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Incorrect capitalisation!

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16 replies to this topic

#16 Dr Teeth

Dr Teeth


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Posted 21 July 2009 - 10:28 AM

According to the online OED, capitalise is also acceptable? [url="http://\"http://www.askoxford.com/results/?view=dict&freesearch=capitalization&branch=13842570&textsearchtype=exact\""]http://www.askoxford...earchtype=exact[/url] - 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: [url="http://\"http://www.genenames.org/data/hgnc_data.php?hgnc_id=12680\""]http://www.genenames...p?hgnc_id=12680[/url]

Ummm...HUGO does NOT appear to concur with your example even in the link you provided. In your link, as well as the one I provided earlier, vascular endothelial growth factor A shows VEGF for previous symbols and VEGF-A or VPF for aliases and not vegf or vegf-a. Or are you referring to people writing "Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor" instead of "vascular endothelial growth factor?" If so, I'd need to say that I have NEVER seen someone write "Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor," capitalizing each initial letter, but if he did, it would probably be meant to emphasize the letters used for the acronym, rather than due to misunderstanding the rules for capitalization.

In a side note, I might add that capitalization of these acronyms may have arisen from the use of word processing software. As we all know, writing a scientific manuscript in Microsoft Word can be quite annoying, as Word attempts to \"fix\" various scientific words or underline them mercilessly; however, this is not the case when words are written as acronyms (in all capital letters). Thus, it makes life easier to write in caps. Just a theory, though.

Edited by Dr Teeth, 21 July 2009 - 10:29 AM.

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#17 casandra


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Posted 21 July 2009 - 12:27 PM

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. :D 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').

Well, if Oxford d`English Dictionary wants to be as anal-retentively pedantic as you then he'd also say that your use of the 's' is a mistake. And now you're also saying that the editorial boards are lazy and incompetent.....how sweet :), I'm starting to like you already, sean d`Intriguing Potato Business.

But for argument's sake, what detriment or catastrophe are you forecasting if someone's committing this capitalisation error? I could understand this with violations of grammar or spelling or punctuation and even the usual capitalisation rules (proper nouns etc) i.e. meanings can change and there could be a lot of misunderstandings but this acronym-derived capitalisation of noun clusters? C`mon dude....and you need to reply to Dr Teeth`s query...how often does this occur that it caught your attention?

So do you have any more language issues that you want to vent? Just try not to give me an apoplexy ok? :D
"Oh what a beauteousness!"
- hobglobin, personal comment about my beauteous photo......

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