Grammar Giggle – Title Wave

A reader sent this to me from her research on the United States Patent and Trademark Office website.


According to Merriam-Webster online dictionary, a “tidal wave” is:

  • : a very high, large wave in the ocean that is often caused by strong winds or an earthquake

  • : a very large amount of something

while “title” is:

  • : the name given to something (such as a book, song, or movie) to identify or describe it

  • : a published book

  • : a word or name that describes a person’s job in a company or organization

so “title wave,” unless it is the name of a book, song, or movie (in which case it should be capitalized), is incorrect. The proper term in this case should be “tidal wave.”

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