Monday, August 26, 2013

What Happened to Capitalizing Proper Nouns?

I don’t envy any English teacher in this technological age.  All their efforts of teaching their pupils good grammar, all their hard work of educating the students in writing, spelling and communicating comes often to a halt after graduation.  It seems that with texting and abbreviating, many basic grammar rules are falling to the wayside.  Or are we getting too lazy to shift the keys to get the proper capitalization?  I have noticed especially that many people write their names in lower case letters, or worse yet the whole address.

Coming from a German language back ground, we have many more rules about capitalization of nouns.  In fact, all nouns are capitalized.  When I researched about the history of grammar rules and capitalizing nouns I was surprised that between 1600 and 1800 it was popular to capitalize all nouns in English, too.  The American Constitution is such a document, where all nouns are capitalized.

Since our society is questioning everything today and many rules and norms are broken, is it time to revise grammar rules as well?  Who is to decide?  Is the popular trend demanding new rules, or are we to stand our ground and insist on the traditional guidelines?

Language carries in itself power and deep meaning.  It creates ideas and has certain vibrations which can either uplift us or take us down emotionally.  It is a means for communication and more importantly an expression of thoughts.

At this point it is probably not a matter of discussion when to capitalize nouns.  We live in a free country and everybody can spell the way they want to.  As for my part, it makes me sad when I see names written in lower case letters.  To me it says: I don’t matter, I am so small, or I don’t care. 
Let’s start a revolution and capitalize our names. 

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