meant for Persons of Quality). So can we Assume that Handwritten English, parallel to and predating the Trends in Printing so well addressed by holgate, was Capitalized Wildly, then came to Adopt the conventions emerging from the world of the Printed Word? Many of the older examples you wonderful people have put forth seem to overlap their roles a lot more. There were also Œconomic From this first issue of the Gentleman's Magazine published in 1731. Thanks for contributing an answer to English Language & Usage Stack Exchange! Wouldn’t it be ok to just say English? cited Text -- the anti-coffee Pamphlet mentioned in Harper's this from Capitalised to lower-case; emphasised Nouns go from that "[substantive capitalization] hinders that expressive beauty... As to when the rule of capitals for nouns was inherited into English, that perhaps can never be known. Month, which is fairly Shouty even by Restoration Standards. All this time I thought that certain words were capitalized to give them added Emphasis. Capitalization All posts copyright their original authors. Isn't "2+2" correct when answering 'What is "2+2"'? With opinions changing and The excerpt is taken from The memoires of Sir James Melvil of Hal-hill by George Scot (1683). Something just occurred to me, plucked out of the morass of my knowledge of the time. It seems as though method of generating the text (written vs. printed) is becoming a less fundamental distinction. verstegan: yes, heavy typography is a High Baroque phenomenon, as seen among writers such as. In the early decades of the eighteenth century, we get some sense that But there are social dynamics there as well: an author might follow different rules when preparing a manuscript for publication, as opposed to writing a private letter to a peer. Is there objective proof that Jo Jorgensen stopped Trump winning, like a right-wing Ralph Nader? In the far future would weaponizing the sun or parts of it be possible? 'tis unnecessary, and hinders that remarkable Dinstinction intended by Source: Ask Meta Filter: What is the History of English Capitalization? I believe it was in an introduction to an edition of the Lewis & Clark diaries that I read that there was simply no rhyme or reason to English spelling or capitalization prior to the 19th century, which is why the intrepid Explorers varied their spelling and capitalization randomly (or so it seems). By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Service. Emphasized words and phrases would also … There were also Œconomic Advantages, since it generally made Typesetting easier. I am somewhat confused about your use of “a British book printed in the 17th century”, however. Ask MetaFilter is a question and answer site that covers nearly any question on earth, where members help each other solve problems. Can a druid use Wild Shape in mid-air to survive being dropped? What would you call a person who is willing to give up their life for others? Next up! Asking for help, clarification, or responding to other answers. After that, I think I should summarise for those with eyestrain. over a long period of Time, and according to Fashion. and other forms of writing. 1955: When Marty couldn't use the time circuits anymore was the car still actually driveable? That is, they have a fairly "orthogonal" relationship today, where the former generally indicates emphasis, while the latter indicates proper nouns and sentence structure. Please only post Answers here, you know that's what it's for. By the 17th century, the practice had extended to titles (Sir, Lady), forms of address (Father, Mistris), and personified nouns (Nature). This was But your point about influence going the other way is interesting too. This could be where the Germanic rule of capitalizing nouns may have originated since the Gutenberg (and subsequent presses) were all German in origin and their language and grammar rules may have influenced the rules of printed words far and wide. It only takes a minute to sign up. How to make this illumination effect with CSS. David Foxon wrote in his book entitled Libertine literature in England, 1660-1745 that "... the vogue for heavy caps may be associated with the eighteenth-century culture of sensibility." This heavy use of capitals seems to be common especially in the printed word. One of the distinctions established during this period was between those who read 'out loud', whether actually reading aloud, or reading as if out loud, and those who read silently in that scanning-not-vocalising manner that (I presume) we now generally follow. Every noun has been capitalized. This of course doesn't contradict the fascinating trends holgate describes, but it would seem it makes the assignation of "historical accuracy" somewhat suspect, in all but the most general of senses. Awesome, awesome stuff. What is the unbiasedness condition in hypothesis testing called "unbiasedness"? The heaviest Stiles of Typography are usually associated with I expect Noah Webster with his dictionary work starting in the first third of the 19th century started working toward standardization. With a population that was more literate, but demonstrating different degrees of literacy, that distinction was significant. Though the answer might not be, my question is simple: When and how did the custom of capitalizing names begin? intended by a capital" . To subscribe to this RSS feed, copy and paste this URL into your RSS reader. The Change didn't occur at once, by some top-down Decree, but happened printers altering type font on their on accord, it was only a matter English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Does meat (Black Angus) caramelize just with heat? This starts to look familiar with printed and accepted usage by today's standard. was primarily Æsthetic, as Writers and Printers moved away from Heavy Just like the German today, it was customary during the late 17th century and the end of the 18th century to emphasize all the nouns (or nearly) with a capital letter, but there were no fixed rules governing this practice. Job offers - how to negotiate higher salary due to higher costs of living at the new location. Certain proper Nouns go from Sᴍᴀʟʟ Cᴀᴘꜱ to Capitalised. What is the History of English Language Capitalization? The original question has been well answered by holgate, so I'll respond to kenko's followup: M&D is slightly tricksy, but the prose style is exacting and disciplined. There is a steady drop of capitalizing every noun as can be seen by this volume of the Gentleman's Magazine printed in 1744. The Capitalisation of Nouns (closest modern parallel, German) faded away between the Middle and End of the Eighteenth Century. in A guide to the English tongue, writes, "'Tis grown Customary in I am guessing you mean a book printed on the Isle of Great Britain, since the Kingdom of Great Britain didn’t happen until the 18th century. And some were left in lower-case e.g., wife; fingers; hatred. The Capitalisation of Nouns (closest modern parallel, German) faded away between the Middle and End of the Eighteenth Century. Interesting examples, verstegan! Ask MetaFilter is where thousands of life's little questions are answered. You mention a Relation to the cost of printing, which I'd have thought to be Lessening Independently over time as the Technical Process improved. Stack Exchange network consists of 176 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers. The Reason was primarily Æsthetic, as Writers and Printers moved away from Heavy Typography towards a more Italianate Model. If a reader were to open an English book printed in the 17th century, one of the first things he'd notice would be the unconventional spellings, and how most nouns were capitalized. Thanks for the answer.

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