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I have come across a situation which drives me mad, and I cannot find any satisfying answer in the Oxford Guide to Style, which I tend to follow. The problem concerns the phrase "Start Your Own Business", and when it is used as the name of a project. I'm really confused about two things: capitalization and hyphenation. I've written it in capitals and without hyphens here, but that doesn't mean I prefer it that way. I think I would prefer it like this: the Start-Your-Own-Business project. Any ideas what is recommended here?

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  • If SYOB Project is somebody else's invention, then use what they use. If it's your invention, then use whatever capitals and hyphens you like.
    – dmm
    Apr 16 '14 at 15:56
  • Surely, I cannot use capitals and hyphens in any way I like? For instance, "the start your own business project" is ambiguous, and can refer to starting your own "business project" or a project about starting your own business.
    – calvin
    Apr 17 '14 at 8:04
  • The project is originally in a foreign language, but I think not simply a matter of copying the style, because different languages can have different styles.
    – calvin
    Apr 17 '14 at 8:06
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Hyphens indicate a compound adjective: a do-it-yourself project. The hyphens are to let the reader know that all the hyphenated words belong to one thought.

If you're using capitals to denote a proper name, the hyphens are unnecessary. The caps make it a unit.

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  • Yes it's a name of a project (unlike your example "a do-it-yourself project" which isn't a name). So I will use capitals without hyphens.
    – calvin
    Apr 17 '14 at 8:14

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