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In mathematical and scientific research, people like to take and give credit for discoveries by turning names into adjectives. This leads to sentences like

"Suppose the extension is Galois with Abelian Galois group."

To my eye, this looks strange, and I don't want my readers to do a double-take. When I have found myself writing such things, I always reword it to avoid piling up the capitalized adjectives. This invariably makes the sentence clunkier, e.g.,

"Suppose the extension is Galois and that its Galois group is Abelian."

My question is, would most people do a double-take at the pileup of capitalized adjectives in the first version? (Presumably, German readers would not...) Is it worthwhile to trade away smoothness and brevity to avoid the pileup?

To make this question answerable, I would specifically like to know if style guides or noted authors or grammarians have had anything to say about this. I couldn't find anything about it through a Google search.

(Interesting note: mathematicians have conventions to remove capitalization from some of these adjectives. For instance, abelian is lower-case, while Galois is capitalized. Many mathematicians, but not all, follow these conventions. I could simply remove the problem above by making "Abelian" lower case, but I don't want to because I am against those conventions.)

  • It appears this question is dealing with conventions in a particular field (verging on jargon) and might be better answered by those who have to deal with those conventions daily. It's possible Mathematics or MathOverflow or even Mathematics Educators could be better. But there may be mathematicians here too. – Andrew Leach Sep 24 '17 at 9:21
  • You can have French Canadian singer-impersonators, so Abelian Galois group sounds ok even if you insist on the uppercase 'A'. – Lawrence Sep 24 '17 at 9:29
  • @AndrewLeach I took the question as one about a generic "pileup of capitalized adjectives", with the given example provided only for illustration. – Lawrence Sep 24 '17 at 9:34

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