have been on writersSE, though. –  Kris Jul 31 '12 at 11:33

3 Answers 3

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If you want to know the rules for capitalising in British newspapers, a good place to start is style guides of British newspapers.

Here's the entry on capitalisation in the Guardian style guide, and a blog post by their style editor on the subject.

Different newspapers have different styles, and the Guardian favours fewer capitals than others. The Guardian and The Times both publish their style guides as books.

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So it has nothing to do with differences in capitalisation rules? Do you know the title and the name of the author of a good book that describes capitalisation and punctuation rules in detail? –  Luka Jul 31 '12 at 8:20

It's sounding like you're asking for the Ultimate Authority here, Luka, the one who spells out THE rules. But as Hugo says, different newspapers use different in-house rules. There are also differences - conflicts - between the 'rules' required by and listed in the style guides of other authorities - universities and government departments and publishing houses. Black-and-white answers are simplest, but are rare in the real world. We usually have to be adaptable - drive on the left in the UK, and on the right in the US.

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