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Which words in a title should be capitalized?

Suppose I'm going to write an article/essay with the following title:

"What To Do If You Believe Space Aliens Shot JFK"

Does the word "if" get capitalized, like above, or not?

marked as duplicate by Matt E. Эллен, aedia λ, RegDwigнt Sep 29 '11 at 23:14

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migrated from writers.stackexchange.com Sep 29 '11 at 14:32

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  • 2
    Capitalize (it is neither a preposition nor an article). I would have said to migrate the question to writers, though. But I see it came from there. – GEdgar Sep 29 '11 at 14:49
  • @GEdgar - Grammar and usage questions are off-topic at Writers. Style questions are a bit of a grey area. – Neil Fein Sep 30 '11 at 20:43

The word if is typically capitalized in titles.

According to Wikipedia:

In English, the first word and the last word of titles should be capitalized. In addition, all nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, and subordinate conjunctions should be capitalized. Articles and coordinating conjunctions are not capitalized, while sources disagree on the capitalization of prepositions.

"If" is a subordinate (also, subordinating) conjunction and as such should be capitalized.

  • 1
    The most disputable preposition is "of". Since it resembles "if", it creates confusion around this issue: according to the strictest rules, "if" should be capitalized while "of" shouldn't! Symmetrically that just looks wrong when you see it on paper. – Andrew Vit Sep 29 '11 at 22:00

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