Author Topic: Capitalization  (Read 2310 times)

Offline J. Paul Barnett

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Capitalization
« on: October 16, 2017, 02:05:33 PM »
I always struggle with when to capitalize something and when not to, which leads to inconsistencies in my writing because I might end up capitalizing something somewhere and not another place, so I thought I'd jump on here and ask for some feedback on some specific examples:

Let's say you have a place. Let's call it "The Republic of Grapevines" -- clearly, that should be capitalized, as it is the proper noun of said place. But, in general, you might only refer to it as "the republic", right? So should it be "The Republic" or "the Republic" or "the republic"?

Another one -- let's say you have a person, say Sheriff Bumblesnatch. Clearly when you refer to him as such, you capitalize it as his title is a proper noun. But what if you just call him "the sheriff"? Is that then "the Sheriff" or "The Sheriff" or "the sheriff"? And what if someone just refers to him as "sheriff" in dialog, as if you were calling someone mister or doctor?

I know I should probably know all of this, but it's something I keep bumping into so why not ask, eh?

Thanks in advance!

Offline slightlysmall

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Re: Capitalization
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2017, 02:34:20 PM »
It should be "the Republic" when you're referring to a specific republic.

When you're referring to a specific sheriff, capitalize it with or without the surname. If just to sheriffs in general or an unspecified one, don't capitalize. "Hey, Sheriff, we have a problem here." "There's a sheriff in the next town who may know what to do."

Offline J. Paul Barnett

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Re: Capitalization
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2017, 02:44:42 PM »
Thanks! That's exactly what I needed.

That's sorta what I thought, but I had an editorial assessment done on my previous manuscript, and they said that I capitalized things too often that I should not be capitalizing. They weren't specific, of course, so then I went nuts de-capitalizing everything!

Offline jldelozier

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Re: Capitalization
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2017, 04:36:28 PM »
If it's any consolation, I struggle, too. Best advice - hire an editor (like slightlysmall!)
Jen

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