Monday, December 17, 2012

False capitlization is a national epidemic

Grading is fun.  Grading is fun.  Grading is fun.  And if you say it loud enough, you'll always sound precocious.

In addition to learning about "bottomless opportunity" and a "delusion of honesty," I'm also now about to burst into anti-retardant grading flames with the epidemic that is affecting our nation: incorrect and even implausible capitalization.

Am I alone in This?  Or does every Noun need to Capitalized these Days?  What is the cause of This Horror, and Why oh Why must you persist despite my warnings that these kinds of things trigger my brain to lower your grade.  Please, please stop.  Proper names deserve capitalization, as does the first word in a sentence (see the helpful chart to the right).  But even the civil rights movement is properly lower cased, and that was a really big deal.  Much more important (perhaps) than Immigration, War, and Social Movements.

Oh make it stop, please please make it stop.  Oh the humanity.

To be fair, my dad does this in his emails: "Send me your Flight Information."  Fair enough.  Email is a mostly informal venue and my dad is a man of science, not the humanities (full disclosure: he's a dentist, but not, as he insists, a Dentist).

But in the final essays that are all-too-slowly moving through my hands, this writing tick has replaced orphan quotations (ugh) and punctuation outside the final quotation mark (ughhhhhh) as the error that annoys me the most.

Where did it come from?  The evil that is technology is an obvious place to begin searching for clues, but autocorrect makes horrible mistakes sometimes, but hardly ever with capitalization.  Indeed, when caps are involved, it's usually to overly lower-case things.

So I'm at a loss.  Anyone got a clue?  Or rather, a Clue?

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