Using Capital
 Les Hanson 2002
 This presentation reviews the rules you
(should) already know as well as some of
the tricky aspects of capitalization
 It deals with the following topics:
In general, specific names require
Superior, Fred, Great Depression
General names do not require capitals
prairies, my uncle, a recession
 Capitalize the first word of a sentence
 And the first word of a quoted sentence
 She
said, “You are stupid.”
 Don’t capitalize the second part of a
fragmented quotation
 “You
are stupid,” she said, “and your
mother dresses you funny.”
 Don’t capitalize partial quotes
 He
talked of the “plausible deniability” of
the scheme.
 Capitalize sentences that follow a colon
 Remember
this: Grammar is boring.
 Capitalize the first word of each item in
a vertical list
 These
punctuation marks are confusing:
 Colons
 Semicolons
 Dashes
 Don’t capitalize words in horizontal lists
 Language
is made up of numerous parts
of speech: nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.
Titles of books, articles, and
 Capitalize the first, last, and all
important words in a title
 Don’t capitalize short articles,
prepositions, and conjunctions
 As You Like It
 The Merry Wives of Windsor
 Love’s Labours Lost
 Taming of the Shrew
 The Merchant of Venice
Names and Titles
 Capitalize the specific names of people,
places, and institutions
Stockwell Day, Alberta, Canadian Alliance
 But not general references
party leader,
communist, fascist, right wing
 Capitalize titles that precede names
Prime Minister Chretien,
Aunt Polly
 But not when used alone, or after names
The minister was demoted to the back benches
Bill, my uncle, sat beside Gary Doer, premier of
Names of Groups
 Capitalize races, religions, and languages
 Bosnian,
Buddhism, French, Cree
 Do not capitalize general references
 aboriginal,
white, black, fundamentalist
 Some words vary according to usage
native speaker of English
 A Native from the Yukon (used as a
substitute for “Indian”
 Australian Aborigines have certain
aboriginal rights
Product Names
 Capitalize brand names and trademarks
 Coke,
Kleenix, Roller Blades, Popsicle
 Do not capitalize generic product names
 cola,
tissues, inline skates, flavoured ice
 Capitalize words derived from proper
 Freudian slip, Swiss cheese, English
 Eventually such words lose their capitals
 pasteurize,
french fry, panama hat,
Dates and Directions
 Capitalize days of the week, months,
 Monday,
June, Thanksgiving
 summer,
fall, winter
 But not seasons
 Don’t capitalize directions
drove north for two blocks
 Unless it refers to a specific location
 Fighting broke out in the Middle
 Winter roads are common in the
Course Names
 Capitalize specific names of courses
 History
101, Intermediate Basketweaving, a Bachelor of Arts degree
 But not general references to courses
 geography,
communication, accounting
 He is studying engineering
Interactive Exercise
 Click on the buttons below or key in
the links to do interactive exercises
on capitalization (and to receive a
dose of Winnipeg trivia)
Capitalization 1
Capitalization 2

Capitalization - Red River College