It is not often that I feel the need to write a screed. Indeed, since the famous “On Objectivity” I have been remarkably quiet. Only Steel Druhm has weighed in with his angry opinion on a few things. But something has been growing in me. A seething blackness, a deep, dark, hatred of something that I simply cannot hold my tongue about any longer. Sure, this isn’t as high brow. On the other hand, the thing pisses me right the fuck off and I need to sound off a bit.
This pest of which I speak is: capitalization and its misuses in the heavy metal music industry. First, let me say, there are a number of different ways to do capitalization. It’s true that there are different rules and that we can use them differently. For example, in Sweden and Finland, it is expected that only the first letter of a title is capitalized. For example, one doesn’t write Till Fjälls, one writes Till fjälls. In Swedish (Norwegian, Finnish, etc.) this is acceptable and fine. In American English — the lingua franca of Angry Metal Guy (as it were) — this is not the case. Nay, indeed, when we capitalize here we capitalize every word in the title that is not a preposition or article (if said preposition or article is not the first letter in the sentence). For example: “The Bloody Fields of Flying Unholy Death that Broken upon the Fields of Demons, Who Enraged by Battle Let a Mighty Scream.” Boom.
That means that we do not write titles like this: “The Epic Thing Of Epicness That Is Epic And Mightily Over Capitalized.” Nor do we write things like this “I forgot how to do proper capitalization in american english.” Neither of these are correct. The problem is that while the latter might work in other variations of the English language, the former — that is capitalizing everything in the name — is always incorrect. ALWAYS.
Here’s another thing I hate: excessive capitalization of band names. Sure, we bold the band names on this website mostly out of tradition from when I worked at Unchain the Underground. But I gotta be honest with you: the excessive capitalization irritates me. I’m not sure why I need to write IRON MAIDEN when Iron Maiden will suffice and everyone will know that it’s a band name because (wait for it) IT’S CAPITALIZED. When I write in all caps I’M SCREAMING OUT OF FRUSTRATION not trying to enunciate that there is a band name in the title.
Normally, however, I just ignore these problems. But lately I’ve been getting a ton of mp3s with the meta information already embedded and some DOUCHEBAG PROMO GUY decided that he needed to CAPITALIZE THE BAND NAME and iTunes grabs the meta information. Then I get stuck fucking around with some DOUCHEBAG PROMO GUY’S unnecessary capitalization. I spend hours and hours of my life de-capitalizing band names and correctly editing the titles of songs to the proper format (Songs to the Proper Format). It drives me totally crazy.
So listen up promo persons who most likely don’t have English as a first language: there is actually a capitalization standard. LEARN THEM OR FACE MY WRATH!