Posted By: SuzanC
Eponyms - 09/26/11 12:38 PM
Are eponyms, as in today's word, Boswell, capitalized or not? Today's word in not capitalized in the subject field, but is in the example. When to cap, when not to?
Posted By: Candy
Re: Eponyms - 09/26/11 02:20 PM
Hi Suzan...good question.
My understanding is that because an eponym is derived from a persons name and names (as proper nouns) are given a capital
letter...so to the eponym.
But I have noticed more and more that people are dropping the capital letter especially when the eponym has become so common place that it stands alone. Think diesel engine.
I think you're on the right track, Candy. Upper or lower case for an eponym is largely a matter of personal preference, but it also depends on how great the remove from the source. I think it would be difficult to refer to a boswell without a mental nod to James of that name, but a fleet of diesels can roll down the road without anyone giving a thought to Rudolf. How many athletes routinely dress in a jersey with no awareness of the island from which it takes its name? There may be strong opinions on the capitalization question, but I doubt that it can be boiled down to a rule.
9/27 today's eponym is 'Quisling'. The date of his life is (1887-V1945). What does the 'V' stand for? Thanks
Posted By: zmjezhd
Re: Eponyms - 09/27/11 12:56 PM
The date of his life is (1887-V1945). What does the 'V' stand for?
Looks like a typo, possibly having to do with copy and pasting.
Posted By: Jackie
Re: Eponyms - 09/28/11 01:26 AM
Oh yeah--I've typed many a V from hitting Shift instead of Ctrl.
I found this on a Wikipedia page--didn't bother to check verifications:
Main article: Quisling
During World War II, the word quisling became synonymous with traitor. The term was coined by the British newspaper The Times in its leader of 15 April 1940, entitled "Quislings everywhere." The editorial asserted,
To writers, the word Quisling is a gift from the gods. If they had been ordered to invent a new word for traitor... they could hardly have hit upon a more brilliant combination of letters. Aurally it contrives to suggest something at once slippery and tortuous.
The noun has survived and for a while during and after World War II, the back-formed verb to quisle (pronounced /ˈkwɪzəl/) was used. One who was quisling was in the act of committing treason.