Professional Style

Entitled vs. Titled

August 2009
Spot the Error

The Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by John Steinbeck, entitled Grapes of Wrath, depicts the hardships faced by the Joad family as they struggle to survive during the Great Depression.

Entitled means to furnish with a right or claim to something, as in:

The grand prize entitles the winner to a lifetime subscription to What’s that Smell: a Connoisseur’s Guide to Cooking with Fish.

It is incorrect to use entitled when referring to the name of a book, poem, song, and so forth (as was done in the “Steinbeck” sentence above). In those situations, the correct word is titled.

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