About

The word title derives, via both Old English and Old French, from the Latin titulus. It referred originally to an inscription on an object that provided information about it, giving rise to the meaning of the descriptive label applied to works of art.

Use the tag only for questions about the names of books, musical compositions, sculptures, paintings, and other creative or artistic works.

Titles are proper nouns, but most style guides dictate that some words in titles should be left uncapitalized, especially articles and short prepositions and conjunctions unless they are the first or last word in the title: A Midsummer Night's Dream but Taming of the Shrew but Much Ado About Nothing. For questions about capitalization in titles, use the tag in addition to this one.

Titles of articles in newspapers and news magazines are known as headlines, and owing to the need to encapsulate a summary in the minimum amount of space, often use a highly compressed style referred to as headline English or headlinese. Use the tag for questions about writing or interpreting headlines.

For any of the other meanings of title, use other appropriate tags:

  • If asking about the names of a profession or occupation, use the and/or tag as may be appropriate.
  • If asking about the honorific prefix to a personal name, or words used to indicate social or official rank or position, use
  • If asking about forms of address in correspondence, use .
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