Capital letters

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Capital Letters
Capital letters are not really an aspect of punctuation, but it is convenient to deal with them here. The rules for using them are mostly very simple.
(a) The first word of a sentence, or of a fragment, begins with a capital letter:
The bumbling wizard Rincewind is Pratchett's most popular character.
Will anyone now alive live to see a colony onthe moon? Probably not.
Distressingly few pupils can locate Iraq or Japan on a map of the world.

(b) The names of the days of the week, and of the months of the year, are written with a capital letter:
Next Sunday France will hold a general election.
Mozart was born on 27 January, 1756.
Football practice takes place on Wednesdaysand Fridays.
However, the names of seasons are not written with a capital:
Like cricket, baseball is played in the summer.
Do not write *"... in the Summer".
(c) The names of languages are always written with a capital letter. Be careful about this; it's a very common mistake.
Juliet speaks English, French, Italian and Portuguese.
I need to work onmy Spanish irregular verbs.
Among the major languages of India are Hindi, Gujarati and Tamil.
These days, few students study Latin and Greek.
Note, however, that names of disciplines and school subjects are not capitalized unless they happen to be the names of languages:
I'm doing A-levels in history, geography and English.
Newtonmade important contributions to physics and mathematics.
She is studying French literature.

(d) Words that express a connection with a particular place must be capitalized when they have their literal meanings. So, for example, French must be capitalized when it means `having to do with France':
The result of the French election is still in doubt.The American and Russian negotiators are close to agreement.
There are no mountains in the Dutch landscape.
She has a dry Mancunian sense of humour.
(The word Mancunian means `from Manchester'.)
However, it is not necessary to capitalize these words when they occur as parts of fixed phrases and don't express any direct connection with the relevant places:Please buy some danish pastries.
In warm weather, we keep our french windows open.
I prefer russian dressing on my salad.
Why the difference? Well, a danish pastry is merely a particular sort of pastry; it doesn't have to come from Denmark. Likewise, french windows are merely a particular kind of window, and russian dressing is just a particular variety ofsalad dressing. Even in these cases, you can capitalize these words if you want to, as long as you are consistent about it. But notice how convenient it can be to make the difference:
In warm weather, we keep our french windows open.
After nightfall, French windows are always shuttered.
In the first example, french windows just refers to a kind of window; in thesecond, French windows refers specifically to windows in France.
(e) In the same vein, words that identify nationalities or ethnic groups must be capitalized:
The Basques and the Catalans spent decades struggling for autonomy.
The Serbs and the Croats have become bitter enemies.
Norway's most popular singer is a Sami from Lapland.
(An aside: someethnic labels which were formerly widely used are now regarded by many people as offensive and have been replaced by other labels. Thus, careful writers use Black, not Negro; native American, not Indian or red Indian; native Australian, not Aborigine. You are advised to follow suit.)
(f) Formerly, the words black and white, when applied to human beings, were never capitalized. Nowadays, however,...
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