0

Suppose I have a character who can’t pronounce the letter b, and I have him start a sentence with “bananas” in dialogue.

Is this correct, using a single quotation mark in front of a pointing away from a:

“’ananas! What will I do now?” Arun said.

Should I capitalize the a of “ananas”? It’s at the beginning of the sentence.

4
  • To avoid the cluster of quote ticks, I might use an em-dash without capitalizing the a. I think consistency throughout the narrative's dialog is important. You don't want the reader to start hesitating while they figure out what you're trying to express.
    – user150753
    Sep 2 '19 at 21:00
  • 1
    In a restaurant in France once, my father assumed that 'Ananas' on a menu was an error for 'bananas'. He didn't get bananas au kirsch, but something else. Sep 2 '19 at 21:36
  • 2
    Ananas are pineapples, not bananas.:)
    – tchrist
    Sep 2 '19 at 23:20
  • tchrist - yes, I know that. That was the whole point of my little story. Sep 8 '19 at 14:00
0

Yes, when you use an apostrophe to show missing letters that have been contracted out of the beginning of a word for whatever reason, you still use a capital first letter for the sentence, meaning you'd use a capital A. A common example we see is in answer to a question of why when someone answers with a form of because where they've omitted the be at the beginning.

Examples from published works:

'Cause I don't think he go to Placerville or Sacramento.

-Corbett Mack: The Life of a Northern Paiute by Michael Hittman, pg. 144

'Cause I don't wanna be involved in nothin' that goes on around there.

-Getting Played: African American Girls, Urban Inequality, and Gendered Violence by Jody Miller, pg. 62

'Cause I don't care.

-Misadventure: Monologues and Short Pieces by Donald Marguiles, pg. 76

0

Capitalization is a marker of the beginning of a sentence. I'd capitalize the A to avoid confusion. The apostrophe should be enough to let the reader know the B is missing.

2
  • "'Allo", said the Cockney. Sep 2 '19 at 21:37
  • We are to use "comments" in such cases. This doesn't qualify for an answer.
    – Kris
    Sep 3 '19 at 10:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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