Part of: Grammar points
Last updated: 20 December, 2019
Following this helps people with:
time pressures: words in all caps are hard to scan and comprehend
stress: if you're anxious you need content that's easy to read
multi-tasking: capped words are difficult to read
cognitive impairments: easy to read text takes less cognitive load
Capitalised words are not easy to read for many reasons. We're more used to reading words in lowercase letters, so our brains find lowercase words easier to scan and absorb.
They are harder to read.
It's easier to scan.
It's easier to scan.
It's fine to capitalise the following:
names of people, places and things, including buildings and brands
specified committee, faculty, department, institute or school: Public Administration Select Committee
names of groups, directorates and organisations: Affordable Housing Action Group
titles of specific acts or bills: Human Rights Act (but ‘the act’ or ‘the bill’ at second mention)
names of specific schemes known to people: Right to Buy
names of wars: World War 1 and World War 2
job titles following the person's name
titles like Mr, Ms, Dr, the Duchess of Cambridge (the duchess at second mention)
titles of books: ‘Content Design’
header cells in tables: Yearly budget
Generally, terms are not proper nouns, so should not be capitalised. Technical terms are not proper nouns. But if a word or term is branded as a distinct thing, treat it as a proper noun.
As a marathon runner, you'll get a medal and a massage.
As a Marathon Runner, you'll get a medal and a massage.
I'm running in the Virgin Money London Marathon.
I'm running in the Virgin money London marathon.
We're running a sustainability project.
We're running a Sustainability Project.
The Eden Project
The Eden project
'The science of word recognition', Mike Jacobs, 2003
A to Z style guide UK government website
'How Capital Letters Became Internet Code for Yelling', Alice Robb, The New Republic, 2014
'Say hello Writing readable content (and why All Caps is so hard to read)', Marty Friedel, 2015
'The science of word recognition', Mike Jacobs, 2017
‘The Effect of Type Size and Case Alternation on Word Identification’, F. Smith, D. Lott and B. Cronnell, The American Journal of Psychology, 1969. Part-locked: free to access online with MyJSTOR account.
‘Case alternation impairs word identification’ Coltheart, M. and Freeman, R. 2013