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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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I would say leave them all lower case unless, as you say, they're part of a proper noun phrase.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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