Is there a definitive answer to this capitalization conundrum?

When a brand’s name begins with a lowercase letter, it can be the cause of some serious confusion.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

eBay has a fabulous collection of vintage tube tops. iTunes must now compete with Amazon’s Prime Music.

The Chicago Manual of Style has this to say: “Brand names or names of companies that are spelled with a lowercase initial letter followed by a capital letter (eBay, iPod, iPhone, etc.) need not be capitalized at the beginning of a sentence or heading, though some editors may prefer to reword.” That wasn’t always its rule, though:

This departure from Chicago’s former usage recognizes not only the preferred usage of the owners of most such names but also the fact that such spellings are already capitalized (if only on the second letter). Company or product names with additional, internal capitals (sometimes called “midcaps”) should likewise be left unchanged (GlaxoSmithKline, HarperCollins, LexisNexis).

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.