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Capitalization

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					Using Capital Letters

 Les Hanson 2002

Overview
 This presentation reviews the rules you (should) already know as well as some of the tricky aspects of capitalization  It deals with the following topics:
Sentences Lists  

In general, specific names require capitals
Lake the

Titles Names

Superior, Fred, Great Depression

General names do not require capitals
prairies, my uncle, a recession

Sentences
 Capitalize the first word of a sentence  And the first word of a quoted sentence
 She

said, “You are stupid.”

 Don’t capitalize the second part of a fragmented quotation
 “You

are stupid,” she said, “and your mother dresses you funny.”

 Don’t capitalize partial quotes
 He

talked of the “plausible deniability” of the scheme.

Lists
 Capitalize sentences that follow a colon  Capitalize the first word of each item in a vertical list
 These  Remember

this: Grammar is boring.

 Don’t capitalize words in horizontal lists
 Language

 Colons  Semicolons  Dashes

punctuation marks are confusing:

is made up of numerous parts of speech: nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.

Titles of books, articles, and songs
 Capitalize the first, last, and all important words in a title  Don’t capitalize short articles, prepositions, and conjunctions
 As You Like It  The Merry Wives of Windsor  Love’s Labours Lost  Taming of the Shrew  The Merchant of Venice

 Capitalize the specific names of people, places, and institutions
 

Names and Titles

Stockwell Day, Alberta, Canadian Alliance party leader, communist, fascist, right wing Aunt Polly

 But not general references
Prime Minister Chretien,

 Capitalize titles that precede names


 But not when used alone, or after names
 

The minister was demoted to the back benches Bill, my uncle, sat beside Gary Doer, premier of Manitoba

Names of Groups
 Capitalize races, religions, and languages
 Bosnian,

Buddhism, French, Cree

 Do not capitalize general references
 aboriginal, A

white, black, fundamentalist

 Some words vary according to usage
native speaker of English  A Native from the Yukon (used as a substitute for “Indian”  Australian Aborigines have certain aboriginal rights

Product Names
 Capitalize brand names and trademarks  Do not capitalize generic product names  Capitalize words derived from proper nouns  Freudian slip, Swiss cheese, English
muffin scotch
 pasteurize,  cola,  Coke,

Kleenix, Roller Blades, Popsicle

tissues, inline skates, flavoured ice

 Eventually such words lose their capitals
french fry, panama hat,

Dates and Directions
 Capitalize days of the week, months, holidays  But not seasons
 summer, I  Monday,

June, Thanksgiving fall, winter

 Don’t capitalize directions

 Unless it refers to a specific location
 Fighting broke out in the Middle East  Winter roads are common in the North

drove north for two blocks

Course Names
 Capitalize specific names of courses
 History

101, Intermediate Basketweaving, a Bachelor of Arts degree

 But not general references to courses
 geography,

communication, accounting  He is studying engineering

Interactive Exercise
 Click on the buttons below or key in the links to do interactive exercises on capitalization (and to receive a dose of Winnipeg trivia)

 http://xnet.rrc.mb.ca/leshanson/Hot_Potat o/Capitalization_1.htm  http://xnet.rrc.mb.ca/leshanson/Hot_Potat o/Capitalization_2.htm

Capitalization 1

Capitalization 2


				
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