Capitalisation of English language book titles

I have been changing book titles listed in all capitals to title case, however as there doesn’t seem to be any guidance on this subject, a user could rightly dispute my edit.

I prefer title case which broadly means the first letter of each word is capitalised except for short prepositions, articles, and short coordinating conjunctions. For example: Little House on the Prairie, A House for Mr. Biswas, etc.

It might sound confusing but there are online conversion tools available (just be aware they are not always accurate). One of my favourites is

These rules do not apply to other languages which might have their own set of conventions.

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Yep. I think we should largely stick with the MusicBrainz style guidelines for consistency across the *Brainz:


Thanks. I have just read the Guidelines in respect of English and they conform to title case rules.

I wasn’t sure if MusicBrainz had adopted Discogs’ Silly Standard Capitalization Rule.

This is one of the rare cases where we do have guidelines written for this subject:

There really isn’t much at all over there (yet!) but the English capitalization page should be pretty complete.

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Better still! I always like guidelines that agree with my way of thinking.

For anyone like me that wondered where the style documentation for BB can be found it is on the Help page.

Admittedly, it could be more prominent, but I figured I might wait until there is a bit more content on it before really pushing it.
Ultimately, we’ll probably want to add link to various parts of the guide right in the help text for the entities edit pages.

By the way, if anyone feels like helping with the guidelines, you’re very welcome to do so !
The docs are on Github and open to public contributions. The Github website itself is pretty easy to use and has a decent text editor, but if you’re not feeling comfortable with editing on Github I can certainly format the text for whomever.

I think it is in the right place, I just didn’t search hard enough!

There is related matter that is not mentioned in the BB style documentation and that is the use of a standard separator for subtitles when it is not stated.

Standard library practice is to use a colon, e.g.

Zuleika Dobson: Or, An Oxford Love Story
Dark Emu: Aboriginal Australia and the Birth of Agriculture

Note: there is no space between the last letter and the colon.


I support this too, plus it’s in agreement with the already quite well established MB guidelines. The more common practices we have the easier it is. I reckon we will see quite some relationships added between the different *Brainz eventually.


I saw you were typing a reply and I remembered the MB guidelines link that you provided. So I had a look and the topic of using a colon for subtitles is explained in detail. That information could be modified to suit BB without too much effort.

When I remember correctly, Mr. Monkey mentioned that a separate field for the subtitles is planned.
And since articles of magazines tend to have quite long subtitles I think this is unavoidable.

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If that is correct, then it raises the question just how will the subtitle and separator be displayed. Because there are different forms: explicit and assumed.