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#178798 - 08/17/08 08:37 PM Writing Help: Capitalization
Nouveau Scribe Offline
stranger

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 1
Loc: United States
Is there a reason to capitalize the words "communist" and "socialist" in this sentence:

 Quote:
Anyone who thinks that is nothing but a Socialist or Communist ...


This is quoted from a book about writing: "Reading, Writing, and Rhetoric" by Hogins and Yarber.

I can understand if he meant "Communist Party of China" where capitalization is required but in this context, is capitalization justified?

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#178809 - 08/18/08 06:31 AM Re: Writing Help: Capitalization [Re: Nouveau Scribe]
Faldage Offline
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I would say leave them all lower case unless, as you say, they're part of a proper noun phrase.

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#178825 - 08/19/08 03:30 AM Re: Writing Help: Capitalization [Re: Faldage]
Zed Offline
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Registered: 08/27/02
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I would leave it lower case as well but there could be an argument that it is capitalized to indicate that the writer was referring to members of a group or movement and not just to their ideology.
Nope, capitals still look wrong.

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#181313 - 12/29/08 12:14 PM Re: Writing Help: Capitalization [Re: Zed]
LukeJavan8 Offline
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If I were still teaching high school I would have the students
leave them in lower case, unless, as Zed says, it refers to
a particular group, and not their ideology.

This is a great topic, our country and its use of language
and grammar sadly and badly needs this, to wit, the media.
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#181429 - 01/03/09 10:58 PM Re: Writing Help: Capitalization [Re: Zed]
hellerfan Offline
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Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 3
Loc: Houston, TX
If you're going to label a person a member of the Socialist or Communist groups (parties), then the words Socialist and Communist are proper nouns and should be capitalized.

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#181458 - 01/04/09 06:06 PM Re: Writing Help: Capitalization [Re: hellerfan]
LukeJavan8 Offline
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Originally Posted By: hellerfan
If you're going to label a person a member of the Socialist or Communist groups (parties), then the words Socialist and Communist are proper nouns and should be capitalized.


but would not zed's comment above still be correct?
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#181778 - 01/16/09 09:12 AM Re: Writing Help: Capitalization [Re: LukeJavan8]
Andrew Robinson Offline
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Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 23
Loc: Ireland
Different publishers have their own house rules about capitalization; problems can arise when there is a difference between for instance a college fellow (contemporary) and a College Fellow (proprietor).

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#181866 - 01/18/09 07:18 PM Re: Writing Help: Capitalization [Re: Andrew Robinson]
PastorVon Offline
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Registered: 12/30/08
Posts: 107
Loc: USA, North Carolina
Originally Posted By: Andrew Robinson
Different publishers have their own house rules about capitalization; problems can arise when there is a difference between for instance a college fellow (contemporary) and a College Fellow (proprietor).


But, aren't there a number of style manuals that serve as standards? I think of the Chicago Style Manual for one. When I was in college (1960s), Harbrace's Manual was the standard at the university I attended.

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#181873 - 01/19/09 06:35 AM Re: Writing Help: Capitalization [Re: PastorVon]
Faldage Offline
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Originally Posted By: PastorVon

But, aren't there a number of style manuals that serve as standards?


There are. They don't always agree on specifics. Different publishers choose different manuals.

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#181887 - 01/19/09 07:07 PM Re: Writing Help: Capitalization [Re: PastorVon]
Faldage Offline
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Originally Posted By: PastorVon


But, aren't there a number of style manuals that serve as standards?


PastorVon started a sentence with a conjunction! shocked

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#181913 - 01/21/09 12:50 AM Re: Writing Help: Capitalization [Re: Faldage]
PastorVon Offline
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Originally Posted By: Faldage
Originally Posted By: PastorVon


But, aren't there a number of style manuals that serve as standards?


PastorVon started a sentence with a conjunction! shocked


So?! And Churchhill ended one with a preposition.

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#181914 - 01/21/09 01:25 AM Re: Writing Help: Capitalization [Re: Faldage]
The Pook Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1067
Loc: Tasmania
Originally Posted By: Faldage
Originally Posted By: PastorVon

But, aren't there a number of style manuals that serve as standards?


There are. They don't always agree on specifics. Different publishers choose different manuals.

The Pookwife is a copy editor. She uses style manuals all the time. Government departments (which is whom she usually does work for) have standard style manuals.

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#181925 - 01/21/09 07:27 AM Re: Writing Help: Capitalization [Re: PastorVon]
Faldage Offline
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Originally Posted By: PastorVon
Originally Posted By: Faldage
Originally Posted By: PastorVon


But, aren't there a number of style manuals that serve as standards?


PastorVon started a sentence with a conjunction! shocked


So?! And Churchhill ended one with a preposition.


A) It wasn't a preposition; it was the particle of a phrasal verb.

2) He was being facetious

and

) It probably wasn't even Churchill.

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#181948 - 01/21/09 08:17 PM Re: Writing Help: Capitalization [Re: Faldage]
The Pook Offline
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Registered: 02/20/08
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Loc: Tasmania
Originally Posted By: Faldage
Originally Posted By: PastorVon
So?! And Churchhill ended one with a preposition.

A) It wasn't a preposition; it was the particle of a phrasal verb.
2) He was being facetious
and
) It probably wasn't even Churchill.

Are you saying it was a biographer or urban myth that puts the clause "up with which I will not put" in Churchill's mouth? (which is presumably the one in question).

And wasn't the whole point that he was deliberately NOT ending the sentence with the preposition "with" but with the verb 'put' in order to show that not only is it quite appropriate to end a sentence with a proposition, it is sometimes in fact silly not to end the sentence with it?


Edited by The Pook (01/21/09 08:18 PM)

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#181949 - 01/21/09 10:02 PM Re: Writing Help: Capitalization [Re: The Pook]
Faldage Offline
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Originally Posted By: The Pook
Originally Posted By: Faldage
Originally Posted By: PastorVon
So?! And Churchhill ended one with a preposition.

A) It wasn't a preposition; it was the particle of a phrasal verb.
2) He was being facetious
and
) It probably wasn't even Churchill.

Are you saying it was a biographer or urban myth that puts the clause "up with which I will not put" in Churchill's mouth? (which is presumably the one in question).


I got it in my memory that I read somewhere that it wasn't Churchill that said it, that it was just another misattribution, not unlike all those Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde so-called quotes, but I can't find anything ot back me up.

Originally Posted By: The Pook
And wasn't the whole point that he was deliberately NOT ending the sentence with the preposition "with" but with the verb 'put' in order to show that not only is it quite appropriate to end a sentence with a proposition, it is sometimes in fact silly not to end the sentence with it?


What I said about being facetious.

As far as their not being prepositions, I also seem to remember reading somewhere that there is a substantial body of linguists who believe that the modern prepositions derived from what amounted to particles of phrasal verbs. Of course, if you have enough case markers for your nouns you don't really need prepositions.

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#181951 - 01/21/09 11:35 PM Re: Writing Help: Capitalization [Re: Faldage]
zmjezhd Offline
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As far as their not being prepositions, I also seem to remember reading somewhere that there is a substantial body of linguists who believe that the modern prepositions derived from what amounted to particles of phrasal verbs.

Many of the prepositions / verbal particles in Modern English derive from propositions in Old English (via Middle English). Some are from adjectives and adverbs: e.g., near and next are the comparative and superlative forms of the archaic adjective nigh. There is an extensive literature on prepositions / verbal particles in Old to Modern English, and if anybody is interested you can contact me at zmjezhd at-sign gmail dot com (who doesn't care who knows), and we can discuss it ...
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#181956 - 01/22/09 07:23 AM Re: Writing Help: Capitalization [Re: zmjezhd]
Faldage Offline
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I'm counting OE as modern. I'm talking back to PIE or earlier. It's all very theoretical in my Junk Drawer Memory. And five, six cases isn't near enough to obviate prepositions. You'd need probably twenty or more.

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#181960 - 01/22/09 09:34 AM Re: Writing Help: Capitalization [Re: Faldage]
zmjezhd Offline
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And five, six cases isn't near enough to obviate prepositions. You'd need probably twenty or more.

Yes, I don't think there are any languages which have been studied on this planet which don't have prepositions. The number of cases in PIE has not been determined, IIRC, or their number has not been agreed upon. There are languages which do not have grammatical cases.
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#181972 - 01/22/09 07:56 PM Re: Writing Help: Capitalization [Re: zmjezhd]
Faldage Offline
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Originally Posted By: zmjezhd
There are languages which do not have grammatical cases.


I think at this point we need to define just what we mean by case. Is it the relationship of a noun to the other elements of as sentence or is it the visible or auditory mark that indicates that difference?

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#182012 - 01/24/09 09:04 PM Re: Writing Help: Capitalization [Re: Faldage]
PastorVon Offline
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Registered: 12/30/08
Posts: 107
Loc: USA, North Carolina
Boy! [That's an expletive, I believe.] It doesn't take much to send this group on a variety of tangents. It's all very interesting whether Churchhill did or did not end a sentence with a presposition. None of the tangents answers my question. The question was "So?" I.E. "So what if I (pastor von) began a sentence with a conjunction?"

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#182013 - 01/24/09 09:05 PM Re: Writing Help: Capitalization [Re: PastorVon]
PastorVon Offline
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Registered: 12/30/08
Posts: 107
Loc: USA, North Carolina
"presposition" a pre-position held by a presbyterian.

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#182015 - 01/24/09 10:03 PM Re: Writing Help: Capitalization [Re: PastorVon]
Faldage Offline
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Originally Posted By: PastorVon
"So what if I (pastor von) began a sentence with a conjunction?"



I just thought that not starting a sentence with a conjunction would be the sort of prescriptivist poppycock you'd subscribe to.

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#182020 - 01/25/09 10:22 AM Re: Writing Help: Capitalization [Re: PastorVon]
zmjezhd Offline
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The question was "So?" I.E. "So what if I (pastor von) began a sentence with a conjunction?"

Descriptive-grammatically speaking, and ceteris paribus, there is nothing wrong with starting a sentence with a conjunction. Happens all the time. Prescriptive-grammatically speaking it is a solecism (or an enormity).
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#182036 - 01/25/09 02:33 PM Re: Writing Help: Capitalization [Re: zmjezhd]
Faldage Offline
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Originally Posted By: zmjezhd
The question was "So?" I.E. "So what if I (pastor von) began a sentence with a conjunction?"Prescriptive-grammatically speaking it is a solecism (or an enormity).


Naw. It ain't near big enough to be an enormity.

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#182038 - 01/25/09 05:44 PM Re: Writing Help: Capitalization [Re: Faldage]
Zed Offline
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Registered: 08/27/02
Posts: 2154
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
a smallity?

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#182156 - 01/29/09 12:29 PM Re: Writing Help: Capitalization [Re: Zed]
PastorVon Offline
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Registered: 12/30/08
Posts: 107
Loc: USA, North Carolina
would that be miniscule?

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#182157 - 01/29/09 01:07 PM Re: Writing Help: Capitalization [Re: PastorVon]
tsuwm Offline
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miniscule is opposed to majuscule, to be pro forma.

-joe (but I don't think that works in context) friday

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#182162 - 01/29/09 03:33 PM Re: Writing Help: Capitalization [Re: tsuwm]
PastorVon Offline
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Registered: 12/30/08
Posts: 107
Loc: USA, North Carolina
no, miniscule is actually opposed to uncial. I just had to throw my bit of wisdom in there. wink

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#182163 - 01/29/09 04:18 PM Re: Writing Help: Capitalization [Re: PastorVon]
tsuwm Offline
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uncial - relating to or written in majuscule letters

-joe (def'ns for all occasions) friday

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#182178 - 01/29/09 07:57 PM Re: Writing Help: Capitalization [Re: Faldage]
The Pook Offline
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Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1067
Loc: Tasmania
Originally Posted By: Faldage
Originally Posted By: zmjezhd
The question was "So?" I.E. "So what if I (pastor von) began a sentence with a conjunction?"Prescriptive-grammatically speaking it is a solecism (or an enormity).


Naw. It ain't near big enough to be an enormity.

How 'bout just a normity then?

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#182180 - 01/29/09 08:05 PM Re: Writing Help: Capitalization [Re: tsuwm]
The Pook Offline
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Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1067
Loc: Tasmania
Originally Posted By: tsuwm
uncial - relating to or written in majuscule letters

-joe (def'ns for all occasions) friday

I think you are both right. Miniscule as a description of the kind of LETTERS used is the opposite of majuscule. Manuscripts written in miniscules are called miniscules. But manuscripts written in majuscule letters are called Uncial manuscripts, which term has fed back to refer to the letters themselves. So the opposite of an uncial manuscript (such as the biblical Codex Sinaiticus or codex Alexandrinus) is a miniscule manuscript (such as 1739 or p46).

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#182186 - 01/29/09 09:34 PM Re: Writing Help: Capitalization [Re: The Pook]
Faldage Offline
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Yer all wrong. It's minuscule.

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#182220 - 01/30/09 08:15 PM Re: Writing Help: Capitalization [Re: Faldage]
The Pook Offline
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Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1067
Loc: Tasmania
Originally Posted By: Faldage
Yer all wrong. It's minuscule.

ha ha! Classic case of not seeing the wood for the trees. Thanks Faldo. We all get a minUs for spelling! laugh

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#197791 - 02/28/11 04:59 PM Re: Writing Help: Capitalization [Re: Nouveau Scribe]
Cozymansam Offline
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Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 1
I'd probably leave all but the China part lower-case, but if it is a specific title of a group, such as Americans, for one, it would be capitalized. (I think)

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#197794 - 02/28/11 06:55 PM Re: Writing Help: Capitalization [Re: Cozymansam]
LukeJavan8 Offline
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WELCOME, COZYMANSAM
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#197844 - 03/02/11 04:00 AM Re: Writing Help: Capitalization [Re: Faldage]
Tromboniator Offline
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Registered: 05/10/10
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Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: Faldage
Originally Posted By: zmjezhd
The question was "So?" I.E. "So what if I (pastor von) began a sentence with a conjunction?"Prescriptive-grammatically speaking it is a solecism (or an enormity).


Naw. It ain't near big enough to be an enormity.


punity? Small offense, but punitive measures will be taken.

Peter

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#197869 - 03/02/11 11:00 AM Re: Writing Help: Capitalization [Re: Tromboniator]
LukeJavan8 Offline
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Are you speaking with impunity?
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