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Something I have noticed recently, in many international forums (i.e. English-speaking with many non-native speakers, including SE), is the use of a capital "Y" in "You", especially in "Thank You": I would tend to believe this comes as an analogy with "I", or as a way of showing respect, but of course it might be completely random.

Is it something that has been "imported" by non-native speakers, or is it a trend in the English language which might eventually become a valid form?

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  • Where "Thank You" are the only words on the line, the capitalisation is aesthetic - compare with "Thank you".
    – Lawrence
    Feb 26, 2016 at 11:01
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    There may be an uptick in the form, but if so it's probably because more non-native speakers are online. It's not a "trend" that one might expect to "catch on", especially since it takes effort to shift to upper case, and a lot of people don't make the effort for "I".
    – Hot Licks
    Feb 26, 2016 at 13:28
  • The Polish people tend to capitalize "You" (Ty, Wy, Twój, Wasz, Ciebie, itp.) and "Your" (Twój, Twoja, Twojego, Waszych, Waszego, itp.) to display their affability and dignity. This little quirk is "correct" only in informal writing, though. Dunno about other nationalities.
    – Fae
    Feb 26, 2016 at 14:41

3 Answers 3

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According to Ngram, it is a relatively new trend. If you look at the chart except for a bump in the 40's (probably has to do with the war and all the posters where capitalizing was used for emphasis) it seems to have started in the 70's.

Still, Thank You seems to represent around 5% of the usage of Thank you, in written form only, obviously.

Also related, see the answers in this :“you” versus “You” as polite form of writing

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Nope. It's just people reinventing the wheel, capitalization-wise.

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There seems to be a difference of opinion concerning the capitalization of the word " You " or "Your". I learned proper English from a very upright English teacher from the UK for all of primary school. All the students of Mrs. Bryce were taught that, out of respect and dignity, the word "You " and derivatives were to be capitalized. This was in the early sixties so believe me this is nothing new. it is old school " proper " English. Absolutely. I had an English professor recently compliment me on this forgotten propriety. She assured me that it was very correct and was ,in fact being phased out due to " cut corner's" mentality associated with new and lax forms of communication such as e-mail and texting. If You want to do it right... capitalize " Y " in "You" " and its derivatives. if You wish to delegate Yourselves into the " right to be wrong" mentality... please feel free.

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    I too was taught by a very upright teacher, an exponent of "proper" English, a Mrs Brooks. She would have marked a capitalised you wrong in all cases where there was not an override (such as the first letter of a sentence or part of a title). She also taught us to capitalise it or almost any other word starting a sentence, and would have probably docked three marks for '..." cut corner's" mentality'. Jul 10, 2017 at 21:50

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