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Capital Letters? Hey English students, A quick question here.I see that many corrections I make here on italki concern capital letters.Almost all of you omit capitals for the word English, and frequently for your names and other words. I am not sure if this is because you don't know when to use them,or because you can't be bothered to type them from your phone.Can you advise? Do people really not know that the word English needs a capital? Do people think it is just not important? Thanks in advance, Ruthi.
Jun 22, 2015 7:20 AM
Answers · 16
Capitalisation is not that hard to remember. That's why it seems to me mere carelessness not to do it properly. I always capitalise in English as carefully as I do that in Russian. The deliberate neglect of rules doesn't look right in any language.
June 22, 2015
To add to that, I'd also like to say that there are a lot of problems with quotation marks (" ") and parentheses ()[]. Often people will add spaces between the aforementioned and the content being governed - e.g. ( stuff ) " more ". I don't know if that's how it's done in other languages, but there aren't any spaces like that in proper English.
June 22, 2015
Native speakers are often the worst offenders, unfortunately. A while ago, a young Londoner offered her services as a teacher here, in the form of an entry almost entirely devoid of capitalisation and punctuation. I commented on this. She said it didn't matter. A non-native made a comment saying that it did. The page disappeared within minutes.
June 22, 2015
Just a side note: I think English capitalization IS difficult--once you get beyond the easy parts. It may be physically difficult. It isn't any harder to write a capital letter with a pen, but I've gotten sore pinkies from badly-placed shift keys on stiff keyboards. Capitalizing is a nightmare on little touchscreen "keyboards" and no two of them work the same way. The "rule" for titles is to capitalize the "important words," and no two style sheets ever agree on what they are. Wikipedia throws in the towel and uses the same rule as for sentences--first letter and proper names only. It looks to me as if British periodicals like "The Economist" and "The Guardian" are doing that too. But the UK edition of "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" has chapter titles like "The Journey from Platform Nine and Three-quarters." If I want to say "The easy band-aid solutions aren't working any more," should I capitalize the brand name Band-Aid, or not? How should I capitalize "Truth or Consequences, New Mexico?" "Land O' Lakes, Florida? "Desert Of Maine, Freeport, Maine?" Everyone capitalizes the names of the planets, such as Mars, but did astronauts land on "the moon" or "the Moon?" In Margaret Wise Brown's 1947 classic bedtime story, the only place "moon" is capitalized is in the title. Do we always, sometimes, or never capitalize the cardinal compass directions? "The True North strong and free..." If I refer to "the ocean," and everyone knows I mean a particular ocean--the Atlantic Ocean--does that mean I am thinking of it as a proper noun, that should be capitalized?
June 22, 2015
I need to pay a lot of attenction for remembering capital letters. Especially for I. Sometimes I don't add it because I'm more focused to write correct and undestandable sentences. :)
June 23, 2015
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