RE: To capitalize or not?

Subject: RE: To capitalize or not?
From: <mbaker -at- analecta -dot- com>
To: "'Jim'" <jameswitkin -at- gmail -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 8 Jun 2016 16:48:42 -0400

Proper names are capitalized, common names are not.

It's your company's port so your company gets to decide if it has a name or
not. If it decides it is called External Port, that is its name. If it
decides to call it External, that is its name. If it decides it is call
Captain Flint's Left Elbow, that is its name. Things have names because
people gave them names, and for no other reason.

There is no rule that says that you can't give something a name that is the
same as the common noun that describes it. You can name your Yorkie "Small
Dog" if you want to. You can name an external port, "External Port" if you
want to

If you do give it a name, it is a good idea to use that name consistently.

Mark

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+mbaker=analecta -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+mbaker=analecta -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf
Of Jim
Sent: Wednesday, June 8, 2016 3:07 PM
To: techwr-l
Subject: To capitalize or not?

I'm having this ongoing debate with my engineer coworkers: when to
capitalize the names of the parts that make up our hardware platform. I'm
describing a server we manufacture for telecom networks. On the back of the
server are various ports and plugs. I am providing instructions for
connecting a specific cable to a specific port, which we call the "external
port."

Question: should reference to this specific port be capitalized (External
Port) or not (external port). My engineer coworkers say yes because we are
referring to a specific port so this is a type of proper noun. All the other
ports on the server have specific names so these should also be capitalized.
I'm not sure this does qualify as a proper noun. Thoughts?
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