facebook & twitter or Facebook and Twitter???

A friend reviewing my forthcoming book kept marking the words “facebook” and “twitter” in my story claiming both should be capitalized. Before you assume I’ve written a novel full of social media cliché, it’s actually a chapter where a member of the media is advising a high school student about social media use. Anyway, I wrote both words in all lower case intentionally, because both brands utilize lower case in their branding.








See what I mean?

I figured the appropriate way to write it would be to honor their brand and use the lower case. I thought wrong. This is directly from the Facebook (see what I did there?) webpage titled “Brand Resource Center,”

5) When referenced in text, Facebook should be capitalized.

I couldn’t find a similar page for Twitter, but I did find this interesting note from Grammar Girl,

Verbs are capitalized when they are derived from proper nouns. Since Twitter is the name of the company, and therefore a proper noun, it makes sense that “Twitter” would be capitalized when it’s used as a verb, but I thought “tweet” should be lowercase because it’s not directly derived from the company name. It turns out I was right. Mark Allan, known as @editorMarkonline, alerted me that the AP had issued an update. The AP editors meant for “tweet” to be lowercase, and I’m not the only one who noticed the error.

I had no idea we were supposed to capitalize verbs when the derived from a proper noun!

But this got me thinking about all the “i” stuff out there. They have intentionally started their product names with a lower case letter as well. Here’s what I found,

Respect any words with inherent capitalisations [sic??]. Some nouns have odd capitalisations [sic??], most commonly brand names, websites, etc. For example, this includes Apple Inc. products, often titled things like iPad, iPod; software like MediaWiki and websites like deviantArt and even wikiHow! These words are always spelt thus regardless of other rules. wikiHow can go at the start of the sentence without capitalising [sic??] its first letter, because it is always spelt [isn’t that flour??] with a lower case w.

Where possible, do your best to avoid placing an unusually capitalised [sic??] noun at the beginning of the sentence, and that way you can avoid writing “IPod” or “WikiHow”.

For example, change “IPods are used by high school students for learning purposes” to “High school students use iPods for learning purposes”.

That was a pretty simple way to understand how to write iPad, etc. As far as how the wikiHow people chose to spell “capitalisations” and “spelt” it must have been a contributor from across the pond providing the knowledge. See the wikipedia page on American and British spelling differences.

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