cAPitAliZaTIoN. Isn't that an eyesore?

cAPitAliZaTIoN. Isn't that an eyesore?

A Lesson by Mathesaurus Rex
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We begin our course with the most basic of grammar concepts. I apologize (not really) for the sarcasm.

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Note: The real title is "cAPitAliZaTIoN. Isn't that an eyesore?" WritersCafe made me capitalize the "C." Oh, the irony...

hello everyone. this is how you type like a person fresh out of eighth grade but with the typos taken out for your clarity. can you see how the lowercase letters at the beginning make you sound so course and unrefined? and how does this look to you? - hi, my name is bob.

Of course there are exceptions to this rule. Poetry is often more beautiful when you break capitalization in strange places. But I believe that it is important to at least understand the mechanics of grammar, and bend them as you go along. Contrary to popular belief, I am not a marching grammar machine. If I feel like it, I will resort to ill-structured slang to get my point across. A later chapter will discuss the variance of grammatical rules to convey emotion.

I digress. For your convenience, here is a simple list of capitalization rules.

THE RULES (Or at least the more formal version. Please read this before skipping to the condensed version)
> 1. The beginning of a sentence always is a capital letter.
> 2. Capitalize names. I refuse to believe your name is "mary" and not "Mary."
> 3. Capitalize proper nouns, but not common nouns. This is important. Say "Bethesda Chapel," but not "the Water Bottle."
> 4. Capitalize the first word of a quoted sentence.
> 5. Capitalize a person's title when it precedes the name or when you are directly addressing the subject. Example: King Arthur, or "Will you take my temperature, Doctor?" Otherwise, titles are uncapitalized.
> 6. The same as number 5, but in reference to organizations. You would capitalize "Federal Bureau," but not "federal" on its own, or "bureau" on it's own. Of course, if the subject has already been mentioned, you can refer to the Federal Bureau as "the Bureau."

For more specific rules, please click here: Link

"Wow, that's a lot (not really). How am I supposed to remember that?"

The answer is skill and determination that you don't really have to. Most likely, you already incorporate Rules 1 and 2 into your writing, and if not, it isn't difficult to. 2, 3, 5 and 6 can be reduced to "capitalize whenever you're discussing a specific thing." So now, you have three rules.

> 1. Capitalize the things you already capitalize.
> 2. Capitalize anything that is a specific thing or set of things.
> 3. Capitalize the first word in a quoted sentence - which you should already be doing, since it is a sentence and you obey the old Rule #1, right?

Well, isn't that simple and lovely? Capitalizing might not mean much in speech, but it contributes a lot to the clarity and elegance of your writing. With these not-so-new rules in hand, go back and look at an old piece. See if you recognize any mistakes, and correct them immediately if you do!

Good luck, and have fun writing~




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Added on July 25, 2010
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Mathesaurus Rex
Mathesaurus Rex

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Please don't be offended if I criticize you with excessive sarcasm and bluntness. I do that to everyone, including the writers whom I consider far better than myself. I promise it has nothing to do wi..