In my book, a character is falling asleep while trying to speak, so is having trouble getting her words across.

She says "Aley and Om" (Ashley and Tom).

Should "Aley" and "Om" be capitalized?

  • 1
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it constitutes a request for writing advice. You should probably ask it on Writers.SE.
    – Robusto
    Commented Aug 24, 2019 at 22:00
  • At first I was going to. But as this is a question about rules of the English language, and not so much how to make my writing better, I thought it more appropriate here. Commented Aug 25, 2019 at 1:08
  • if you're talking about writing fiction it's not a "rule of the English language," exactly. It's more a stylistic convention.
    – Robusto
    Commented Aug 25, 2019 at 2:30

2 Answers 2


In your case, yes, they should still be capitalized. They are still being used as names, proper nouns. Even if the pronunciation or way it is said is incorrect, it is still functioning as a proper noun and should be capitalized. It would be strange to see aley and om when being meant for names.


Names, no matter if they’re missing their first letter or are mispronounced, are capitalized. See for example this example from Harry Potter from someone with a French accent:

You remember my seester, Gabrielle? She never stops talking about ’Arry Potter

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.