View Full Version : Capitalization in references

Tish Davidson
07-04-2006, 11:33 PM
When doing book references using Chicago Style, I was under the impression (quite possibly wrong) that only the first word of hyphenated words in titles were capitalized.
That rule produces the horrible-looking title below. Any thoughts? reph?

Parenting the Strong-willed Child: The Clinically Proven Five-week Program for Parents of Two- to Six-year-olds

07-04-2006, 11:44 PM
I don't like their looks, either.

In the 12th edition, the applicable section is 7.124, under "Names and Terms" > "Titles of Works" > "General Rules."

How to capitalize hyphenated compounds in titles is a frequent puzzle. A rule of thumb that usually proves satisfactory is . . . capitalize the second element if it is a noun or proper adjective or if it has equal force with the first element:
Twentieth-Century Literature
Do not capitalize the second element if (a) it modifies the first element or (b) both elements constitute a single word:
English-speaking People
Medium-sized Library
E-flat Minor
Self-sustaining Reaction
Good luck interpreting that. The "equal force" criterion is particularly fuzzy.

Tish Davidson
07-04-2006, 11:48 PM
Thanks, reph, for quoting the rule. I knew I could count on you.

My body and my Chicago Style manual are temporarily in different universes. I feel naked.

07-05-2006, 02:06 AM
Whoops! we'll try not to peek!I won't have to. I have my own copy.