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Uppercase or Lowercase? Learn the Case!

Updated on July 7, 2016

Are you considered an OverCaptilizer amongst your friends?

Do you capitalize every title, every possible noun, and every word that might be important? If yes, you are an OverCaptilizer! You’re not alone many people write the way they think and unnecessarily overcapitalize unwanted or not so important words. Capitalization can be defined fairly simple, it’s the exercise of making letters uppercase, or capitalized, when required. Appropriate use of capitalization isn't as meek, specifically for unfamiliar English writers.

Depending on how you form the rules, the rules of capitalization may be several or limited. Since English is made up of so many diverse languages, we’ve taken some of our capitalization rules from one language and some from another thus giving rise to problem in capitalization.

Remember - Capitals are not used for articles (a, an, the) or prepositions (of, for, to, in, with, on, etc.)

If a brand or proper name isn't capitalized, it could send a message of disregard for the lack of attention to detail. Bottom line, it's essential to use the correct case!

Rules to Remember

#1 Always capitalize the first letter of a word while beginning a sentence.

#2 Always capitalize the pronoun “I” and its variants: I’m, I’ll, I’d, I’ve

#3 Capitalize the names of Gods, Deities, People, Places, Firms and Professional Titles

#4 Dates, Events, Awards, Prizes, Books and Brand names are to be capitalized

#5 Capitalize the names of nationalities, countries, religions, languages and ethnic groups.

#6 Capitalize each letter in an Acronyms or Initials.

#7 First Word after a Colon, if it begins as an independent clause is to be capitalized.

#8 Things that are written in a list or bullet points will always need to be capitalized, whether or not they are full sentences.

How can you possibly remember all these rules? Well, first of all, ask yourself three questions:

  1. If it is the first letter in a sentence? If the answer is yes, capitalize.
  2. If it is a pronoun I? If yes, capitalize.
  3. Is the name given to this person or thing that is being used? If yes, capitalize.

Whether you assume English Language to have ten rules, or three or just thirty, you can remember all with the below, where the first letter of each word stands for a category:

  • F – First letter in a sentence
  • B – Buildings (and other man-made structures)
  • B – Borders (of regions, states, countries, etc.)
  • T – Titles
  • P – People
  • I – I
  • S – Schools
  • W – Water
  • M – Mountains
  • S – Streets

Let’s consider an example:

  • This is my dad.
  • Ruth! Do you know where Dad is?

Which of the two do you think is correct? Actually both are! "Mom" and "dad" are not capitalized unless it is referred to them as names.

It's essential to use the accurate case when it comes to capitalization as it gives you reliability as a writer. Using excessive capitalized words in needless excessive situations send an awkward message to readers showing lack of experience. Don't capitalize letters anytime and every time unless there is a requirement and it answers specific rules. It is always good to know the capitalization rules to make writing as well as reading more effective and significant.

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