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In the following sentence, should Americana be capitalized?

Here's a list of great Americana books.

It looks so weird when written lowercase.

  • Should not it be American? – kiamlaluno Feb 3 '11 at 19:12
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    @kiamlaluno: it could be, but Americana has a distinct meaning. Americana: All things peculiar to the United States' culture and people, anything that is a symbol of American life. – Peter Mortensen Feb 3 '11 at 23:09
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Adjectives that derive from a proper noun are written in capital case; it is also true for nouns, even if in some cases nouns that derive from proper nouns are not written in capital case.

  • American, from the noun America
  • Americana, from the noun America
  • Italian, from the noun Italy
  • Martian, from the noun Mars
  • Parmesan, from the noun Parma, the name of a city in Italy
  • Venusian, from the noun Venus

To notice that the adjectives I reported in the list are also used as nouns.

  • Well, Americana is not an adjective, but a plural noun :) – F'x Feb 3 '11 at 19:27
  • So is American. :-) – kiamlaluno Feb 3 '11 at 19:44
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    We capitalize all words derived from nationalities and many names, but it is not true that this is done for all nouns/adjectives from proper nouns (e.g. narcissist, sodomy, atlas, echo, siren, bandaid, kleenex, aspirin, thermos, zipper, quixotic, and so on). – Kosmonaut Feb 4 '11 at 3:19
  • @kiamlaluno, American is both an adjective and a noun, but Americana is only an noun. – F'x Feb 4 '11 at 9:07
  • @FX_: I didn't say that American is not a noun. – kiamlaluno Feb 4 '11 at 9:11
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Yes, similar to national adjectives, Americana should be capitalized. Here's a reference

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