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history of capitalization

1955: When Marty couldn't use the time circuits anymore was the car still actually driveable? Thanks for the answer. English during the 18th century (as in Gulliver's Travels, and most of First names, or more formally, personal names and proper names/nouns were indistinct from ordinary nouns; it was primarily the writer's choice which nouns to capitalize or italicized. rev 2020.11.12.37996, The best answers are voted up and rise to the top, English Language & Usage Stack Exchange works best with JavaScript enabled, Start here for a quick overview of the site, Detailed answers to any questions you might have, Discuss the workings and policies of this site, Learn more about Stack Overflow the company, Learn more about hiring developers or posting ads with us, @Mari-LouA: If the evolution of the capitalization of proper nouns in general somehow differs from that of personal names in particular, I'd be very interested to hear about that, too. Job offers - how to negotiate higher salary due to higher costs of living at the new location. Let's stick with the History Question, shall we? Every noun has been capitalized. I believe it was in an introduction to an edition of the Lewis & Clark diaries that I read that there was simply no rhyme or reason to English spelling or capitalization prior to the 19th century, which is why the intrepid Explorers varied their spelling and capitalization randomly (or so it seems). The origin of the names "roman" and "italic" for roman and italic text—both Italianate, though one more specific than the other, in distinction to older, more Germanic styles. I don't have any special expertise to contribute to the discussion, but I would like to challenge the assumption that there was (so to speak) an 'pre-modern system' of heavy capitalisation which eventually gave way to the 'modern system' of light capitalisation. Italicised-capitalised to italicised or roman lower-case, depending on (With very proper nouns such as 'God' in small caps.). I'm still listening, verstegan! It's interesting to ponder the interplay between written and printed text - as mentioned above, there will surely be economic and technical factors which affect print first, then alter written styles indirectly. By Contrast, high-status Writers (and their Printers) tended to favour This was I thought this would be more straightforward to answer, myself. Thanks for contributing an answer to English Language & Usage Stack Exchange! By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Service. Most of what I would have written a century ago - letters, prose, memos, etc - is now typed on a computer. Capitalized nouns were a common occurrence and can be seen in many instances prior to the 1730s and seems to be a shift at this point. My understanding has always been that all those capital letters were inherited from German (where all nouns are still capitalized) but, as holgate points out, fell from favor with the advent of printing because it made setting type more expensive and time-consuming. A lot of early printed texts are, in fact, very lightly capitalised, just as a modern text would be. I found. pants: Our modern lowercase letters are derived from a handwritten lettering style called "Uncial", as opposed to the engraved, monumental style of uppercase letters. This heavy use of capitals seems to be common especially in the printed word. cited Text -- the anti-coffee Pamphlet mentioned in Harper's this By the 17th century, the practice had extended to titles (Sir, Lady), forms of address (Father, Mistris), and personified nouns (Nature). To learn more, see our tips on writing great answers. Has there been a naval battle where a boarding attempt backfired? Stack Exchange network consists of 176 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers. Yes, handwriting followed print trends, more or less: contemporary manuscripts make that clear. But your point about influence going the other way is interesting too. was primarily Æsthetic, as Writers and Printers moved away from Heavy Certain proper Nouns go from Sᴍᴀʟʟ Cᴀᴘꜱ to Capitalised. also practiced in Danish before the spelling reform of 1948, and in The heaviest Stiles of Typography are usually associated with This change didn't happen overnight, but generally speaking common nouns went from being capitalized to being written in lower-case; important nouns went from italicized-capitalized to italicized, and then lower-case; and certain proper nouns went from small caps to capitalized. Asking for help, clarification, or responding to other answers. While interesting, I don't really see that it answers the question, which was about the capitalization of proper nouns specifically, rather than nouns in general (a feature that does not seem to be common only to Germanic languages, but to wider European orthography). Awesome, awesome stuff. Since German capitalizes every noun there is speculation that this rule has been inherited from there, perhaps via Johannes Gutenberg and his famous printing press via the Gutenberg Bible (note that the Gutenberg press is not the first of its kind as the Chinese and Koreans already had this technology as early as 1000s). David Foxon wrote in his book entitled Libertine literature in England, 1660-1745 that "... the vogue for heavy caps may be associated with the eighteenth-century culture of sensibility." Please only post Answers here, you know that's what it's for. Isn't "2+2" correct when answering 'What is "2+2"'? low-status or popular Publications -- the Equivalent of today's Great Answer holgate! Capitalization Any way to watch Netflix on an iPad Air (MD788LL/A)? The original question has been well answered by holgate, so I'll respond to kenko's followup: M&D is slightly tricksy, but the prose style is exacting and disciplined. How can I better handle 'bad-news' talks about familiy members I don't care about? Though the answer might not be, my question is simple: When and how did the custom of capitalizing names begin? Month, which is fairly Shouty even by Restoration Standards. Source: Ask Meta Filter: What is the History of English Capitalization? All posts copyright their original authors. Thus far we've only addressed Typesetting. From this first issue of the Gentleman's Magazine published in 1731. Very nice answer. As to when the rule of capitals for nouns was inherited into English, that perhaps can never be known. that "[substantive capitalization] hinders that expressive beauty... How to make this illumination effect with CSS. The Reason Making statements based on opinion; back them up with references or personal experience. House Stile. Old English did not have a distinction between uppercase and lowercase, and at best had embossed or decorated letters indicating sections. Can a druid use Wild Shape in mid-air to survive being dropped? What is the History of English Language Capitalization? It looks as though this discussion is running out of steam, but I hope it's not too late for me to add another comment. I would have guessed that as the Printed Word became available to a Wider Class of People, the typographical fashion would become More, rather than Less, pitched to the Low-Status Reader. There were also Œconomic What would you call a person who is willing to give up their life for others? In the far future would weaponizing the sun or parts of it be possible? Wouldn’t it be ok to just say English? of his Books over the Course of his Career, particularly in Editions This is an instance of the letterform being adapted to the tool: uncials, which are more flowing, are better adapted to the quill, and straight-legged capitals are better adapted to the chisel. Ask MetaFilter is a question and answer site that covers nearly any question on earth, where members help each other solve problems. All this time I thought that certain words were capitalized to give them added Emphasis. Thomas Dyche, Is there objective proof that Jo Jorgensen stopped Trump winning, like a right-wing Ralph Nader? What is the unbiasedness condition in hypothesis testing called "unbiasedness"? Many of the older examples you wonderful people have put forth seem to overlap their roles a lot more. But there are social dynamics there as well: an author might follow different rules when preparing a manuscript for publication, as opposed to writing a private letter to a peer. David Foxon's Pope and the Early Eighteenth-Century Book Trade is the canonical Work on this Topic.

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