Friday, November 22, 2019
Capitalization Ã¢â¬ What and When
Capitalization Ã¢â¬â What and When Capitalization Ã¢â¬â What and When? Knowing which words to capitalize can be a tricky business since there are dozens of conventions governing these things, so nobody should feel bad about having to seek expert advice in this regard. There are a few general tips you can follow here Ã¢â¬â most importantly, always check the relevant style guide and aim for consistent capitalization throughout your paper Ã¢â¬â but knowing when to capitalize is largely a matter of experience. Here are a few examples to keep in mind. The First Word in a Sentence Every time you begin a new sentence, it should start with a capital letter. This even applies to quotations in the middle of a sentence, as long as the quoted text is itself a complete sentence (e.g., Ã¢â¬Å"My friend said, Ã¢â¬ËThe movie CharlieÃ¢â¬â¢s Angels is the greatest work of art in history,Ã¢â¬â¢ but I disagreed with him.Ã¢â¬ ). Titles of Works As the above example demonstrates via CharlieÃ¢â¬â¢s Angels, capitalization is required is when writing out a title. This applies both to titles of published works (articles, magazines, books, movies, etc.) and your own academic papers. ItÃ¢â¬â¢s worth checking your style guide here, as institutions differ regarding whether you should capitalize all of the important words in a title or just the first word in the title and subtitle. The First Person Pronoun The first person pronoun Ã¢â¬Å"IÃ¢â¬ should always be capitalized, as should contractions incorporating Ã¢â¬Å"IÃ¢â¬ (e.g., Ã¢â¬Å"IÃ¢â¬â¢m,Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"IÃ¢â¬â¢veÃ¢â¬ and Ã¢â¬Å"IÃ¢â¬â¢llÃ¢â¬ ). Other pronouns (Ã¢â¬Å"we,Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"you,Ã¢â¬ etc.) are usually only capitalized at the beginning of a sentence. Proper Nouns Proper nouns are words that name unique entities. So while the noun Ã¢â¬Å"egomaniacÃ¢â¬ applies to many of HollywoodÃ¢â¬â¢s leading lights, the proper noun Ã¢â¬Å"McGÃ¢â¬ refers uniquely to the director of movies like CharlieÃ¢â¬â¢s Angels and CharlieÃ¢â¬â¢s Angels: Full Throttle. All proper nouns, including McG, Cameron Diaz and Columbia Pictures, begin with a capital letter. Non-CharlieÃ¢â¬â¢s Angels related examples of proper nouns include: Personal names (e.g., Abraham Lincoln) Brand names and companies (e.g., Microsoft, Coca-Cola) Geographical features and locations (e.g., the Grand Canyon, Quebec) Languages and words related to nationality (e.g., Englishman, Spanish, Canadian) Months and days of the week (e.g., Tuesday, October) but not seasons (spring, summer, etc.) Special dates and events (e.g., New YearÃ¢â¬â¢s Day, the Olympic Games) Planets (e.g., Mars, Jupiter); however, while Ã¢â¬Å"EarthÃ¢â¬ the planet is capitalized, when referring to the ground or soil, the word Ã¢â¬Å"earthÃ¢â¬ is not Please note that this is far from an exhaustive list of proper nouns, so remember to check a dictionary if youÃ¢â¬â¢re not sure about any particular word. Other Capitalizations There are a few other cases when itÃ¢â¬â¢s important to capitalize your words, including: Titles (e.g., Ms., Mr., Dr.) Acronyms (e.g., NASA, FBI) Reverential capitalization: i.e., the use of a capital letter as a mark of respect, such as when Ã¢â¬Å"GodÃ¢â¬ is capitalized in writing about Christianity; this is also why some job titles are capitalized when preceding a name (e.g., Ã¢â¬Å"President Barack ObamaÃ¢â¬ ).