Is the movie entitled or titled – which is better?

When you are referring to the title of a book, what do you say: entitled or titled? Is it that the book is, for instance, entitled You Must Set forth at Dawn or the book is titled You Must Set forth at Dawn? Or is it a matter of preference, a way of saying both are correct? In most cases, I believe, the last consideration is the case – a lot of people believe the words mean the same thing.

 It is true that they are homonyms to a large extent as they are largely spelt and pronounced alike. At least, they perfectly rhyme. Both are also adjectives in the sense under consideration. But that is how far their similarities go. In terms of meaning, they convey clearly different senses. The implication, therefore, is that they cannot be interchangeably used, further suggesting that one of them cannot be used to refer to the title of a book.


 What does ‘entitled’ mean? Cambridge Dictionary defines it as ‘feeling that you have the right to do or have what you want without having to work for it or deserve it, just because of who you are.’ Here is the example it gives:

 These kids are spoiled, entitled, self-absorbed and apathetic.

 On the other hand, the dictionary defines ‘titled’ as ‘with the title of’:

     Reed wrote a novel about Sade titled When the Whip Comes Down.

Based on the definitions and examples, it is clear that the correct expression is ‘titled’:

    The movie is entitled, The Trial of Mr Magu. (Wrong)

    The movie is titledThe Trial of Mr Magu. (Correct)

    What is the title of the publication? It is entitled Endless Wait. (Wrong)

 What is the title of the publication? It is titled Endless Wait. (Correct)

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Forward, foreward, foreword

 The other time we discussed creative works (about three weeks ago), we focused on how to review them. Now, building on the issue of ‘entitled’ and ‘titled’, let us look at other terms in the register of publishing. One of such you need to be careful handling is ‘foreword’. It can easily be confused with ‘forward’, not just because the latter is a common expression, but because it also means being in the front and ‘foreword’ is always at the beginning of a book. The third element, ‘foreward’, is simply wrongly spelt. Writers, editors, critics and reviewers should particularly be careful with ‘foreword’ because there have been books published with ‘Forward’ conspicuously posing where ‘Foreword’ should be.

Foreword, preface and introduction

The three also often raise questions concerning what differentiate their meanings. As publishing or literary terms, they perform similar functions but they do not mean the same thing. First, ‘foreword’ refers to ‘a short piece of writing at the beginning of a book, sometimes a praise by a famous person or someone who is not a writer’. On the other hand, a ‘preface’ refers to an introduction at the beginning of a book explaining its purpose, thanking people who helped the author etc.. What this means is that a major difference between the ‘foreword’ and ‘preface’ is that the first is written by someone other than the author while he or she (author/writer) supplies the preface. The definitions are also from Cambridge Dictionary which defines ‘introduction’, in this context, as a short speech or piece of writing that comes before a longer speech or written text, usually giving basic information about what is to follow. Like ‘preface’, it is also written by the author.

I will be glad if Professor Pat Utomi can write the foreword to my new collection of poems.

The preface to the publication is too long; I wonder why the editors did not advise the author to shorten it.

    The author’s introduction whetted my appetite.

Reference: Akeem Lasisi

the movie entitled or titled

Is a film titled or entitled?

The short answer: use either one! Sticklers want entitle tobe used only in the sense of giving someone a right, not for giving something a name.

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