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Incorrect capitalisation!


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16 replies to this topic

#1 seanspotatobusiness

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 12:09 PM

I would just like to take this opportunity to remind you that noun clusters such as vascular endothelial growth factor should not be capitalised just because they're often used in acronym form!

Many people make the mistake: vascular endothelial growth factor > VEGF > Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor = WRONG!

Won't someone please think of the children?

#2 Dominic

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 04:47 AM

oH tHaTs sO dEpPrEssIng

#3 Dr Teeth

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 05:35 AM

While this is technically correct based on English grammar, wherein capitalization should be used for words derived from proper nouns, publications from the Human Genome Organization (HUGO) Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC), the only organisation authorised to
assign approved nomenclature to human genes, show capitalization of abbreviations for numerous gene names. See the pdf link on:
http://precedings.na.../3182/version/1
If you take issue, take it up with them, as the rest of us are obliged to follow their lead.

Also, one should remember that standard "English" rules do not always apply to scientific English, nor should English necessarily be the standard for all scientists as many hail from different regions with different grammatical rules.

Edited by Dr Teeth, 20 July 2009 - 05:58 AM.


Science is simply common sense at its best that is rigidly accurate in observation and merciless to fallacy in logic.
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#4 Clare

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 05:43 AM

oH tHaTs sO dEpPrEssIng


*giggles*

#5 toejam

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 06:08 AM

:lol: :lol:
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#6 GeorgeWolff

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 03:06 PM

Dear pedant, it's "capitalization"

#7 swanny

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 04:08 PM

Dear pedant, it's "capitalization"

Only with US spelling, I think... :lol:
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#8 bob1

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 04:29 PM

Dear pedant, it's "capitalization"

Only with US spelling, I think... :lol:

Unfortunately UK English is inconsistent with the use of "z" or "s" in words. In this case GeorgeWolff is quite correct, it is spelled with the"z" in both UK and US English.

#9 casandra

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 06:24 PM

Dear pedant, it's "capitalization"

Only with US spelling, I think... :lol:

Unfortunately UK English is inconsistent with the use of "z" or "s" in words. In this case GeorgeWolff is quite correct, it is spelled with the"z" in both UK and US English.

I had to check my OED for this and it's really interesting how the Brits would spell "capitalize" with a "z" or "s" but would only use z for the noun and the same is true for industrialization, hybridization, symbolization etc. and yet would spell fertilize and fertilization with either a z or s...pretty inconsistent really...and they're supposed to set the standard :)
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#10 casandra

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 06:30 PM

Dear pedant, it's "capitalization"

hi George....a perfect example of ad hom ;) , so now you're scaring me.....and you're so right about the spelling so why don't we give him a break, ok?
"Oh what a beauteousness!"
- hobglobin, personal comment about my beauteous photo......

#11 seanspotatobusiness

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 12:44 AM

Dear pedant, it's "capitalization"

Only with US spelling, I think... ;)

Unfortunately UK English is inconsistent with the use of "z" or "s" in words. In this case GeorgeWolff is quite correct, it is spelled with the"z" in both UK and US English.


According to the online OED, capitalise is also acceptable? http://www.askoxford...earchtype=exact - I believe I am consistent in that I always favour 's'. In any case, it's beside the point. I wanted to highlight inappropriate capitalisation of words in noun clusters. Capitalisation of those words confers an unintended and inappropriate meaning and should therefore not be done. HUGO concurs with my example: http://www.genenames...p?hgnc_id=12680

#12 GeorgeWolff

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 02:58 AM

Keep on dancing, pedant.

#13 HomeBrew

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 04:57 AM

Whether you feel as strongly about this as seanspotatobusiness or not, this is the "Scientific English" forum, and seanspotatobusiness is a member of the BioForum community, and he is discussing an aspect of scientific English. Agree or disagree with him, but let's keep it civil and respectful, please.

#14 casandra

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 07:30 AM

Thanks for the reminder Homebrew...I always try to be civil and polite but George is not even trying.....George, behave yourself ;)..like HB says, we are all members of this community so everyone has a say and this is a friendly and respectful (almost familial) board so we keep it that way....and now back to the enigmatic potato business....

According to the online OED, capitalise is also acceptable? http://www.askoxford...earchtype=exact - I believe I am consistent in that I always favour 's'. In any case, it's beside the point. I wanted to highlight inappropriate capitalisation of words in noun clusters. Capitalisation of those words confers an unintended and inappropriate meaning and should therefore not be done. HUGO concurs with my example: http://www.genenames...p?hgnc_id=12680


Sticking to your guns eh sean? But didn't you just demonstrate your double standard here? Like I posted previously, for the noun, OED clearly says zed and yet you "consistently" favour using the "s" (and personally, I think it's no big deal) so in this instance, you'd not follow the OED which for most of us has enough authority and then you still insist that the others who use capital letters for noun clusters are wrong even if that's the style they favour and ultimately is accepted by the book or journal editors. Why should you see this as a problem? HUGO can make all the recommendations but in the end it would still be the individual's choice to use what s/he prefers and if you see this "wrong" capitalisation in print then it only means it passed the editorial cutting board. Is this still part of your mission?
"Oh what a beauteousness!"
- hobglobin, personal comment about my beauteous photo......

#15 seanspotatobusiness

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 09:06 AM

Thanks for the reminder Homebrew...I always try to be civil and polite but George is not even trying.....George, behave yourself ;)..like HB says, we are all members of this community so everyone has a say and this is a friendly and respectful (almost familial) board so we keep it that way....and now back to the enigmatic potato business....

According to the online OED, capitalise is also acceptable? http://www.askoxford...earchtype=exact - I believe I am consistent in that I always favour 's'. In any case, it's beside the point. I wanted to highlight inappropriate capitalisation of words in noun clusters. Capitalisation of those words confers an unintended and inappropriate meaning and should therefore not be done. HUGO concurs with my example: http://www.genenames...p?hgnc_id=12680


Sticking to your guns eh sean? But didn't you just demonstrate your double standard here? Like I posted previously, for the noun, OED clearly says zed and yet you "consistently" favour using the "s" (and personally, I think it's no big deal) so in this instance, you'd not follow the OED which for most of us has enough authority and then you still insist that the others who use capital letters for noun clusters are wrong even if that's the style they favour and ultimately is accepted by the book or journal editors. Why should you see this as a problem? HUGO can make all the recommendations but in the end it would still be the individual's choice to use what s/he prefers and if you see this "wrong" capitalisation in print then it only means it passed the editorial cutting board. Is this still part of your mission?


The only reason I stick to 's' is to make sure I'm consistent within what I write. I'm pretty sure it's how I was taught. I think that 's' and 'z', in such cases as these, are acceptable variations (I had thought that 'z' was predominantly used in American English but never looked deeply into it). However, I don't think that capitalisation of expanded acrnyms is a style per se. I think it's a mistake that, like many other mistakes that I see published in journal articles, isn't corrected by the editors because they don't have time to be as pedantic as I do. :) I'm still quite certain that it's a mistake that arises when people expand an acronym. If you look at it another way, if the first time a noun-cluster was written, it was written in lower case, then it surely makes no sense to capitalise it afterwards? I think capitalisation is governed by rules and although you can write what you please, I think it's still possible to call it wrong if it deviates from those rules (unlike 's' versus 'z').




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