July 19, 2016

Don't Sound Stupid (or write stupid)! part 2

A new feature wherein I, Lydia, instruct you, the reader, not to make common, idiotic mistakes of grammar, syntax, or pronunciation of the English language, particularly errors that annoy me. As a review, the word "recognize" is pronounced rek-kog-nize, not reckin-nize.

Capitalization: One would think this is easy, but apparently not, since I get tons of correspondence littered with capital letters all over. Why? Does it look fun? Aside from being distracting and oh-so-wrong, I like to try to figure out if there is any method. For example, if the writer is a native German speaker, I understand, since in German all nouns are capitalized. Perhaps the writer thinks it looks whimsical. Alas, I will never know because any email that blatantly WRONG goes directly in the trash, unread. If you aren't sure, best to keep your finger off the shift key altogether. The computer will do the work for you.

Capitalization is the writing of a word with its first letter in uppercase and the remaining letters in lowercase. Experienced writers are stingy with capitals. It is best not to use them if there is any doubt.

Rule 1. Capitalize the first word of a document and the first word after a period.

Rule 2. Capitalize proper nouns.

1 comment:

Roberta said...

I am reading novels of the Napoleonic War, wherein letter writers (I thought) randomly capitalize words. Maybe they were being Germanic and capitalizing nouns. I will go and look again.

I am 57 and still can't get it's and its right, so perhaps you could explain that for me.