Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Oftentimes when my last name is used in all caps on official documents, one of the letters is lowercased to denote that the following letter is capitalized. For example:

DeVos = DeVOS

What is the term for this? I've reviewed other questions regarding camel case and Pascal case, but I haven't been able to find an answer. Thank you very much for your help.

share|improve this question
    
I think your assumption about the capitalisation is incorrect; the French form of the name would have been de Vos where only the V of Vos was capitalised, since that is the proper noun. Officials and computers find such things hard to deal with, so they capitalise the D as well, reasoning that that must be the first letter of the name. But your question remains a good one: MacDuff has always been one word, and some branches use a capital D though some a small one. –  TimLymington Dec 13 '12 at 19:42
1  
Thanks for your comment. My last name exists with two capital letters. Granted, when my ancestors came to North America, their proper last name was preceded by "de", but they chose to alter the name to differentiate themselves. –  TravelingQuill Dec 13 '12 at 21:09
1  
So what is the question here? The one in the title is completely different from the one in the body. –  RegDwigнt Dec 13 '12 at 21:25
3  
Several names in that format morph in that way. We can find the permutations du Bois/Du Bois/DuBois/Dubois on the Wikipedia disambiguation page, much like with de Vos/De Vos/DeVos. I've always thought the second-letter-in-lower-case-in-an-otherwise ALL CAPS format was meant to indicate the third letter goes in upper case in the "normal" format, so (DeVOS ⇒ DeVos) but (DEVOS ⇒ Devos). Moreover, (DelGRECO ⇒ Del Greco) and (DELGRECO ⇒ Delgreco), but I'm no expert in the matter, and I couldn't find much guidance on that convention, much less a name for it. –  J.R. Dec 13 '12 at 21:46
1  
Since we are on this subject, it may help to know that the prepositions inserted between first and last name are called tussenvoegsels in Dutch. I don't know if similar words exist in any other languages. –  Sean Cline Dec 16 '12 at 23:13
show 2 more comments

1 Answer

"Mixed case" might be precise enough.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.