But add some punctuation and capitalization, and the meaning suddenly changes: Dot spots big Spot’s little Spots everywhere.
These rules will add sense to your sentences… Capitalize… • Names of specific persons (a tough one to remember). Examples: Wilma Flintstone, Miss Piggy, Norman Bates • Specific geographic locations Examples: Houston, Bedrock, Gotham City, New York City, Texas, Georgia, the North, the Southwest FYI…Don’t capitalize the words north, south, east, west, etc. then referring to direction, just if it refers to a section of the country.
Example In a small town in the South (a section of the country), surprised residents sighted giant possums north (direction) of the Roadkill Grill.
Also Capitalize… • Names of businesses, institutions, and government bodies. American Red Cross, Creekland Middle School, the House of Representatives • Names of historical events, special events, and calendar dates. However, don’t capitalize seasons. Middle Ages, World War II, Mother’s Day
Capitalize the names of nationalities, races, and religions. American, German, Caucasian, Catholic, Buddhist • Capitalize brand names, but not the product Dell computers, Levi’s jeans • Capitalize names of ships, planets, monuments, awards, and any other particular places, things, or events. the Mayflower, Mars, Washington Monument, the Nobel Peace Prize
Only capitalize a school subject if it is a language or a course title followed by a number. speech, drama, biology, Speech II, English, French, Toenail Painting 101
Every Halloween confused little Thadeus dresses like an Easter bunny, and every Christmas he cries to go trick-or-treating.
FYI Don’t capitalize freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior unless the word is part of a proper noun such as the Junior-Senior Prom.
Matlida became ill in English, and later she threw up while dissecting a toad in biology. Unfortunately she’ll miss the Sophomore Talent Show where she intended to sing a medley of Beatles tunes in German and Latin.
Still more… • Capitalize the title of a person when it comes before a name. • Capitalize the first word and all important words in titles of books, magazines, poems, stories, movies, paintings, and other works of art. (Unimportant words are a, an, the, and short prepositions that are fewer than five letters. However, the first and last words of a title are always capitalized, even if they’re unimportant words.)
FYI The word god is not capitalized when it refers to gods of ancient mythology. The Greeks worshiped many gods. When he flexes his muscles, Wilbur thinks he looks like a Roman god.
And more… • Capitalize a word showing family relationship when used with the person’s name, but not when the word showing relationship is preceded by a possessive pronoun (my, your, his, her, its, their, our). Aunt Erma, my aunt, Cousin Verne, your cousin, Grandfather Scabs, their grandfather, my uncle Joe) My talented Uncle Buford is a frog-calling champion in five countries.
FYI (again) Capitalize a word showing family relationship when used in a direct address… “Gosh, Mom”, whined Lionel, “why can’t I wrestle crocodiles? Stumpy’smom lets him!
Almost through… • Capitalize abbreviations for degrees that follow a person’s name: M.D., Ph. D., D.D.S, A.B.C.D.E.F.G.(just kidding). • Capitalize the abbreviations Jr. and Sr. when they follow a person’s name. • Capitalize the first word and each noun in the salutation (opening) of a letter. However only the first word in the closing of a letter is capitalized: Dear Miss Dempsey, Sincerely yours, Yours until crawdads fly,