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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