From time to time, I come across peo­ple using cap­i­tal­iza­tion to empha­size words. This is wrong. Let me show you why.

Con­sid­er this sen­tence:

This is the Most Advanced For­mu­la we have ever cre­at­ed.

Notice that “Most Advanced For­mu­la” is cap­i­tal­ized.

Cap­i­tal­iza­tion is reserved for prop­er nouns (like Cana­da, Jane, and Saskatchewan), the first word in a sen­tence, and the main words in a title (see Cana­di­an Style for spe­cif­ic usage guide­lines). In the exam­ple I gave above, “Most Advanced For­mu­la” falls under none of those cat­e­gories: all three words are com­mon nouns, they are in the mid­dle of a sen­tence, and they are not in a title.

When need­ing empha­sis, writ­ers should use bold and ital­ics as the main tools, not cap­i­tal let­ters. These are less like­ly to inter­rupt read­ing flow, and empha­sis is what they were designed for.

Need clar­i­fi­ca­tion on using cap­i­tal let­ters for empha­sis? Ask me about it in the com­ments.

About Kim Siever

I am a copy­writer and copy­ed­i­tor. I blog on writ­ing tips most­ly, but I some­times throw in my thoughts about run­ning a small busi­ness.

Fol­low me on Twit­ter at @hotpepper.

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