With the release of Star Trek Into Darkness only a few months away, there have been numerous mysteries regarding the film’s plot and villain. It’s all part of J.J. Abrams’ design, and his penchant giving audiences variations on the “mystery box.” And while fans have been arguing about who Benedict Cumberbatch is playing, whether J.J. Abrams is Trek‘s savior or the devil, and so on, but there’s one online squabble we didn’t see coming. It’s not a war between Star Trek and Star Wars fans, or even the Original Series versus the Next Generation division. It’s a war between Trekkies and Wikipedia Editors. Yes, it’s a grammar war!
According to Blastr.com, The argument is over how to properly capitalize the title of the film Star Trek Into Darkness. Star Trek fans would contend the proper way to spell the name of the film is with a capitalized “I” at the beginning of “into,” while Wikipedia believes the proper way is with a lowercase “I,” thus reading “Star Trek into Darkness.”
Why the lowercase “I?” Well, there are firm rules in Wikipedia’s official guidelines that suggest that since the word “into” is a preposition with four letters or fewer, it should be lowercased. The biggest point of contention is whether the “Into Darkness” part is a subtitle, or if the entire title is meant to be read as a sentence. Since there is no colon in the film’s title, many interpret the “Into Darkness” as being part of the title itself. According to Wikipedia user Frungi:
Arguments for the lowercase I
- “Into Darkness” may not be a subtitle, and “Star Trek into Darkness” may have been intended to be read as a sentence.
- Assuming it’s not a subtitle, the [manual of style] dictates a lowercase preposition.
- Treating “into Darkness” as a subtitle without punctuation would be original research.
- Allowing it to be interpreted as a subtitle would play into the studio’s marketing.
- The creator said that the title would not have a subtitle with a colon
Arguments for the uppercase I
- “Into Darkness” may be a subtitle, in line with the precedence of every Star Trek movie title longer than two words.
- Assuming it is a subtitle, the [manual of style] dictates the first word be capitalized.
- Treating “Into Darkness” as part of a sentence would be original research.
- Capitalizing the possible subtitle would allow it to be interpreted either way.
- Every official, and the vast majority of secondary, sources capitalize it, and Wikipedia should follow this real-world use.
- The sentence “Star trek into darkness” makes no grammatical sense.
- The creator said that the title would have a subtitle rather than a number, and that the subtitle would not have a colon.
Does it sound confusing? There are arguments for and against the usage of the uppercase versus the lowercase use, but ultimately it should be left to the people making the movie. Considering it is a title of a movie, then all the words should be capitalized, regardless of differing style guides, so it’s grammatically irrelevant.
Whether it’s grammatically incorrect, we will continue to spell Star Trek Into Darkness with the uppercase “I” at the beginning of “into” because, at the very least, that’s how it’s spelled on Paramount’s official site and how J.J. Abrams refers to it.