So, you sell Camera Lenses? Or, your latest innovation is an Email Marketing Solution that gives Clients more access to Leads?
Grrrr, it drives me batty. Capitalizing generic words does not make them sound more important to the reader. Rather, it confuses. While you may not, many in your audience still remember the rule from elementary school grammar that tells us not to capitalize everyday words (generic words). So, it trips up the reader when they see the cue that they should be expecting a proper noun. These little trip-ups (I’ll call them “blips”) may only subtract from the user experience a small bit… but if enough tiny little blips add up, you can really annoy your users.
What’s a proper noun? It’s the unique name assigned to something. Above, “camera lenses” is a generic term. If you want to capitalize something, you could say: We sell Nikon camera lenses. Nikon is a proper name. See the difference?
Likewise, all the capitalized words in “an Email Marketing Solution that gives Clients more access to Leads” are actually just generic words. By capitalizing words that shouldn’t be, it sounds as if the writer is trying to inflate the importance of those words artificially. Clients and leads are generic words, and they should be in lowercase even if they are important to the concept you are communicating.
Same deal with the term “email marketing solution”. However, if you were to give the actual unique name you’ve assigned to this new email marketing solution, it should be capitalized: Our new email marketing solution Mailbox Mania…
So, next time you see generic words appearing with big, presumptuous capitals at the front, take action. Let’s stamp them out. If you wrote them: backspace, then lowercase that word. You’ll look more professional.
If you’re a copywriter or other professional writer, go ahead and edit. Don’t take the easy road thinking “Well, the client obviously wants it written that way…” The client wants you to tell them what they’re doing wrong. That’s why they hired you. Right?
Bonus: brush up on the rules of capitalization here.