Commonly Confused Words
To entitle means to give someone a rank or right, like if your perfect attendance entitles you to free ice cream at lunch. A title is the name of something, like the title of a song you wrote about ice cream.
What about that song — is it entitled or titled "Free Ice Cream at Lunch"? There's the rub. The short answer: use either one!
Entitle's main job is to give you a right, like when you're entitled to free snacks because you've done something to deserve it. If you seem to have to right to everything, you're just entitled. It also means to give something a title: Your song is entitled "Free Ice Cream at Lunch." Check it out:
As all art collectors may, Mr. Lauder is entitled to deduct the full market value of artworks donated to museums. (New York Times)
Marjorie Ingall is worried about raising "entitled, bratty, ungrateful little weasels." (New York Times)
A title is a noun — it's the name of a book, a movie, or your new hit single about frozen treats. To name such a thing, is to title it, so yes it can also be a verb (hence the confusion). Here are some:
Their report was titled: "Euro zone: Thinking the unthinkable?" (Business Week)
The distributor gave him idiot-proof instructions, such as making sure pages had numbers and the title was on the spine. (Washington Post)
Sticklers want entitle tobe used only in the sense of giving someone a right, not for giving something a name. Bah! As for your song, if you jazz up the title, it might be entitled "Punk Rock Pickle Pink Ice Cream." Or not. You can get rid of the entitled/titled problem by dropping both and letting the title speak for itself.
Use the verb entitle to mean "give a right to." At some schools, being a senior might entitle students to go out for lunch on Fridays. Continue reading...
A title is typically the official part of your name, placed at the beginning to signify a certain status or function. So, do you prefer "Mr.," "Mrs.," "Dr." or "Ms"? Or perhaps you just go by "Grand Pooh-bah"? Continue reading...