Welcome to an episode of what not to do with article writing, particularly upper-casing the first letter of each word in a headline.
Upper case titling, or camel-casing, has its roots in the late half of the 19th century.
Publications of that era used this approach to overcome problems with the printing process that often created smudges and made letters hard to read on a newspaper.
By the early 20th century, upper case titling was often mixed with full upper case in a smaller size, usually reserved for sub-titles. During the two world wars of the 20th century, full capitalization for news headlines gained popularity at various publications.
It made sense back then.
In modern journalism, however, particularly the digital kind, such display of unnecessary casing makes a headline appear half-way to SCREAMING.
When necessary to capitalize words, make sure they stand separate from others, such as at the beginning of a sentence, or after a colon or semicolon, or a dash. Resting pauses can be followed with a capitalized word.
Camel-casing does not make a headline’s content stand out – it also trivializes the purpose and message it attempts to deliver. When all headlines scream out at the reader, there is nothing left to leave an impression with.
Blogging is particularly prone to such camel-casing approach, and it’s quite embarrassing when every headline appears the same, without the distinct stylization that regular casing provides.
Emphasis can be delivered with the right choice of words : Action verbs, short words, shorter headlines even. Resorting to camel-casing often becomes a consistent refuge for lack of copywriting imagination.
Need more inspiration for your headlines?
Try writing some words on a piece of paper instead of your computer.
Write down different variants, without the fine geometric constraints of typing. Experiment with the essence of words, and hopefully you will become a master of creative headlines in no time.
Last but by no means least: Save the exclamation point for headlines that contain something truly shocking or funny. Preferably, as it applies to the general population, and not just to yourself.
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