A user has been editing questions, which is generally a good thing and they are a good contributor, but they often edit the question title to title case. This has approximately doubled the number of title case questions on Stack Exchange Signal Processing: In a random sample of 20 title case questions (with a score ≥ 1), 10 were due to an edit by that user.
- An example sentence case question title
- An Example Title Case Question Title
I think such edits should be discouraged, because even though there is no official policy, the preferred case for question titles on Stack Exchange is sentence case. I can give this evidence for that:
- The main meta question Title capitalization has a strong concensus for sentence case and gives also the reasons:
- Sentence case is more readable, especially when one is looking through a long list of questions.
- Questions may appear in other contexts—such as a newsletter or search results—where title case looks awkward, or worse, gives the wrong impression of what content is being linked to.
- Using sentence case encourages one to remember to write a complete, grammatically correct sentence.
- In English Language & Usage Meta question How Should Titles Be Capitalized? all answers support using sentence case and the highest-voted and accepted answer notes that the question title "is more of a question summary than a title."
- Physics Stack Exchange meta question How do we write good question titles? has an accepted and a highly upvoted community wiki answer which instructs: "Capitalize only the first word and proper nouns in the title. Do not capitalize other words."
- All examples of good question titles in the accepted and most upvoted answer to this English Language Learners Stack Exchange question are in sentence case.
- The Stack Overflow Meta question Title Case Title Edit Suggestions asks almost the same question as I do here, and the accepted and by far the most upvoted answer states: "Converting a clearly written title into title case is unnecessary, and may in fact make the question harder to read. Question titles don't need to be title case, and usually aren't on Stack Exchange sites."
- The DSP Stack Exchange page Ask a public question has the good question title examples in sentence case, and for the corresponding Stack Overflow page there is a question placeholder "e.g. Is there an R function for finding the index of an element in a vector?" in sentence case.
Some perspective from outside Stack Exchange:
- While in scientific journals title case is still perhaps more common, and its use is supported by multiple style guides, it is not strange to use and the trend is towards using sentence case in scientific and news article titles and headlines, see for example articles in scientific journals of AIP Publishing and the newspapers The Times and Washington Post since 2009. Google Scholar converts article titles to sentence case for listing.
- Titles or names of self-standing works such as books are normally in title case. But even the English language Wikipedia pages are titled with sentence case by a generally accepted standard, even though they are closer to works than Stack Exchange questions are.
- The Wikipedia article Letter case states: "In English-language publications, various conventions are used for the capitalisation of words in publication titles and headlines, including chapter and section headings. The rules differ substantially between individual house styles."
That question titles are being systematically converted to title case is bugging me, because it is against a justified norm that I support. In response, my reverts are often rolled back by the editor. We should not edit war. How can this be resolved?