I’m taking a break from marketing-related subjects to launch a campaign against random capitalization in the middle of sentences. It’s a tough job, but apparently someone has to do it.
Some subset of the population has a compulsion to capitalize random words for little apparent reason. It’s almost as if they have a memory from some long-ago German class about capitalizing nouns.
If someone’s not a professional writer, I don’t complain much. But too often I see random and inconsistent capitalization in signage, in website copy, or from other people who should know better.
Capitals are acceptable for names that could be trademarks, such as Acme Analysis Engine. But if you take this path, you need to be consistent and capitalize it every time, not just periodically. And it doesn’t work for something generic, such as “our Reporting capability.”
For most of us readers, capitalization within a sentence implies some kind of proper name. To plop it into the middle of a sentence for no good reason gives the brain a micro-second freeze that interrupts comprehension.
Perhaps people think that if they capitalize something, the reader will feel that it is inherently important. If you want emphasis, use italics. (Don’t even get me started on underlining….)