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In a world of programming, there are number of tools which have purposefully lowercase names: like tmux or sed. When talking about this tools, how does capitalization work?

Do I never capitalize these, even when a sentence starts with these? Do branding rules apply here (like iPhone or eBay)?

marked as duplicate by tchrist Aug 18 '18 at 22:46

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    I always capitalise sed, bash, awk, etc at the start of a sentence. Or take the cowardly way out and rearrange the sentence. You see a lot of that. – Michael Harvey Aug 18 '18 at 20:20
  • I would not capitalise at the start of a sentence but would do the pragmatic thing and avoid using them in that way! – user184130 Aug 18 '18 at 22:10
  • Awk is really good at handling text that has been broken into multiple logical fields, and allows you to effortlessly reference each individual field from inside your awk script. (ibm.com developerWorks) – Michael Harvey Aug 19 '18 at 20:16
  • The actual awk man page starts: Awk scans each input file for lines that match any of a set of patterns... – Michael Harvey Aug 19 '18 at 20:18
  • But then you have pages like this -- en.wikipedia.org/wiki/tmux. But for example GNU Screen, capitalize Screen regardless of where it is in the sentence (even though screen binary is in lowercase). It looks like branding rules (iPhone/eBay/Screen/tmux - however author refers to the thing) would apply here. – Ruslan Osipov Aug 19 '18 at 21:30
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This is a question of style combined with a practical question about how best to help readers. In my view readers' needs trump style guides every time.

Since many words in programming are case-sensitive, it is unhelpful to readers to capitalise letters solely to comply with some style guide. If it is possible to render such words in a different typeface, as your question has done, then that would signal that the words are being used in a technical programming sense and might reduce the risk of pedantic objections to starting a sentence with a lower case letter.

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