Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Capitalization: What you Should and Shouldn't Capitalize in English

Don’t you hate it when you see someone's post or comment and they've capitalized every word? That's ok if it's the title of a book or something, but even then, only "main words" should be capitalized.

In English we use a capital letter at the beginning of a sentence, and for proper nouns

Proper nouns means names. If you're using a word as part of a name, it should be capitalized. So, if you type, "I cried a river of tears," the word 'river' is not capitalized, but if you type, "I cried the Nile River," then 'river' is part of the river's name, and should be capitalized.
Felucas on the Nile River

Here are some categories of words you should capitalize:

Brands, like Kangaroos shoe, McDonald's hamburger, and Hasbro toy.

Companies, like Fox and Pepsico.

Days of the week, like Monday, and months of the year, like February.

Departments of the government, like Centre for Disease Control.

Historical eras, like The Spanish Inquisition, the Crusades.

Holidays, like Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Groundhog Day.

Institutions, like Harvard, or Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.

Manmade structures, like the Burg Khalifa, the Titanic, and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Geographical and Geopolitical locations, like Banff, Mexico, and Easter Island

Landmarks, like Mount Everest and the Christ the Redeemer statue.

Organizations, like the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA.)

Planets, like Mars, Uranus, and Pluto. The word "Earth" is capitalized when it refers to the name of our planet, like, "TIL that Earth is a cherry tomato."

Races, nationalities, and tribes, like Asian American, Dutch, and Cree.

Religions and names of deities, like Jewish, God, Odin, and The Flying Spaghetti Monster. The Bible, the Torah, and the Quran are always capitalized.

Special events and occasions, like the Paralympics, the Oscars, and Comic Con.

The names of roads, streets, and squares, like Main Street, Fifth Avenue, Fleet Street, and Tahrir Square. 

Some things you shouldn't capitalize are:

Types of animals, unless named after a person or place: grizzly bear, Newfoundland retriever.

Elements off the periodic table, even if they contain a proper name: neptunium, boron.

Foods, unless it is a brand name or has someone's name in it: ketchup, mustard, Heinz 57, Caesar dressing.

Heavenly bodies that are not planets: the sun, the moon, an asteroid.

Medical conditions, unless they are named after someone: a cold, the flu, Down syndrome.

Minerals and other chemicals: salt, rubbing alcohol, vaccinations.

Plants, vegetables, and fruits, unless they are named after somebody: corn, broccoli, Scotch pepper

Seasons and times of the day or year: spring, winter solstice, midnight.

Thanks for reading! To watch the entire video of this post, go to my YouTube channel by clicking here.


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