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Dash of Inspiration: Capitalization

September 3, 2014

A Dash of Inspiration, A Cup of Creativity by Doreen


It seems with everyone ‘texting’ these days that simple punctuation rules, which have been dropped to speed up text messaging, have sadly become ‘the norm’ in the English language. However, in the professional arena such as ours, we are creating and submitting to a public marketplace, and dropping these courtesies to the English language lacks the professionalism many customers expect to see when choosing a product.

Today, we are not speaking about writing greeting card verse. Writers of verse and poetry often break these rules in an effort to emphasize their message. This is often allowed at GCU as long as it comes across as an obvious means to express creativity, or even improve the visual aspect of the inside verse. If, however, you simply get lazy and write ‘merry christmas’ instead of “Merry Christmas,” your card is likely to be returned.  On the other hand, if you write, “Tis the Season to be Merry,” your card will likely be accepted.

It’s up to you to put on a professional front everywhere else, like in these areas:

  • Image by Credits – Where your name/business name appears under each thumbnail image, on the back of every card you sell and in the ‘Sell This Card’ 3D link every time someone promotes your card. Why do some of you ignore proper case-sensitive lettering when you type your own name?
  • Card Titles – The first thing potential customers/promoters see along with your image, the ‘attention grabber’ you might say, yet some of you don’t bother even using ‘Christmas’ instead of ‘christmas’.
  • Artist Notes (Description) – Please don’t write this description of your card as if you were texting a friend. The improper use of capitalization and abbreviations is unprofessional.

Examples of Capitalization Rules:

  • Capitalize the first letter of a new sentence and/or new document.
  • Titles of books, magazines, movies, art works, etc.
  • Capitalize proper nouns and adjectives derived from proper nouns.
  • Capitalize relationship-specific such as Grandmother, Father, etc. when they are used in place of the person’s name.
  • Capitalize specific geographic locations such as; California, Scotland, Sacramento’s Downtown District, etc.
  • Do not capitalize ‘the’ used in front of proper nouns, unless it’s part of the proper noun’s title, such as; The Amazing Spider-Man which is a movie title, therefore ‘The’ is part of the title and should be capitalized. It remains lower case however, if I were to write; “I own the complete set of the Spider-Man movies.”

Here are some great reference guides to see more rules on the subject:

10 Rules of Capitalization

Capitalization Guide from

When Should You Capitalize Words? By Grammar Girl

Put on a professional front. Dot your ‘i’s and cross your ‘t’s and use proper capitalization in your Card Titles, Image Source and Artist Notes to grab customer’s attention. So until next week … Learn … Create … Inspire!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 3, 2014 12:43 pm

    Love this one! Lack of capitalization is one of my pet peeves. Whenever my husband has to fill out paperwork for me, the first thing I ask is if he remembered to capitalize. After years of training, he now replies, “Of course, I wouldn’t think of incurring your wrath.”

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