Headlines and Titles of Works

Q. How should the phrase “out of” be capitalized in a title or heading?

A. The phrase “out of” is listed as a preposition in Merriam-Webster (among other dictionaries), so it would normally remain lowercase in the middle of a title or heading following Chicago style.

But even as part of the phrase “out of,” the word out tends to read like an adverb (or sometimes an adjective, depending on whether it follows a noun or verb form), which may be why publishers seem to want to capitalize it in the phrase “out of” more often than not—as in the titles Bat Out of Hell (the album by Meat Loaf, featuring a song of the same title) and Getting Out of Saigon (a book by Ralph White [Simon & Schuster, 2023]).

Nonetheless, Chicago style would be Bat out of Hell and Getting out of Saigon. This would work well for Meat Loaf’s sixth studio album: Bat out of Hell II: Back into Hell. If nothing else, “out of” is then consistent with “into.”

[Editor’s update: As several of our readers have been kind enough to point out to us, it would make more sense in the Saigon title to treat “getting out” as a phrasal verb than to treat “out of” as a phrasal preposition. The result—​​Getting Out of Saigon—capitalizes the word “out” as an adverb (per CMOS 8.159, rule 3), putting the emphasis where it belongs, on Getting Out.]