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capitlization

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pcimeisr
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capitlization

Postby pcimeisr » Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:42 pm

I have trouble with capitalization. One specific question I have is capitalizing something that you don't want capitalized because it will give away the plot. One example is my story, "She had a Moose". Moose is the nickname of a big burly guy. The intent is to deceive the readers into thinking it is the animal moose. I am not sure what that is called if a person is like a moose, simile or as a moose metaphor. In any event, would you capitalize moose since it is his nickname, or in other storys do you capitalize things like goliath, if you use it as a simile-if that is what that is. Another example would be, " I was confronted by a bubba" would bubba be capitalized since it isn't a person's name, but a stereotype? I hope I made myself clear enough for you to address the question. Thanks.

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glorybee
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Re: capitlization

Postby glorybee » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:25 am

pcimeisr wrote:I have trouble with capitalization. One specific question I have is capitalizing something that you don't want capitalized because it will give away the plot. One example is my story, "She had a Moose". Moose is the nickname of a big burly guy. The intent is to deceive the readers into thinking it is the animal moose. I am not sure what that is called if a person is like a moose, simile or as a moose metaphor. In any event, would you capitalize moose since it is his nickname, or in other storys do you capitalize things like goliath, if you use it as a simile-if that is what that is. Another example would be, " I was confronted by a bubba" would bubba be capitalized since it isn't a person's name, but a stereotype? I hope I made myself clear enough for you to address the question. Thanks.


Wow--this is something that's never come up before! I'll answer the last bit first, while I think about the first.

"Goliath" can be an adjective meaning 'enormous,' and in that case, you'd leave it lower case: She was walking her goliath dog. If you're using it as a metaphorical noun--the dog at the end of the leash was an absolute Goliath--then it would be upper case.

In the example you've given using 'bubba,' I'd feel comfortable leaving it uncapitalized.

I'm just not sure, though, about your 'Moose/moose' question. There's not really a rule that covers this, because your stated purpose is to misdirect your readers. So you're going to have to resolve it to your own satisfaction as a writer--to decide where to switch from lower case to upper case in order to achieve your intended purpose.
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