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I'm starting a new business and recently decided on a name. The problem is that the name has the word "the" stuck right in the middle, like so:

__ the __, LLC

My question, should the "the" be capitalized or not?

Edit/addendum: I believe the following capitalization rule should be used, but am unsure for this specific case and if my business name constitutes a "title".

Rule: Do not capitalize short prepositions, conjunctions, or articles unless they are the first word of the title.

From this, I'm guessing the "the" should stay non-capitalized. Anyone care to verify?

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I think it can be whatever you like, but you have to be consistent. That online classifieds site is "craigslist, Inc." and Yahoo! has an exclamation point for goodness sake. –  Sam Dec 6 '12 at 3:17
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3 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

The name of the business would be a proper noun. Wikipedia gives an example of a multiple word proper noun in which the word "the" occurring as a middle word is not capitalized:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalization

"In nearly all European languages, single-word proper nouns, including personal names, are capitalized (like France or Moses). Multiple-word proper nouns usually follow the traditional English rules for publication titles (like in Robert the Bruce)."

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"the" should stay non-capitalized in this case. A business name is, from multiple online sources, considered a title. Therefore, based on the rule in the question regarding titles and capitalization, "the" should remain as-is.

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That being said, how one would choose to stylize their company name in a logo, for instance, wouldn't have to follow this guideline. –  Sam Dec 6 '12 at 2:38
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"These are the words that should be capitalized in titles:

  • The first and last words of the title
  • All nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, and adjectives
  • Any conjunction or preposition of five letters or more --(This is optional. You can choose to go with an older rule that says not to capitalize prepositions or conjunctions regardless of length. The five letters or more standard has developed over the last two decades or so. Either form would be acceptable, as long as you use it consistently.)

These are the words that should not be capitalized in titles:

  • Articles (the, a, an), unless the article is the first or (less likely, of course) last word of the title
  • Prepositions of four letters or fewer (unless the preposition is the first or last word of the title)
  • Conjunctions of four letters or fewer (unless the conjunction is the first or last word of the title)
  • The particle "to" used with an infinitive (unless the "to" is the first or last word of the title)"

Your case falls under the first bullet of what not to capitalize. So, in this case, do not capitalize 'the'.

http://grammartips.homestead.com/caps.html

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Great answer, but your source is probably not reputable. Obviously a hobbyist page that appears hasn't been updated since 2000. Granted, the English language hasn't changed too much in the past 12 years. –  CODe Dec 8 '12 at 19:19
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