# Are capital letters in titles annoying or innocuous?

I ask this having already read a question about minor edits. I've seen several edits in which the only change was replacing capital letters in a title with lower-case letters. This seems, to me, to not improve the post enough to accept as a worthy edit.

Is there enough consensus about not having capital letters in a title that this type of edit should be accepted? (appearance is important?)

Or is the edit so minor that it should not be accepted (user scrounging for rep points)?

Or do we really care one way or another? (I lie in the "too minor to accept" camp).

• I tend to be quite lenient---if the question is improved by an $\epsilon>0$, I'll approve it. Fixing ANNOYING cAPitaLIZATION is definitely good enough to me. – Danu Sep 18 '15 at 21:58
• @Danu It's Not Like That, But Like This: What Would You Do? (sort of like a book or chapter title) I wouldn't write a question like that, because it is called a title, I don't have a problem with it. – Bill N Sep 19 '15 at 1:40
• The 'does not improve the post' seems to fit the bill, IMO. – Kyle Kanos Sep 19 '15 at 2:31
• @BillN I guess I agree with the answer posted by Hennes: If there are 3+ mistakes, it's probably okay to edit (to me). – Danu Sep 19 '15 at 4:19

See item #6 in our FAQ on writing question titles.

Improper punctuation, spelling, capitalization, and formatting make questions harder to read. In my opinion, clear, and most importantly consistent formatting in a medium like this is critical as it helps would-be answerers spend as little brain power as possible parsing the written word and therefore as much as possible digesting the content and composing a useful response.

I fix capitalization errors in titles a lot. When lower rep users put in proposed edits to fix title capitalization I will accept it every time.

• But what constitutes a capitalization error? In particular, sometimes the title is a title (summarizing the expected content on the page, with no independent clause to be found, which can be a good thing), rather than a full question. One could argue that title case is then appropriate, and since this is English and not some Romance language (and since this isn't Nature or some other incompetent journal), title case demands capitalization of most words. – user10851 Sep 21 '15 at 0:52
• @ChrisWhite +1 for a good point. IMHO a title which is not a complete sentence is fine, but should be read as a phrase, not e.g. a book title. – DanielSank Sep 21 '15 at 1:10
• Actually, @ChrisWhite, given that the FAQ on question titles specifically says "Capitalize only the first word and proper nouns in the title. Do not capitalize other words.", I think there's no ambiguity. – DanielSank Dec 8 '15 at 5:37
• Did you just cite your own post as evidence? ;) Oh wait, Kyle added that. – user10851 Dec 8 '15 at 5:43
• @ChrisWhite Yes, it's important to note that much of what's in that answer was not written by me. – DanielSank Dec 8 '15 at 5:49

Needless or wrong use of capitalisation make me read the words with emphasises. E.g. "How do I Do This" will be read as "How do." "I." "Do" "This.". This makes it much harder to interpreted.

Thus if I have a legit reason to edit then I will also correct bad capitalisation.

I find one or two erroneous capitals in a title is too minor to correct though, but it most certainly is annoying or worse.

• I mostly agree with this, but I'm ambivalent about cases where there are one or two erroneous capital letters. If it's, like, one word out of eight that has the wrong capitalization, then yeah, that's not enough (on its own) to make me edit, but in most cases I would probably consider it fine to make an edit to fix title capitalization. – David Z Sep 19 '15 at 13:19

In general, I tend to have a much lower bar for the amount of improvement to approve or implement edits in the title. This is because question titles appear in many more places than just the question itself:

• The front page
• On-site search results
• Related and Linked sidebars on other questions on this site
• Hot Network Questions on this site and others in the Stack Exchange Networks.

Having well-groomed titles is important. Fixes like LaTeX improvements, bad grammar, picky grammar issues (e.g. 'How to X' → 'How do I X'), spelling, and so on are definitely worthwhile. Larger fixes (like making the question title accurately describe the actual question in sufficient detail) are a must.

That said, having title case is... pretty much not a problem for me. Things like

What is the Physical Meaning of Commutators in Quantum Mechanics?

read just fine and don't jolt the reader too much into a 'hmm, what's with the language there?' note (I tend to find). I don't fix such titles and would tend to reject as Too Minor if that is really the only possible improvement on the post.

On the other hand, a quick perusal of the current front page indicates that the questions whose titles lend themselves to the use of title case (currently the only one being A Confusion in Rotational Dynamics) have the sorts of titles which are not particularly descriptive of the question. Longer, full-sentence titles which actually ask a question will tend to look weirder in title case than short statements about what area the question is generally in. In such cases, the question is better off getting a completely new title which actually describes what is being asked.