Q. Should we apply headline-style capitalization to band names and other proper names containing prepositions? Is it Rage against the Machine or Rage Against the Machine, for example? Thank you!

A. Good question! Normally, yes, the capitalization rules for titles of books and other works (as described in CMOS 8.159) would apply equally to other capitalized names, including names of organizations and musical groups.

Accordingly, articles (a, an, the), common coordinating conjunctions (and, but, for, or, nor), and prepositions (of, for, with, etc.) would all be lowercased in the middle of a name. For example, the National Institutes of Health, Sly and the Family Stone—and Rage against the Machine.

But we’d allow an exception in that last case. Against may be a preposition, but it’s just as long as Machine, putting lowercase at odds with the rest of the name. And the sources that have written about that band would have tended to follow some variation of AP style (the main US style for journalists), which capitalizes prepositions of four letters or more. “Rage Against the Machine” is therefore more likely than “Rage against the Machine” to look right—at least to anyone who hasn’t just edited a forty-five-page bibliography to conform to Chicago style.