1. JTheGreat
    Offline

    JTheGreat Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Messages:
    381
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Everywhere and Nowhere

    The Sword or the Sword: Capitalization Help Please

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by JTheGreat, Jul 13, 2010.

    I've always been wondering this. In books, oftentimes fantasy, things will be capitalized to signify their well... significance. If it is coupled with "the", such as a magical sword called "Sword", would the "the" be capitalized, like "The Sword", or left uncapitalized like "the Sword"? Or, is it stylistically different from writer to writer?

    This can count with family names too. Like, would we say, "The Corleone Hierarchy", or "the Corleone Hierarchy". Or, "the Corleone hierarchy"?
     
  2. erik martin
    Offline

    erik martin Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Messages:
    249
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Personally, I have done this and chose not to capitalize the article.
     
  3. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Unless the article is an inseparable part of the title, it should not be capitalized. Even so, it would ordinarily not be capitalized. So Elvis is the King, even though you always see the article used with it.
     
  4. digitig
    Offline

    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,502
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Orpington, Bromley, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    If it is actually part of the title then I would capitalise it. The (London) Times is The Times. But the Deputy Prime Minister is the Deputy Prime Minister.

    The trouble with all of this is that apart from the basic rules everybody is taught in their early school years, "the use of Capitals is largely governed by personal taste" (according to Carey's Mind the Stop).
     
  5. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    For the first word of a formal title of a publications, that is certainly true. I will read the third volume of The Lord of the Rings, which is The Return of the King. Note the second the in each case does not get capitalized. But titles of books, periodicals, movies, plays, musical compositions, etc are a different rule than a title applied to a person or object. I will visit the Statue of Liberty, not The Statue of Liberty. Also note that it is proper to italicize a title of a piece of writing, but not the proper name of a person, place, or object; different rules.
     
  6. JTheGreat
    Offline

    JTheGreat Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Messages:
    381
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    I see. I'm still confused as with the "Corleone Hierarchy" vs. "Corleone hierarchy" issue.
     
  7. thecommabandit
    Offline

    thecommabandit Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    1
    If that is the institution, government or body's official name, then both words would be capitalised. If the word 'hierarchy' is used as a description, rather than its name, it shouldn't be capitalised.
     
  8. Islander
    Offline

    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Messages:
    1,542
    Likes Received:
    59
    Location:
    Sweden
    And if Corleone refers to the mafia family, I think "the Corleone hierarchy" is used as a description, not a title/name.
     

Share This Page