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Subject: Re: Title case or sentence case?

Re: Title case or sentence case?

From: Dave Chapman <dave_at_dchapman.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 10:35:38 +0100

Paul Louden wrote:
> XavierGr wrote:
> Look at most menus in software, in English, as I've mentioned. They are
> in title case. This is more or less common practice in computing, as
> Dave Chapman has mentioned. I think even if we are going "UK English"
> it's more a practice than a dialect-specific issue. UK English may
> rarely or never use title case, but it is used in computing, even in the
> UK, because the majority of applications they use apparently use US
> English.

I would say the logic is as follows: Title case is used in US English,
all English applications are US English, therefore English applications
use title case.

In other languages (I've been told Danish is such an example), PC
applications do NOT use title case. So it's not a
computing/non-computing issue, it's a language-specific issue, and
British English and US English are different, in the same way that
Danish and US English are different.

If you browse various UK-based websites and US-based websites, the
difference becomes clearer:

www.guardian.co.uk
www.thetimes.co.uk

www.nytimes.com
www.washingtonpost.com

Headlines on the UK sites are using sentence case, on the US sites, in
title case.

> I think that both in terms of readability, and in terms of user
> expectation, title case is appropriate for the names of menu options. As
> well, in the case of Rockbox menu options, they are (or can be used as)
> proper nouns. If I mention Playback Settings it's extremely clear I'm
> referring to the menu entry, and not just some general cloud of options
> that relate to playback.

As you're quoting a string in the Rockbox UI, you could just put it in
quotes - i.e. "Playback settings" menu item.

And again, I would argue that your "user expectation" is based on the
expectation that Rockbox (like 99.9% of PC applications) is using US
English. It isn't.

Dave.
Received on 2008-08-18


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