Re: Caps misunderstanding

Subject: Re: Caps misunderstanding
From: Marguerite Krupp <mkrupp -at- CAYMAN -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 29 Apr 1994 12:33:39 EDT

>Margaret Gerard writes:
> I constantly get documents to edit in which the writer plays fast and
> loose with initial caps. Any ideas as to why this is so?

And Jane Torpie responded:

>My company bought a product that was developed mostly by German SmallTalk
>software engineers. Most of the doc. was written by a woman whose first
>language was German, second language was SmallTalk, and third language was
>English. There were lots of "extra" initial caps in her documents.

>I suppose that this happened because capitalization in mid-sentence or
>mid-statement is much more common in German and ST than in English.

My two-cents' worth:

In German, nouns are capitalized, as are formal pronouns. That's probably
why the German-SmallTalk-English document came across with "weird"

Otherwise, I've noticed a trend in the way people represent words they're
"uncomfortable" with: they capitalize, hyphenate, set off in quotes, and
otherwise distinguish them from "normal" words. As these words become more
comon, all the embellishments gradually diminish and eventually disappear.

I realize I'm jumping into the middle of this thread. My apologies if
someone else has already covered the same ground.


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