Should the first word after a colon be capitalized? Which of the following is correct?
For example: This.
For example: this.
This can go either way. If you are starting a complete sentence that represents a summation of what came before, you are certainly entitled to capitalize the sentence.
Here's an example of such a sentence: There is a sentence after the preceding colon.
But if you are using the colon to offset a list or other material that does not form a complete sentence, it makes no sense to capitalize what follows:
Here are some examples of breakfast foods: eggs, bacon, toast, hash browns, orange juice, coffee.
The answer is culturally dependent. In English, we would not capitalise after a colon (unless the next word was a proper noun). However, it appears that in American English the rules are different... and different depending on whose style rules you are following.
For example, you may follow a colon with a capital if it follows with:
Style guides and dialectical conventions aside (and giving due recognition and exception to an old device whereby the colon served the function of inverted commas to introduce a directly spoken sentence, as in Father said: You cannot do that) the whole question of capitalisation hinges on the fact that A COLON DOES NOT END A SENTENCE THE WAY A FULL STOP DOES. There may indeed be a sentence after the colon, but the original sentence has not ended yet!
With the exception of proper nouns, it is amazing to see capitals in the middle of a sentence, and very unusual (to be polite) -- in fact, highly irregular -- to see experts accepting it, even if apparently sanctioned by certain style guides and conventions!
I mean no disrespect, and do acknowledge the legitimacy of said usage because of the Wikipedia article, but I consider it yet another liberty taken with the fundamentals of the language (which, of course, English cheerfully allows!)
However, I have never come across it in a proper book, whether British, American or Indian, in my 33 years of reading (I am nearly 38 and have been reading since the age of five) so it seems to be very much a 'technically barely correct' niche usage.