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Is 'Cajun' when used as a premodifier for 'cooking' always capitalized? Why or why not?

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    Your title and question body don't seem to match. Sep 2 '15 at 15:57
  • Closely related: When should types of cheese be capitalized? (see EA's answer). Sep 2 '15 at 16:18
  • Though genericisation and/or the/an associated loss of capitalisation (eg Hoover ---> hoover; french fries; frankfurter; sandwich; shrapnel ...) is far from uncommon, from the examples I've found on the internet, it seems to be happening here extremely slowly, if at all. Sep 2 '15 at 16:45
  • I generally see it capitalized. And Ngram can hardly find any instanced that aren't capitalized: books.google.com/ngrams/…
    – Hot Licks
    Sep 2 '15 at 16:49
  • @James Webster Unless you can find something far more authoritative than "I can't find many/any valid occurrences of cajun rather than Cajun", I wouldn't bother answering. The general question of proper nouns/adjectives dropping capitals was addressed at the 'When should types of cheese be capitalized?' thread; the behaviour of individual examples seems illogical and unpredictable. Sep 2 '15 at 16:57
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I just consulted five dictionaries. They all think "Cajun" should be capitalized, even when it refers to cooking, culture, etc. That should do it!

I'd say it's capitalized because it's still a proper name -- though as Ashworth points out above, associations of words drift. The only way to be sure is to consult the dictionary.

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    The only way to be sure is to consult current usage.
    – Hot Licks
    Sep 2 '15 at 20:25
  • Yes, that is what reference works on current usage of words are called.
    – Maverick
    Sep 2 '15 at 20:46
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    But a (real) dictionary isn't "current".
    – Hot Licks
    Sep 2 '15 at 23:27
  • Try Merriam-Webster. Or if you have a better way to definitively answer OP's question -- post your answer! I am sure he will be delighted to see it.
    – Maverick
    Sep 4 '15 at 17:40
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    Dictionaries are never going to be as current as current usage. Dictionaries don't drive language. They document it.
    – DA.
    Dec 2 '15 at 4:58

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