Principles of Letter Writing - Forms - Notes
(9) Proper names begin with a capital; as, "Jones, Johnson, Caesar, Mark
Antony, England, Pacific, Christmas."
Such words as river, sea, mountain, etc., when used generally are common,
not proper nouns, and require no capital. But when such are used with an
adjective or adjunct to specify a particular object they become proper
names, and therefore require a capital; as, "Mississippi River, North
Sea, Alleghany Mountains," etc. In like manner the cardinal points north,
south, east and west, when they are used to distinguish regions of a
country are capitals; as, "The North fought against the South."
When a proper name is compounded with another word, the part which is not
a proper name begins with a capital if it precedes, but with a small
letter if it follows, the hyphen; as "Post-homeric," "Sunday-school."
(10) Words derived from proper names require a Capital; as, "American,
Irish, Christian, Americanize, Christianize."
In this connection the names of political parties, religious sects and
schools of thought begin with capitals; as, "Republican, Democrat, Whig,
Catholic, Presbyterian, Rationalists, Free Thinkers."
(11) The titles of honorable, state and political offices begin with a
capital; as, "President, Chairman, Governor, Alderman."
(12) The abbreviations of learned titles and college degrees call for
capitals; as, "LL.D., M.A., B.S.," etc. Also the seats of learning
conferring such degrees as, "Harvard University, Manhattan College," etc.
(13) When such relative words as father, mother, brother, sister, uncle,
aunt, etc., precede a proper name, they are written and printed with
capitals; as, Father Abraham, Mother Eddy, Brother John, Sister Jane,
Uncle Jacob, Aunt Eliza. Father, when used to denote the early Christian
writer, is begun with a capital; "Augustine was one of the learned
Fathers of the Church."
(14) The names applied to the Supreme Being begin with capitals: "God,
Lord, Creator, Providence, Almighty, The Deity, Heavenly Father, Holy
One." In this respect the names applied to the Saviour also require
capitals: "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Man of Galilee, The Crucified, The
Anointed One." Also the designations of Biblical characters as "Lily of
Israel, Rose of Sharon, Comfortress of the Afflicted, Help of Christians,
Prince of the Apostles, Star of the Sea," etc. Pronouns referring to God
and Christ take capitals; as, "His work, The work of Him, etc."
(15) Expressions used to designate the Bible or any particular division
of it begin with a capital; as, "Holy Writ, The Sacred Book, Holy Book,
God's Word, Old Testament, New Testament, Gospel of St. Matthew, Seven
(16) Expressions based upon the Bible or in reference to Biblical
characters begin with a capital: "Water of Life, Hope of Men, Help of
Christians, Scourge of Nations."
(17) The names applied to the Evil One require capitals: "Beelzebub,
Prince of Darkness, Satan, King of Hell, Devil, Incarnate Fiend, Tempter
of Men, Father of Lies, Hater of Good."
(18) Words of very special importance, especially those which stand out
as the names of leading events in history, have capitals; as, "The
Revolution, The Civil War, The Middle Ages, The Age of Iron," etc.
(19) Terms which refer to great events in the history of the race require
capitals; "The Flood, Magna Charta, Declaration of Independence."
(20) The names of the days of the week and the months of the year and the
seasons are commenced with capitals: "Monday, March, Autumn."
(21) The Pronoun I and the interjection O always require the use of
capitals. In fact all the interjections when uttered as exclamations
commence with capitals: "Alas! he is gone." "Ah! I pitied him."
(22) All noms-de-guerre, assumed names, as well as names given for
distinction, call for capitals, as, "The Wizard of the North," "Paul
Pry," "The Northern Gael," "Sandy Sanderson," "Poor Robin," etc.
(23) In personification, that is, when inanimate things are represented
as endowed with life and action, the noun or object personified begins
with a capital; as, "The starry Night shook the dews from her wings."
"Mild-eyed Day appeared," "The Oak said to the Beech--'I am stronger
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