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Questions tagged [capitalization]

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

206
votes
13answers
466k 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?
116
votes
2answers
66k 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?
79
votes
7answers
42k views

Which is correct: “Filename”, “File Name” or “FileName”?

Which is correct: "Filename", "File Name" or "FileName"?
68
votes
1answer
90k 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"
59
votes
4answers
337k views

When should the word “English” be capitalized?

I am often confused how the word "English" should be written in phrases such as "English language", because I have seen both variants: capitalized and starting with lowercase letter. What is the most ...
52
votes
6answers
44k views

Capitalisation of nouns in English in the 17th and 18th centuries

It seems to have been common practice in the 17th and 18th centuries in Britain to capitalise the first letters of nouns in English, e.g. At which Time he prov'd himself the Noah's Dove, that ...
43
votes
3answers
4k views

Why is quixotic not Quixotic (a proper adjective)?

Adjectives derived from proper nouns are known as proper adjectives, and are capitalized: A piece of writing could be Shakespearean, not shakespearean. A person may be Canadian, not canadian. Even ...
42
votes
8answers
39k 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 ...
40
votes
3answers
46k views

When a sentence starts with “e.g.”, should the e be capitalized?

When a sentence starts with e.g., should the e be capitalized? Neverminding that it might be better to start with "For example," ... Thinking of SE posts and comments, should the starting e be ...
40
votes
3answers
331k views

Co-Founder, Co-founder, or cofounder?

I've seen all three used and there doesn't seem to be a definitive one that I can find. I'm hedging towards Co-Founder as it's a title, but any clarity would be appreciated. Edit If it makes it any ...
39
votes
3answers
20k 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 ...
38
votes
9answers
13k 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 ...
36
votes
2answers
161k 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."
34
votes
4answers
110k views

AM/PM vs a.m./p.m. vs am/pm

I used to think PM/AM was correct, but at some point, I switched to using p.m./a.m. for reasons I can't recall. I know that in practical, casual writing, people tend to use whatever form is most ...
33
votes
4answers
123k 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?
31
votes
3answers
17k views

Why we capitalize all race names but our own

This question about alien species and planets brought up something I've been thinking about on and off for years. We capitalize names of alien races like Vulcan, Timelord, Cylon (well, maybe not ...
29
votes
7answers
33k 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 ...
29
votes
6answers
101k 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 ...
26
votes
3answers
34k 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 ...
25
votes
5answers
42k 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 ...
25
votes
2answers
367k 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 ...
25
votes
2answers
126k 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 ...
24
votes
5answers
5k views

Is writing the pronoun “i” in lowercase a feature of Indian English?

The Rule The personal pronoun “I” is always capitalized in English, regardless of its position in a sentence. This is an orthographic convention that every native speaker should know. Whenever I ...
24
votes
8answers
33k views

Should I use capitalization when mentioning a domain name?

Let's say I have a product/brand with a website, for the purpose of this question the product is called Acme and the site is http://acme.com . What's more correct when referring to the site without ...
24
votes
5answers
6k views

Should apartheid be capitalised?

In an attempt to prevent an edit war over on Skeptics.SE, I'll defer to here. Which is preferred - or are both correct?: Was South Africa better run during apartheid? or Was South Africa ...
23
votes
7answers
3k 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.
22
votes
8answers
99k 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 ...
21
votes
5answers
3k views

King James Bible archaic style

I am currently reading the King James Version of the Bible and I have noticed some features that I would like to know more about. Almost every verse of the First Book of Moses starts with “and”. Does ...
20
votes
5answers
93k 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?
20
votes
2answers
6k views

What is the “Ap” in the surname “ApSimon”?

There are two questions on EL&U (1,2) concerning names with “Mc” in them (such as McGregor), revealing that Mc comes from Mac, which is commonly translated from Gaelic as “son of”. I have now ...
20
votes
2answers
102k views

Are chemical element names capitalized?

Do the names of chemical elements need to be capitalized? For example, in running text should it be hydrogen or Hydrogen?
20
votes
3answers
113k views

Should a capital letter be used after an ellipsis?

I was talking to a friend of mine over Skype, and I typed this: Ok... Now I want more pork pie. I'd like to know, should there be a capital letter after the ellipsis "…"? Should it be written the ...
20
votes
2answers
213k views

How should “Merry Christmas” and “Happy New Year” be capitalized?

How should "Merry Christmas" and "Happy New Year" be capitalized? Here are some examples taken from some of the top results on Google: I’d like to be among the first to wish you a very Merry ...
19
votes
5answers
10k views

Are there words that are spelled the same but pronounced differently depending on whether the initial letter is capital or lowercase?

There are some pairs of words that are spelled the same, aside from capitalization, but pronounced differently. One example of this is Polish - polish. I remembered another pair but forgot it. Can ...
19
votes
2answers
27k 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 ...
18
votes
7answers
16k 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 ...
18
votes
4answers
12k views

Should the names of seasons be capitalized? [duplicate]

When you are writing about the seasons, should you capitalize their names? For example, would you say: I love the colors of the leaves in Autumn. Or should you say: I love the colors of the ...
17
votes
3answers
3k views

Is the game, “go,” a proper noun? What about “checkers” or “chess”?

The game of Go is... or The game of go is... Apparently the International Go Federation capitalizes it. Its dictionary entry doesn't appear to be (from what I have seen). It seems to fit the ...
16
votes
7answers
120k views

What do all capital letters typically refer to in writing?

In many error messages and conversations, I come across words in all capital letters, as demonstrated in the examples below. ERROR: Please type your e-mail address. or ME: I can't make it SHE:...
16
votes
3answers
4k 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.
15
votes
2answers
51k views

When would “mom/dad” require capital letter in writing? [duplicate]

I understand the capitalization rule for nouns, proper nouns require a capital letter. Also, I should begin a new sentence with a capital letter. When & why "mom/dad" requires a capital letter ? ...
15
votes
4answers
14k views

How should the abbreviation for “identifier” be capitalized?

I'm a programmer and I often see the abbreviation ID (capitalized) in technical documents and code. Is this correct, or should it be id?
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there a word for capitalizing in the middle of a word, as in “eBay”?

Usually this sort of word is a trademarked name, such as eBay or BlackBerry. Is there a word that describes capitalization mid-word?
15
votes
1answer
27k views

Should north, south, east and west be capitalised?

Should cardinal points be capitalised? Please give a reason why they should or should not.
15
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
14
votes
6answers
21k views

“Upper-case” is to “capital” as “lowercase” is to what?

Is there a corresponding word to go with capital to mean lower-case?
14
votes
5answers
50k views

Should the X in “X-ray” be capitalized?

Should the word be written as X-ray or x-ray?
14
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2answers
65k 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?
13
votes
3answers
188k 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 ...