Questions tagged [capitalization]

This tag is for questions about the use of capital letters in writing.

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229 votes
13 answers
493k views

Which words in a title should be capitalized?

Are there any concrete rules that say which words (parts of speech) in a title should start with a capital letter? What would be a correct capitalization for the title of this question?
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57 votes
6 answers
57k views

What were the rules for capitalising nouns in the 17th and 18th centuries?

It seems to have been common practice in the 17th and 18th centuries in English-language sources to capitalise the first letters of nouns, as in At which Time he prov'd himself the Noah's Dove, that ...
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129 votes
2 answers
74k views

Why should the first person pronoun 'I' always be capitalized?

Why should we capitalize the first person pronoun 'I' even when it does not appear at the beginning of a sentence? Why is it not the case for other pronouns?
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29 votes
5 answers
59k views

When should the word "God" be capitalized?

Aside from proper noun usage, like "We're on a mission from God", when should "God" be capitalized? A few examples: That's a god awful question. Oh my god! No god-damn way. He played the part of the ...
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41 votes
3 answers
22k views

How do you capitalize a proper noun such as "iPhone"?

I was always taught to capitalize the first letter of the first word in a sentence, and also the first letter of proper nouns. In the last few years it's been common for certain firms to name their ...
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42 votes
2 answers
225k views

Capitalize fields of study?

Do I say "I study computer science," or "I study Computer Science"? Similarly, "I really liked that computer science course," vs. "I really liked that Computer Science course."
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19 votes
4 answers
6k views

Should the first word after a colon be capitalized?

Should the first word after a colon be capitalized? Which of the following is correct? For example: This. For example: this.
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11 votes
5 answers
24k views

Understanding U.S. President capitalization

I was taught at an early age in the USA that when we write about our President, we are supposed to capitalize the title in order to signify that it's on the federal level. Is it correct to always do ...
  • 1,385
77 votes
1 answer
126k views

Do you capitalize both parts of a hyphenated word in a title?

Do you capitalize both parts of a hyphenated word in a title? "My Ex-Wife Hates Me" or "My Ex-wife Hates Me"
31 votes
2 answers
395k views

When should "Mom" and "Dad" be capitalized?

I am trying to understand capitalization rules with Mom and Dad. I believe I have it correct below, but please let me know if I do not. The one thing I learned from my dad was that it was good to ...
  • 1,385
9 votes
3 answers
103k views

Should "Project Manager" be capitalized?

I am pretty sure it shouldn't, but want to make sure that I am doing this correctly in a proposal that I am working on. Should job titles like "Project Manager" ever be capitalized, and if so when? ...
  • 7,244
2 votes
1 answer
1k views

Should "Applied Cryptography" be capitalized? Is it a proper noun?

I'm trying to write a cover letter for a fairly prestigious job, and I'm aiming for (arguably too much) perfection in my cover letter. I don't want to be turned away only because the hiring people ...
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1 vote
1 answer
7k views

Capitalization of names that begin lowercased, at the beginning of a sentence [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: How Should Trademarks be Written? How do you capitalize a proper noun such as “iPhone”? Many products these days have names that intentionally begin with ...
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24 votes
7 answers
5k views

Should initial e's after h-dropping be capitalized?

A new Victorian-set British novel begins sentences containing h-dropping with lower-case e's, as in " 'e took my money, 'e did." This seems incorrect but I'm at a loss to find the rule.
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4 votes
2 answers
7k views

When does a locational distinction change its suffix and capitialization in a proper name?

I am trying to capitalize Western Canada or western Canada properly and am wanting a definition for when the "ern" is added as a suffix to a locational distinction of a proper noun. I believe the ...
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21 votes
9 answers
23k views

When is it correct to capitalise 'earth'?

At the beginning of a sentence is obvious. I'm referring to the following examples: A handful of earth. The earth under this house. The earth beneath my feet. What on earth? The heavens ...
16 votes
2 answers
13k views

Capitalising the definite article in names

When I was a youngster some mumble-mumble-mumble decades ago, I was taught that, in the instances of names of persons, places, and things which carried the definite article the, the article wasn’t ...
18 votes
3 answers
11k views

Capitalization for a bullet list

The following is from some software documentation we are writing: NOTE: Refreshing a report may be necessary or helpful when: you believe the data in the report has changed since it was ...
12 votes
2 answers
32k views

Initial capitalization of foreign surnames when starting a sentence

In the book, "The Crystal Shard," by R.A. Salvatore, a character is surnamed "de Bernezan." Which of the following complete sentences uses the correct English-language capitalization: de Bernezan ...
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5 votes
5 answers
30k views

When should types of cheese be capitalized?

Does this recipe call for Cheddar cheese or cheddar cheese? Does pizza have mozzarella or Mozzarella on it? Heck, I'm not even sure if this sandwich contains Swiss cheese or swiss cheese. Is there a ...
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28 votes
2 answers
139k views

Use of capitals and full stops in bullet points [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Capitalization for a bullet list Let's say I have a bullet point list e.g: Point 1. Point 2. Point 3. Notice I have put a capital letter for the starting letter of every ...
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11 votes
3 answers
6k views

How Should Trademarks be Written?

I'm a moderator at another StackExchange site and a debate has come up about the usage of the trademarked name that site is about, i.e. WordPress. Note as a trademark it is spelled in CamelCase and ...
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22 votes
5 answers
132k views

Does the word after a question mark start with a capital letter? [duplicate]

Should I write it like this? Or perhaps like this? Should I write it like this? or perhaps like this? What about after an exclamation mark or semicolon?
17 votes
3 answers
7k views

Should capitals be used when verbing trademarks?

When using a trademark as a verb ("hoovering", "xeroxing", "photoshopping" and "googling"), should it be capitalized or uncapitalized? Strictly speaking, Google and Adobe are opposed to their ...
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8 votes
3 answers
966 views

Should I change the structure of a sentence/add filler words to make sure that the sentence always starts with a capital letter?

Here is a quote from a book on C++ ("for", "while" and "do" are keywords in many languages, and in most languages they have to be in lower case. The C++ language is one of those.): Simply put, ...
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40 votes
4 answers
186k views

"you" versus "You" as polite form of writing

Is it correct to write "You" with a capital Y as a form of politeness? If yes, should I use that form throughout the entire letter/document, or only at specific places?
  • 409
10 votes
4 answers
11k views

Should proper nouns used as verbs be capitalized? [duplicate]

When a proper noun like "Skype" is used as a verb ("Skyping"), should it be capitalized? My thinking is that it should be capitalized because the root is a proper noun. Does anyone know of a rule ...
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3 votes
2 answers
4k views

Capitalization of job title

Would you capitalize the job title in the following sentence? I am writing this letter in regard to Joe Brown who is applying for the director of teaching and learning position in the XYZ School ...
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47 votes
8 answers
61k views

Is there an antonym for “capitalize” (as in letter-case)?

A word that starts with a lower-case (lowercase?) letter can be capitalized, but what is the converse action? Google has only one page in the top results that addresses this and the closest thing to ...
  • 2,237
17 votes
4 answers
75k views

Are "white" and "black" ever capitalized when referring to people?

What is the accepted custom regarding capitalization when it comes to "White" and "Black" when referring to race, whether they are being used as nouns or adjectives?
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5 votes
2 answers
4k views

Capitalising a sentence whose first word is explicitly lowercase [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Capitalization of names that begin lowercased, at the beginning of a sentence Let's say that you have a word that should be typed with leading lowercase letter. Perhaps it's a ...
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21 votes
2 answers
35k views

Capitalization of explanation of abbreviations

I'm writing a rather tehnical report with a lot of abbreviations such as QoS (quality of service), AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) and HMAC (Hash-based Message Authentication Code). When should ...
  • 311
15 votes
3 answers
302k views

"Thanks and Regards" vs. "Thanks and regards"

I am almost certain that the R in regards must be in lower case because it follows a conjunction and is therefore a part of the same phrase/sentence. But I've been seeing a lot of emails of late that ...
  • 299
14 votes
4 answers
4k views

Capitalization of the word universe

Playing around with Google's Ngram viewer, where you can see how many times a word is used in books, I stumbled on this: It shows how often universe and Universe have been used in books. I think it'...
47 votes
9 answers
19k views

Should the word Boolean be capitalized?

I keep second guessing myself on this one. On one hand it seems like it should because the word Boolean is derived from the name of George Boole, the inventor of Boolean logic. However, the term as ...
  • 7,244
8 votes
3 answers
35k views

How should "Northern Europe" be capitalized?

Europe should obviously be capitalized, since it is a proper noun. Should the northern part of the example sentence "I was traveling through northern Europe." be capitalized? In country names such as ...
  • 3,550
16 votes
4 answers
16k views

Proper capitalization of commonly used acronyms and initialisms

I was always under impression, that acronyms ought to be written all caps. However reading BBC News site very often I see some of the common acronyms written as proper names (first cap). For example "...
  • 1,026
12 votes
4 answers
19k views

When should titles like "captain" or "admiral" be capitalized?

Please excuse the contrived example below, but I am wondering if this example is properly capitalised? I'm assuming that capitals are used when addressing someone directly, but lower case is used ...
  • 123
5 votes
3 answers
15k views

What is the correct capitalization of the words earth and moon?

I believe that Earth means planet and earth means soil. But I've seen earth used in published works to mean the planet earth. But no one writes jupiter. Similarly, Moon should mean the name of Earth'...
7 votes
2 answers
18k views

When using complete sentences in parenthetical e.g. or i.e. situations, should the first word be capitalized?

In a bulleted list of very technical sentences, where each bulleted item has one or two parenthetical examples or restatements which are complete sentences, should the first letter of each e.g. or i.e....
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39 votes
5 answers
148k views

Should I capitalize the starting sentence after a greeting that ends in a comma (e.g. "Hello,")?

Should I open the starting sentence after comma in adressing "Hi," ("Hello,") with capital letter? Hi, Xxxl, Dear Xxx L, let me ... vs. Dear Xxx L, Let me ... In Russian it is ...
29 votes
11 answers
117k views

How do you spell wifi / Wi-Fi / WiFi?

This is probably related to whether one should capitalize Internet or not. I am looking for the correct spelling of wifi when referring to a wireless connection to the Internet. I want to tell the ...
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9 votes
3 answers
60k views

Correct form of a chapter reference [closed]

If I have the following sentences, which version is correct: This chapter provides.... or This Chapter provides.... Note the capitalisation of 'c'. Chapter 1 provides.... Chapter One provides... ...
28 votes
7 answers
38k views

Should the words "internet" and "web" be capitalized?

There seems to be some inconsistency on whether people capitalize the words internet and web (as in World Wide Web) as proper nouns. What is the official ruling on when or if these words should be ...
  • 7,244
15 votes
1 answer
28k views

Should north, south, east and west be capitalised?

Should cardinal points be capitalised? Please give a reason why they should or should not.
  • 1,894
10 votes
2 answers
5k views

Capital letters in "Theorem", "Conjecture" etc [duplicate]

This is my first post and as you can probably guess I am a mathematician so I have no clue about grammar. I am writing a mathematical document at the moment and I would appreciate some advice on my ...
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30 votes
3 answers
43k views

Should “Hell” be capitalized?

I am of the belief that Hell should be capitalized because real or not, it is the name of a place, and thus a proper noun. It should be capitalized correct? I have seen it written without ...
  • 2,237
12 votes
3 answers
70k views

Should Units of Measure be capitalized? [closed]

I just created an inch to mm conversion calculator and I am writing a blog post announcing its launch. When should I capitalize the terms inch and millimeter? Does it matter if I'm spelling it out? ...
6 votes
3 answers
1k views

Capitalization of "Theorem 1" in mathematics papers

In many mathematics papers, I read sentences like: With an appeal to Theorem 4.5 we get … Is the capitalization of theorem in this case correct? If it is correct why do we capitalize the word?
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5 votes
3 answers
88k views

In what contexts would I capitalize "city" and "county"?

In the following context, it is obvious that County is a proper noun and deserves capitalization. Currently, Albemarle County has four main reservoirs. However, in these other contexts below, I am ...
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