1

I've read a few question and answers on this topic but, to make assurance doubly sure (as it were), here goes.

Is the capitalisation correct in the following two instances?

  1. Chapter 7 examines the impact of intra-household inequalities in access to food and addresses questions such as: How do poor agricultural families cope with food insecurity during seasonal troughs in the agricultural production cycle? How do they cope with calamities such as drought and famine? Does the burden of coping fall equally on all family members?

  2. This is justified on the grounds that: ‘In the African way, we speak to the man who is the head of the house and assume he will pass on the information to other members’; and again, ‘Being men, it is of course easier for us to persuade men’ (Staudt 1975–76: 91).

In instance (1), had there been only one question, should I have lowercased the initial h?

Chapter 7 examines the impact of intra-household inequalities in access to food and addresses questions such as: how do poor agricultural families cope with food insecurity during seasonal troughs in the agricultural production cycle?

1
  • Your examples are inappropriate. Find suitable examples online where lowercase and uppercase initials follow the colon. Usage examples themselves can give you a preliminary idea.
    – Kris
    Nov 21 '13 at 8:31
3

This is a style matter.

Some styles do not capitalise the part after the colon (unless it would be capitalised anyway due to being a capitalised proper noun, etc.)

Some styles capitalise if it is followed by an independent clause (that could stand on its own as a full sentence), not otherwise.

Some styles capitalise if it is followed by two or more full sentences (which in itself some styles forbid unless those two or more sentences are quoted direct speech).

Some styles always capitalise.

The forms of always captialising are more often found in American English than British or Irish English, but all styles will be found throughout the English speaking world.

If you are writing to a style guide, then it may have rules on this, e.g. MLA insists on capitalising with an indpendent clause, but CMoS only captialises in the two-sentences-or-more case.

If you are not writing to a style guide, you may choose between them, but should be consistent (don't mix styles in the same piece of writing).

0

You should capitalize both of them.

From The Handbook of Good English, by Edward D. Johnson,

2-15

Do not capitalize a normally lowercase word after a colon unless what follows the colon is a grammatically complete sentence and the colon is being used primarily to introduce rather than to link.

Since instance (1) uses the colon to introduce complete sentences, you should capitalize the initial H's of those two questions. The same goes to when you have only one question.

2
  • 2
    Which would be a mistake if you were instructed to write according to the Chicago Manual of Style. This is a style rule, not an English grammar rule.
    – Jon Hanna
    Nov 21 '13 at 10:45
  • Yes... But why 'should' one use the recommendations of 'The Handbook of Good English' rather than say those of CMOS (did I really just ask that?)? Sep 7 '14 at 13:20

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