Q. I am editor for a group of academic writers, who recently squawked when I mentioned the following guideline in the CMOS, 16th edition (8.168): use lowercase and no italics for “the” in a newspaper title, even if it is part of the official title. Their concerns: (1) it seems unscholarly to treat “the” as a generic term when it is part of the official title; (2) doesn’t this flout copyright protocol? (3) why does the rule apply only to American newspapers? I found myself unable to offer concrete reasons for the rule, so I said I would ask the CMOS editors directly.
Q. How would you treat the title of a blog—roman with quotation marks, roman without quotation marks, or italic?
Q. Our company, an art auction house, has decided to adopt sentence-style capitalization because we feel the visual flow is easier to read. The names of sales are based on the names of our departments, e.g., “The Old Master Paintings department will have its Old master paintings sale in June.” Is that style appropriate?
Q. I am quoting from a document that has a lot of words in all caps, for emphasis. In my report the quote appears as a block quote, and I feel that I should affirm that the capitalization is in the original, not added by me. Should I make this affirmation with a parenthetical comment, or should I just leave it alone?
Q. I am writing a government report, and the first letters of words in the title are supposed to be capitalized. In such a case, should prepositions be capitalized? The government employee who edited my work said that along should be capitalized, but not of, and this doesn’t make any sense to me.
Q. What is the proper way of capitalizing foreign titles appearing at the end of English titles and subtitles? For example, hypothetically, should it be “Aeneas Traveling Noctis per umbram” or “Aeneas Traveling Noctis per Umbram”? Headline style seems to conflict with Chicago recommendations for foreign titles. There doesn’t seem to be any advice for melding the two, as far as I can tell.
Q. I am writing a novel. How do I write a title of a song in the body of the work (caps, bold, underline, italics, etc.)? Example: The Zombies’ “She’s Not There” looped in his head.
Q. Quotation marks in titles and subheads seem inappropriate, except those required when referring to particular works. However, I can find no reference to support my position in Chicago or elsewhere. I’m supposing that is because scare quotes in heads are a rare occurrence.
Q. I work at an ad agency, and I’m the only writer/editor/proofreader on staff. A recent title bothered our creative director because only one word in it was not capitalized (unbalanced from a design perspective, I guess): Why Full-Service Advertising Is More Important than Ever. My question is, first of all, am I correct that the word “than” should be lowercased in the above title? And second, what’s your opinion on making capitalization decisions on ad copy based on how things look? I’m willing to fudge the rules a bit for great design, but I’m not willing to throw the rules out the window altogether.
Q. A coworker with a PhD in English lit comments that your example of title casing “Four Theories concerning the Gospel according to Matthew” isn't correct at all. “Concerning” and “according” are participles, not prepositions (thus these are participial, not prepositional, phrases). I've absolutely never seen “Gospel according to Anyone”—it's always “According to.” Thoughts? I'm not just nitpicking; trying to get a group of proofreaders and editors to pull together consistently on little stuff like this.