Today’s Which Word quandary is a battle between titled and entitled, as in:
This blog is [titled / entitled] Filling My Patch of Sky.
Which word is correct? Or are they interchangeable? Let’s tease out this lexical mystery by checking the Oxford American Dictionary entries for titled and entitled:
Titled :: noun
the name of a book, composition, or other artistic work
Titled :: verb [ trans. ] (usu. be titled)
give a name to (a book, composition, or other work)
Entitled :: verb [ trans. ] (usu. be entitled)
1 give (someone) a legal right or a just claim to receive or do something
2 give (something, esp. a text or work of art) a particular title; give (someone) a specified title expressing their rank, office, or character
So titled can be either a noun or a verb, but entitled is always a verb.
The first clue to choosing the correct word in the sample sentence can be found by determining if we need a noun or verb in that slot. The sentence has a subject (This blog) and a verb (is)—so it is in need of a noun. Because only titled serves as noun, our dilemma is solved! Easy-peasy! The sentence should be: This blog is titled Filling My Patch of Sky.
Here are some hints and tips for using titled and entitled correctly:
Titled as a Noun: What’s the name?
This blog is titled (named) Filling My Patch of Sky.
Titled or Entitled as a Verb: Who gave the name?
I entitled/titled (gave) my blog the name Filling My Patch of Sky.
Entitled as a Verb: Who has the right?
I am entitled (allowed) to name my blog anything I wish, and I choose Filling My Patch of Sky.
My verdict in this WWW? Titled and entitled are only interchangeable as verbs when referring to someone giving or bestowing a name. Use titled when you need a noun to refer to the name of something.
What’s your verdict? Take the poll and share your thoughts in the comments. Go ahead: You’re entitled to your opinion.