Wednesday, March 20, 2013

capitalization: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Proper nouns (names of people and places: “Frederick,” “Paris”) and proper adjectives (“French,” “Biblical”) must be capitalized. Many people used to casual e-mail patterns have begun to omit capital letters throughout their writing, even at the beginning of sentences when writing in more formal contexts. Unless your correspondent is someone that you know prefers the all-lower-case approach, to be taken seriously you should take the trouble to hit that Shift key when necessary. Particularly watch out for this sloppy habit in writing timed examinations. A teacher who has devoted 20 years to the study of Chinese art flinches when she sees her cherished subject demoted to “chinese.”

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