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veronie
04-04-2006, 08:14 AM
I posted something about this several months ago and got flammed for it. But I think it is helpful, and not many people are aware of it. So, here it goes.

Entitled means to receive or deserve ownership of something. Example: "I am entitled to my fair share."

Titled means to name something. Example: "My book is titled "Things Your Psychic Adviser Never Told You."

So, if you send a query letter to a publisher, use "titled" instead of "entitled" when talking about what your book is called. Chances are, they will know the difference between the two words.

maestrowork
04-04-2006, 08:18 AM
You are wrong:



enĚtiĚtle
tr.v. enĚtiĚtled, enĚtiĚtling, enĚtiĚtles
1. To give a name or title to.
2. To furnish with a right or claim to something: The coupon entitles the bearer to a 25 percent savings. Every citizen is entitled to equal protection under the law.

[Middle English entitlen, from Old French entiteler, from Medieval Latin intitulre : Latin in-, provide with; see en-1 + Latin titulus, title.]

entitled

adj 1: qualified for by right according to law; "we are all entitled to equal protection under the law" 2: given a title or identifying name; "the book entitled `A Tale of Two Cities' "



tiĚtled
adj.
Having a title, especially a noble title.

veronie
04-04-2006, 08:32 AM
This is the kind of response I've gotten before. Consider my argument for why you should follow the rule I've given.

I come from a journalism background, and this is the style rule we follow. The AP Stylebook gives the rule: entitled Use it to mean a right to do or have something. Do not use it to mean titled. Right: She was entitled to the promotion. Right: The book was titled "Gone With the Wind."

Other style experts argue for the same thing. Now, you may or may not send your work to a publisher or agent who comes from a journalism background, but in case you do, it makes sense to stick to what is safe. Here are two scenarios:

1. You use "entitled" and you send your query to an editor who follows the rule I've given. They read your query and wince at the use of "entitled." Or you might send it to an editor who doesn't follow the rule, and you're in the clear.

2. You use "titled" and you're in the clear no matter whom you send it to.

maestrowork
04-04-2006, 08:36 AM
The issue is usage. One is a verb and the other an adjective.

"She is entitled to the story" is correct.

"The book is titled 'To Kill a Mockingbird' " is also correct.

However, I'd just say: "Enclosed is my manuscript entitled 'West Side Story'."

Fern
04-06-2006, 03:08 AM
Thanks Veronie. I wasn't aware there was a preferred usage by editors and you're right; it is a good thing to know.

I understand what Maestro is saying also, because Merriam Webster dictionary lists them with the same definition. Okay, I admit it, you two sent me scurrying for the dictionary. It also lists them both as verbs.

stormie
04-07-2006, 05:16 PM
Okay, here's a way around that dilema: Write "The working title is.... " The title will probably be changed anyway.

Jamesaritchie
04-08-2006, 05:30 AM
This is the kind of response I've gotten before. Consider my argument for why you should follow the rule I've given.

I come from a journalism background, and this is the style rule we follow. The AP Stylebook gives the rule: entitled Use it to mean a right to do or have something. Do not use it to mean titled. Right: She was entitled to the promotion. Right: The book was titled "Gone With the Wind."

Other style experts argue for the same thing. Now, you may or may not send your work to a publisher or agent who comes from a journalism background, but in case you do, it makes sense to stick to what is safe. Here are two scenarios:

1. You use "entitled" and you send your query to an editor who follows the rule I've given. They read your query and wince at the use of "entitled." Or you might send it to an editor who doesn't follow the rule, and you're in the clear.

2. You use "titled" and you're in the clear no matter whom you send it to.



An editor who worries overly about such a rule should look for other work, and will soon have to do just that. I also have a journalism background, and when writing for a newspaper, I'd follow the AP rule. But, thank God, most fiction editors and agents have an English background and understand that "entitled" also means "give title to." It's all in the context, and any editor or any agent, no matter what their background, who has a problem with using "entitled" correctly is an agent or editor you do not want, and who will not be in business long.

Having said this, however, there is one pretty good reason for using "title." Mark Twain summed it up best when he said, "I never write "metropolis" for seven cents, because I can get the same money for "city."

When a short word does the same job as a long word, it's simply good writing to use the short word. It's also one of the better habits a writer can have.

veronie
04-08-2006, 04:59 PM
To James. I absolutely appreciate your input, and I will freely admit that you have 1,000 times more experience than I do.

But here's my point, and then I will let this rest. You are right that this is an extremely minor detail. And I was in no way suggesting that editors would throw out a manuscript if they saw "entitled" instead of "titled." I think you took my point further than I did. My point is that even minor things, when added up, can present a larger picture of professionalism. With submissions, every bit should be perfect. This is just one additional area, albeit minor, where I think the preferred word would be "titled."

I'm not sure where you got the idea that I suggested an editor would make a big deal out of the word anyway. I agree that most editors probably don't care one way or the other, but there are surely a few who would, for even a split second, pause on that word and mentally say, "I wish it was titled, not entitled." And for that, my suggestion is to go ahead and use it. Of course you don't have to.

Tish Davidson
04-09-2006, 12:08 AM
There are a lot of differences between AP style for newspapers and some magazines and Chicago Style for book manuscripts. For example, AP style omits the comma before the last item in a series. The writing out of numbers also varies. It isn't so much a matter of right or wrong as different conventions. You should use the style guidelines as appropriate for the type of submission you are making.

Jamesaritchie
04-09-2006, 01:41 AM
To James. I absolutely appreciate your input, and I will freely admit that you have 1,000 times more experience than I do.

But here's my point, and then I will let this rest. You are right that this is an extremely minor detail. And I was in no way suggesting that editors would throw out a manuscript if they saw "entitled" instead of "titled." I think you took my point further than I did. My point is that even minor things, when added up, can present a larger picture of professionalism. With submissions, every bit should be perfect. This is just one additional area, albeit minor, where I think the preferred word would be "titled."

I'm not sure where you got the idea that I suggested an editor would make a big deal out of the word anyway. I agree that most editors probably don't care one way or the other, but there are surely a few who would, for even a split second, pause on that word and mentally say, "I wish it was titled, not entitled." And for that, my suggestion is to go ahead and use it. Of course you don't have to.



We're not much is disagreement. The trick, I think, is to always use the shortest word that does the job, and you'll never have to worry about an editor or agent making a big deal about anything.

The one area where I'll disagree with Tish is that in recent editions, Chicago Style is so politically correct, and so unbelievably wishy-washy, that it almost can't be followed. Or can't not be followed, depending on how you look at it. It makes an exception for almost everything, which means almost anything is right, or wrong.

When in doubt, Strunk & White always has the last say.

And, of course, much AP style is the way it is solely because of space. Newspapers have always wanted to save as much space as possible, even if it's no more than two letters in a word, or an omitted comma.

But newspaper also have copy editors with the job of "correcting" everything a reporter writes.

Follow Strunk & White, and you can't go wrong. I've seen it settle many an argument at newspapers, and at publishing houses.