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Old May 14 2013, 10:23 AM   #16
CorporalCaptain
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Re: Capitalisation of I

I always dot i and j.
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Old May 14 2013, 11:19 AM   #17
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Re: Capitalisation of I

In regards to the question about the Arabic language I asked one of the Afghan nationals that works in our office about it and he said that they do not use capital letters at all in their writings.
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Old May 14 2013, 11:27 AM   #18
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Re: Capitalisation of I

It does seem strange. German, which capitalises every second word basically, doesn't capitalise personal pronouns, unless you you are directly talking to another person.

For example if I'm writing a (somewhat formal) letter (in e-mails or text messages between friends it doesn't matter), it would be something like:
"Good day, i am writing to You regarding Your proposal blabla..."

It does look a little egocentric, the way the English language handles that, even if the hstoric explanation has nothing to do with anything like that.
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Old May 14 2013, 11:33 AM   #19
marksound
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Re: Capitalisation of I

I capitalize because "I" is more important to me than "you".
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Old May 14 2013, 01:14 PM   #20
scotpens
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Re: Capitalisation of I

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
. . . It's probably worth mentioning that Christians capitalize the personal pronouns He and Him when referring to God, Jesus, etc.
In the U.S., that used to be standard practice in much of the secular media as well, up until around 1970.

Miss Chicken wrote: View Post
We still usually capitalise many of the words in a title such as

He Who Fears the Wolf

however if it is being catalogued for a library this capitalisation is wrong , it is

He who fears the wolf
I've noticed that in most European languages, only the first word of a book title (or the title of a play or movie) is capitalized.

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
I wonder, does anybody dots i's and j's when they write or print? I can't remember ever actually doing that, except maybe in early grade school.
I've always dotted my i's and j's. I thought everybody did. Those letters look wrong and unfinished without the dot.

Carcazoid wrote: View Post
I capitalize because "I" is more important to me than "you".
Not to me, you isn't!
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Old May 14 2013, 01:46 PM   #21
C.E. Evans
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Re: Capitalisation of I

I tend to capitalize Human whenever I'm in a sci-fi discussion about various alien races (if Klingon and Wookie can be capitalized, why can't Human?).
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Old May 14 2013, 01:59 PM   #22
Rincewiend
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Re: Capitalisation of I

Roger Wilco wrote: View Post
It does seem strange. German, which capitalises every second word basically, doesn't capitalise personal pronouns, unless you you are directly talking to another person.

For example if I'm writing a (somewhat formal) letter (in e-mails or text messages between friends it doesn't matter), it would be something like:
"Good day, i am writing to You regarding Your proposal blabla..."

It does look a little egocentric, the way the English language handles that, even if the hstoric explanation has nothing to do with anything like that.
Dutch also has a formal (U) and informal (je/jij) version for you...
And dot my i's and j's for pretty much the same reason as J.Allen.

Too be honest, i hardly ever write like this anymore, mostly its a mix of this and block letters/print letters, like the ones you now see on your computerscreen or in the newspaper...
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Last edited by Rincewiend; May 14 2013 at 02:14 PM.
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Old May 14 2013, 02:07 PM   #23
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Re: Capitalisation of I

French doesn't capitalise its formal you (vous). We're rude, never forget that !
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Old May 14 2013, 02:13 PM   #24
Roger Wilco
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Re: Capitalisation of I

Rincewiend wrote: View Post
Dutch also has a formal (U) and informal (je/jij) version for you...
And dot my i's and j's for pretty much the same reason as J.Allen.
No, I think that's not what I meant.

When you're writing a letter, or address anybody specifically in a written form, you're supposed to capitalise the pronoun even if it's a friendly letter between close acquaintances - "Du" just like "Sie".

It's just that those conventions aren't taken very seriously anymore in informal letters (e-mail specifically, or online message boards).
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Old May 14 2013, 02:20 PM   #25
Rincewiend
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Re: Capitalisation of I

Roger Wilco wrote: View Post
Rincewiend wrote: View Post
Dutch also has a formal (U) and informal (je/jij) version for you...
And dot my i's and j's for pretty much the same reason as J.Allen.
No, I think that's not what I meant.

When you're writing a letter, or address anybody specifically in a written form, you're supposed to capitalise the pronoun even if it's a friendly letter between close acquaintances - "Du" just like "Sie".

It's just that those conventions aren't taken very seriously anymore in informal letters (e-mail specifically, or online message boards).
Oh right, been a while since i had to write or read in German...
Never could get my head around the rules for when to use ß or ss in a word...
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Old May 14 2013, 02:26 PM   #26
Roger Wilco
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Re: Capitalisation of I

That's got to do with pronounciation (fairly straight forward since the last spelling reform, before that it was more random), but it's really subtle, and the Swiss don't use the ß at all as far as I know.
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Old May 14 2013, 04:37 PM   #27
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Re: Capitalisation of I

OK, that's going to be a long one as I'll try to answer several questions asked in the previous posts:

The ß / ss in German follows a comperatively simple rule nowadays:
ß is written after a long vowel. Example: Straße
ss is written after a short vowel or vowel-combi. Example: Fluss
The old rule was more complicated:
ß if pronounced really sharp and always when a consonant follows. Examples: naß, häßlich.
ss if pronounced softer and when a vowel follows. Examples: Nuss, Flüsse. (exception: when a long vowel goes before the ß it stays: Straße, Muße)

===========

Capitalisation in German is really simple: the first word of a sentence and all names are written with a capital. Nouns are considered names and hence are invariably capitalized.

A formal address is always capitalized in a letter (You, Your). That's for reasons of politeness. For the same reason we do not capitalize the first person (I / me/ mine/ we /us / our)

===========

Arab has indeed no capitals. Nor have most of the other oriental fonts.

===========

According to a German article I found online, the capital I in English has a second reason beside the one already mentioned:
at the same time the ic turned into i, an i in the beginning of a word would also occasionally be used to indicate a past participle: what today is 'run', used to be 'irunne' back then. The font used was very narrow (parchment was expensive and you had to save space - paper was not yet known in the western world). This could lead to misunderstandings if the i (I) was getting close to a verb. So they decided to first write the i (I) larger and then to capitalize it.

=========
Shaytan wrote: View Post
French doesn't capitalise its formal you (vous). We're rude, never forget that !
Shaytan, are the Parisians really as rude as rumour has it? I'm starting to learn French in preparation for a trip to Paris and I'd like to know what I am facing.
Can you give me a few insider tips how to treat Parisians correctly to receive only a minimum of rudeness? I'm the type of tourist who asks before taking photos, who attempts to be very polite and not to stand in the way of people who are in a hurry. I switch off my cell in hospitals, public transport, museums, theatres and churches and never hear loud music or make phone calls in public.
What other dos and don'ts are there?
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Last edited by Rhubarbodendron; May 14 2013 at 04:48 PM.
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Old May 14 2013, 05:19 PM   #28
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Re: Capitalisation of I

Rhubarbodendron wrote: View Post
Shaytan, are the Parisians really as rude as rumour has it? I'm starting to learn French in preparation for a trip to Paris and I'd like to know what I am facing.
Can you give me a few insider tips how to treat Parisians correctly to receive only a minimum of rudeness? I'm the type of tourist who asks before taking photos, who attempts to be very polite and not to stand in the way of people who are in a hurry. I switch off my cell in hospitals, public transport, museums, theatres and churches and never hear loud music or make phone calls in public.
What other dos and don'ts are there?
That was a joke, we're not that rude, not always
Try to speak a little French, even only the polite words (s'il vous plait, merci, bonjour, aurevoir). It's always welcome.

Waiters are not rude, talking to waiters is a play, you just need to know the codes.

But I think that with your common sense, you will be fine
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Old May 14 2013, 05:25 PM   #29
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Re: Capitalisation of I

Roger Wilco wrote: View Post
That's got to do with pronounciation (fairly straight forward since the last spelling reform, before that it was more random), but it's really subtle, and the Swiss don't use the ß at all as far as I know.
Yeah, that always trips me up when I read a Swiss paper online because in my head I pronounce the words accordingly and every vocal in front of ss is short.
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Old May 14 2013, 05:51 PM   #30
mari
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Re: Capitalisation of I

Rhubarbodendron wrote: View Post
The ß / ss in German follows a comperatively simple rule nowadays:
ß is written after a long vowel. Example: Straße
ss is written after a short vowel or vowel-combi. Example: Fluss
The old rule was more complicated:
ß if pronounced really sharp and always when a consonant follows. Examples: naß, häßlich.
ss if pronounced softer and when a vowel follows. Examples: Nuss, Flüsse. (exception: when a long vowel goes before the ß it stays: Straße, Muße)
How new is this rule? In my German class in high school, we used ss and ß interchangeably, but mostly ss because most of the kids didn't know how to access other characters on their computers (same in French class, print it out and write the accents on in pen). In retrospect I have some doubts about the competence of that particular teacher. She's pretty much driven the program into the ground the last 15 years.
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