When one wants to emphasise stress on a particular part of a word by repeating letters, if one of those letters is a capital, should it remain capitalised?

For example, would someone calling out the name Allen be AAAAAlllllen or Aaaaalllllen?

Or another example: David Bowie's "Changes" - Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes or Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes?

Are there any style manuals that address this?

  • Have you looked up the lyrics to the song? Anyway, one style guide may differ from another. There's really no 'should' about it. May 11, 2016 at 2:29
  • 3
    @AlanCarmack Yes I did. AZLyrics had "Ch-ch", but at the same time it is not always an authoritative reference.
    – Dog Lover
    May 11, 2016 at 3:32
  • 1
    I agree that lyric pages are rarely authoritative or even reliable. What I'm saying is that the official, copyrighted lyrics of the song are authoritative as far as the recording company is concerned. As far as the world of English speakers, there is no exterior authority. I don't know,and can't ascertain, what style guides say on this matter. Style guides differ on many issues, but I currently don't have the ability to access even one. May 11, 2016 at 16:48
  • Not authoritative, but the multi-caps looks better, and retains the root capitalization after the hold or stutter goes away.
    – AmI
    May 11, 2016 at 17:24

1 Answer 1


Sorry if this is a bad answer since I'm new here, I personally think that it's how much emphasis you put onto it, if it's like shouting like in AAAAAAAAAAAlllen! it would be like that, but if it's something like Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch , it would have lowercase letters. I don't really have any references though, just my opinion.
Here's the difference between one capital and multiple capitals.
Doesn't it give a effect? Also, doesn't it seem like the one capital one seem like a person sighing because they understand something, and the multiple capital one sounds like someone screaming.

So, in my opinion, my answer is that it varies on what you want the reader to understand. I always thought that it was such a simple question. Maybe you think something else though, but however it is your choice on what YOU want the reader to believe. Just don't use all capital letters in a whole sentence, as it really gives a headache.

1. capital letters for emphasis, BtB
2.All caps hard for users to read *note: first paragraph


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