Style Guideline question: on colons and medleys

In the English Style Guideline, the first exception reads in part as follows:

If a title is broken up by major punctuation (colon according to subtitle style, question mark, exclamation mark, em-dash, or quotes), capitalize each distinct piece of the title as if it were a distinct title.

My question is in regard to the phrase “colon according to subtitle style…” Does this mean that this exception should apply only if the colon is present to separate a subtitle?

This is the edit that drew this to my attention:
Edit #91380929 - MusicBrainz

The recording title is being restored to match the release tracklist, which is
A Medley Of: For Sentimental Reasons, Tenderly, Autumn Leaves

The colon in this case isn’t separating a subtitle. Personally, I think “Of” should be capitalized, as it’s the last word in that section of the title. If the phrase “…according to subtitle style…” were not present, this would be clear. But that phrase is making it unclear, at least to me. I think the phrase “…according to subtitle style…” should be removed from the guideline.



I’m honestly not sure what’s the most correct thing with the colon. I’d be even tempted to argue “A medley of” is not even a title, but a descriptor, and it shouldn’t use title case, but someone is wont to slap me with a trout for that. It’s probably fine to do whatever feels right to you as a native speaker.

Slashes should probably be kept though, see Style / Titles - MusicBrainz.

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I thought about that, but a medley isn’t three distinct works, where one work stops and the next one begins. The works flow together, without pausing, so they musically become one piece. I wouldn’t think the multiple-title guideline applied.

I dunno, that’s how I’ve pretty much always seen medleys done, and I don’t think using commas instead provides any actual benefit, so I’d still use them :slight_smile: But it’s up to you (and people who vote on that entity, anyway)

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Had a bit of a Google, and it’s like this (technically speaking): If the sentence after the colon can stand alone then capitalize the last and first word.

If the sentence can’t stand alone: then don’t capitalize it.

So I thiiink you would capitalize the ‘of’

To be fair, this isn’t the case either, when the tracks and recordings are separate.

Sometimes it’s all mixed together between twelve tracks. Sometimes it’s completely divided and yet it’s still one track.

The difference here is that it’s a medley. We all know what a medley is so I won’t elaborate,

However, I don’t think this should be an issue in the first place. We just need a new character. Grammatically speaking you’d use a semicolon anyways, because the original work could have a colon on its title. If the original work had a colon, use a semicolon. If it had a semicolon, I’d use quotation marks. If it had quotation marks, I’d either use more quotation marks (since they can be nested) or semicolons.

Nevertheless, if you wanted to separate two musical works, in a practical manner… you’d make space in the database for it.

It’s music.

Music is extremely messy. Titles are not supposed to make sense grammatically anymore.

Anyways, in the meantime I’d personally do it the way I just said. Making the title longer doesn’t help anything, but it’s a good placeholder for whenever MusicBrainz evolves to hold this data.