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Fall 2010 Volume 6 Issue 4

The Write Stuff

Fall 2010  Volume 6 Issue 4

A Capital Offense

Seldom a day goes by that I don’t see an example or two of people capitalizing words for seemingly no reason. Proper nouns are always capitalized, while common nouns aren’t unless they start a sentence.

  • Proper noun examples: San Jose Sharks, Chicago, Adrienne Moch, Western Illinois University and Cafe Coyote
  • Common noun examples: hockey team, city, writer, school and restaurant

Off-topic tip: Use your newsletter to let people know you better. Long-time readers probably “get” the first four proper noun references; Old Town San Diego’s Cafe Coyote is included because its phone number is just one digit different from mine…so I field a lot of calls for reservations.

As for our “capital question,” here are a few things not to do:

Don’t capitalize words with the intent of emphasizing them.

  • Wrong: Can you believe Thanksgiving is Next Week?
  • Right: Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week?
  • Also Right: Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week?

Don’t capitalize common nouns that refer to specific institutions.

  • Wrong: My Company just bought a new computer.
  • Right: My company just bought a new computer.

Don’t use all caps unless you want people to feel yelled at, especially if you’ve got the caps lock key engaged for more than one sentence.

  • Wrong: I’VE JUST DISCOVERED THE WORLD OF ICHAT. NOW I CAN “SEE” MY NIECE AND NEPHEW ANYTIME.
  • Right: I’ve just discovered the world of iChat. Now I can “see” my niece and nephew anytime.

Don’t fight with your writing; hire me to help you out! Learn more at adriennemoch.com or contact me at adrienne@adriennemoch.com or (619) 291-4645

©2018 Adrienne Moch Writing & Editing