Questions tagged [capitalization]

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

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13
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4answers
4k views

Capitalizing quotations with initial omission?

Let's say we wanted to omit the first four words of the following quotation. "I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then live with that decision." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt Generally ...
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4answers
12k views

Capitalizing a Figure

In a report I'm working on, I have lots of drawings. In the caption of each drawing I write "Figure 1." (or whatever the number may be). It appears that it is indeed correct to capitalize it in the ...
13
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4answers
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Proper capitalization of commonly used acronyms

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 "...
13
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2answers
11k 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 ...
13
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2answers
784 views

Appropriate title case: 'em or 'Em or 'EM

It's a common practice to capitalize headings/titles of articles. But is there a correct or conventional way to capitalize words in titles that are apocopated apheresed at the beginning? E.g. ...
13
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4answers
3k 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'...
12
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7answers
2k views

My English translator capitalizes every noun. Is it correct? [closed]

I'm developing an Android/iPhone application. My translator for English localization uses a lot of capitalization. For example, in the app menu, it suggests: |Export Data to Folder| |Prevent Screen ...
12
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2answers
21k 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 ...
12
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4answers
8k 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 ...
12
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10answers
10k views

Should the word “Gentile” be capitalized?

I've read some texts and versions of the Bible using the capitalized form of Gentile and others using just a lowercase version. I couldn't find any standards on its usage.
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2answers
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“page 2” or “Page 2”?

When referring to a page in a text, should the reference be e.g. "see page 2", or "see Page 2"? Since I write "see Section 2", I would lean towards the latter, but I think I have seen the former more ...
11
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4answers
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Why must you capitalize the first word of a sentence? [closed]

My suspicion is it provides more visual indication that a new sentence is starting, but it bothers me because I think a period / exclamation / question mark seems sufficient to me. Plus, if a proper ...
11
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7answers
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Is incorrect capitalization considered a spelling error?

Is incorrect capitalization, such as the lowercase "i" in [Can] i [this sic] have an if statement within a dialog box code? considered a spelling mistake, or some other type of error?
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5answers
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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 ...
11
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3answers
31k views

Why is the letter after “Mc” in names capitalized?

For example, McDowell, or McDonald, or McKenna, etc. Is it necessary to capitalize that letter following "Mc"? And if yes, why is this so?
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4answers
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Is “Thank god”, as opposed to “Thank God”, acceptable?

People are quite stingy lately about anything with religious connotations, so I'm worried that the phrase "thank God" might tick some people off. Is "thank god" acceptable? Would that offend people ...
11
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1answer
670 views

Is there a Name for this Style of Capitalisation?

It seems quite common on the web to capitalise certain words in a heading, or navigation bar, but not others. Here are some examples: Visit the Member's Page How to Format (as seen on this ...
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3answers
30k views

“grammar nazi” or “grammar Nazi”?

Should Nazi be capitalized in the phrase grammar nazi/Nazi? While I can't think of any other examples right now, I would like to extend the question to ask if the words which are historically nouns ...
11
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2answers
649 views

Name for making the first few words in a chapter small caps?

What do you call the style of making the first few words of a chapter (or book, article, etc.) uppercase? Here is an example from J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye: To clarify, I'm not talking ...
11
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2answers
11k views

Capitalize after slash at beginning (e.g. Risk/Issue management)

Should a word after a slash at the beginning of a sentence be capitalized? E.g. Risk/Issue management Risk/issue management I would guess the first one is correct because "Issue" would ...
11
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2answers
89k views

“Masters degree” — capital M or not?

When someone states "I have a Masters in Computer Science" should the word masters have a capital M? I've seen arguments for both and can't determine which is correct.
11
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3answers
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Capitalization: when does a phrase become a proper noun?

This is a question on capitalization. Proper nouns are capitalized. But how can I tell which parts of a term constitute a proper noun? Take, for example, the nickname for traveler's diarrhea (sorry, ...
11
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1answer
16k views

When to capitalize the name of a season

Which sentence uses the correct capitalization for the name of the season? I will travel in the summer of 2013. or I will travel in the Summer of 2013.
10
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10answers
156k views

Should it be “Happy Birthday!” or “Happy birthday!” when used as a two word sentence?

I've always simply written it "Happy birthday!" but my wife recently said that "Birthday" should be capitalized as well. What's grammatically correct?
10
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4answers
2k views

Why are the words Reich and Kaiser capitalised in English?

It is the same with Diesel, which can be capitalised or not. Do the words Reich and Kaiser have some specific historic value as they are distinguished from non-capitalised words such as halt, ozone, ...
10
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4answers
31k views

What is the verb that means to capitalize the first letter of a word?

The word I'm looking for means to capitalize the first letter of some words, but I want to use a single verb since I need to say this many times, as in "*** all the words that appear in the table ...
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4answers
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Capitalization of German words in English sentences

If I write an English text and use some German nouns in there do I have to write them capitalized or not? If I would have a whole sentence or quote in German I would probably use German grammar and ...
10
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4answers
4k views

Capitalization of User Interface Buttons

Being an amateur programmer and a bit of a perfectionist, I often find myself wondering about capitalization in user interfaces. If you look towards the top of this very website, you'll notice the ...
10
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4answers
9k 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 ...
10
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2answers
72k views

What words should be capitalized in “to whom it may concern”?

I'm writing a business recommendation, and since it's a proxy for a proper name, it seems like capitalization might be in order, but it looks odd.
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4answers
8k views

Is “Mecca” capitalized when used figuratively?

Waleed made his pilgrimage to Mecca. This is a given. But I would write: Bombay is India’s entertainment mecca Is this correct, or is Mecca capitalized in its figurative use, as well?
10
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1answer
4k views

How does one capitalize words like “un-American”?

Google's dictionary lists it as "un-American" or "unAmerican" (which looks clumsy to me). Since American is a "demonym," I would usually capitalize it, so I feel compelled to capitalize "un-American" ...
10
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4answers
15k views

What to capitalize in table headings?

I'm writting a table for a scientific paper and I'm not sure what to capitalize in the column-headings. Which rule should be used? Normal English capitalization (then the next question is: write the ...
10
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1answer
850 views

Capital Letters from 1700 [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Capitalisation of nouns in English (historically) After reading a recipe from 1747, I noticed that all of the nouns are capitalized. Is that a normal thing for that era? It's ...
9
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7answers
15k views

Are particular seasons proper nouns?

Should fall be capitalised in the following? If yes, is it because Fall 2011 is a proper noun? Where should an app be released in Fall 2011? Context. In a Wikipedia article, Avatar (2009 film), a ...
9
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3answers
12k views

What’s the difference of ‘Truth with capital T” from truth with small t?

In New York Times (November 1) article titled “A cup of G.I Joe,” Maureen Dowd introduces the following remarks from Howard Schultz, the C.E.O. of Starbucks about Leadership. Dowd suspects if Shultz ...
9
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3answers
106k views

Does one capitalize “communism” and “communist”?

Suppose I have the following sentence: I lived in a communist country during the fall of communism in 1989. Should "communist" and "communism" be capitalized?
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2answers
1k views

What percentage of characters in normal English Literature is written in capitals?

I'm talking about percentage of letters, not words, in case it isn't clear. Is there a way to gauge this?
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3answers
5k 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 for which I site is about, i.e. WordPress. Note as a trademark it is spelled in CamelCase ...
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2answers
2k views

Where and why were capital letters first used in headlines?

The words in headlines are capitalized. I'm interested in the history of this. Where and why were capital letters first used in headlines? Where is this practice of capitalization of words in English ...
9
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3answers
817 views

Capitalization of “Internet” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Should the words “internet” and “web” be capitalized? For the most part Internet is capitalized, less frequently it occurs uncapitalized. Is this a ...
9
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2answers
16k views

When referring to a specific war (or other named event), should the word “war” be capitalized when it appears alone?

The Cold War instilled a fear of nuclear war in the public; additionally, the [war] was responsible for an extreme anti-Communist sentiment that lingers to this day. Should the bracketed instance of "...
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5answers
2k views

A pedant's plea for a proper pun

This problem has plagued me occasionally, and I'm finally asking: What is the proper grammar (specifically, verb use and capitalization) in the following pun situation? The only Windows I want to ...
9
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3answers
88k 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? ...
9
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3answers
34k views

Must OK only be written in capital letters? [duplicate]

Whenever I write ok the spell checkers underline it with a red line and suggest that I should OK. Not even Ok works. Why is that?
9
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5answers
8k views

Correct capitalization for “of” in an acronym definition

For an acronym that includes the word "of", do you capitalize its usage within the definition (or expansion) of the acronym For example, in the follow sentence: My coworker Steve suffers from ...
9
votes
1answer
9k views

Hyphenation and capitalization of “Great-Uncle” when signing books to my nephew's son

When great-uncle is used as a common noun, the hyphen and lack of caps make sense. However, when I sign a book to my nephew, is it Great-Uncle Don, Great-uncle Don, or perhaps Great Uncle Don?
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2answers
3k views

Capital letters in “Theorem”, “Conjecture” etc

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 ...
9
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1answer
4k views

Capitalization of words with dashes in titles

How would you capitalize a word in a book/article title when that word has an en dash in the middle of it? For instance, should "protein-protein interaction" be capitalized as "Protein-protein ...
8
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7answers
15k views

Apostrophes and caps in Happy Mother’s Day / Happy Mothers’ Day

So, I’m writing this as it is Mother’s (or maybe Mothers’) Day today, and I was wondering what would be a correct way to write that. Should the apostrophe come be between the r and the s, or after ...