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Specifically, I am wondering how "Clean Up" should be capitalized. I have three plausible options:

  1. "Clean Up"
  2. "Clean-up"
  3. "Clean up"

It all really depends on what part of speech "up" is and whether it requires hyphenation.

I was thinking that "clean up" is a phrasal verb and... I don't know...

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  • You need to give some context, John. Do you mean the words to be a Noun Phrase or a Verb Phrase? If a Verb Phrase, is the mood, as seems likely, imperative? Are they part of a title, or do they occur in a piece of continuous text? – Barrie England Oct 4 '11 at 18:36
  • It is imperative, as a title to a section in a technical paper. – John Gietzen Oct 4 '11 at 18:39
  • Then for me it would be 'Clean up the tags and branches'. Phrasal verbs, in no matter what form, do not need a hyphen. Some people like to capitalize the intitial letters of all words in a title. That's fine, too. – Barrie England Oct 4 '11 at 18:45
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Working with Subversion, eh? :-)

As you said, clean up is a phrasal verb. Cleanup is a noun. (Hyphenation isn't appropriate for the verb form. If it were, I wouldn't capitalize "up.")

I agree with Barrie England's comment. You should capitalize "up" in the title because the linkage between the two words in a phrasal verb isn't as strong as if they were hyphenated.

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  • Migrating from SVN to Git, actually. :) – John Gietzen Oct 4 '11 at 19:26

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