Headlines and Titles of Works

Q. Lately, more and more titles are styled in lowercase—the Broadway show bare , for example, and Ann Hamilton’s 2001 installation the picture is still. When this sort of title appears in a headline or at the beginning of a sentence, would you allow authors to retain the lowercase styling? It sure looks weird, but people do love their high-maintenance names. (Yes, Ke$ha, I am talking about you.)

A. If the titles are italic, they might work lowercased, but if you’re writing for a newspaper or magazine where italics aren’t allowed (especially in headlines), you should take care lest the words in the title be confused with the surrounding syntax. A title like the picture is still could cause trouble even in italics, if the italics are taken as emphasis: Researchers have found the picture is still at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Allow the lowercasing if it doesn’t cause trouble; otherwise, argue for standard treatment.