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Should shortened generic forms of proper nouns be capitalized?

In general, lowercase generic forms of proper nouns: the United States Army, the army President Kennedy, the president the Brooklyn Bridge, the bridge Housatonic River, the river But, as The Chicago Manual of Style notes, capitalize generic terms if necessary for clarity (“Wars”): the French Revolution, the Revolution of 1789, the Revolution, the revolution of 1848 . . .

Published 9 August 2018

Why does the MLA capitalize certain words in titles?

MLA style’s rules for capitalization are intended to help authors remain consistent while also respecting the ways in which titles have traditionally been styled in different languages. The history of capitalization in titles is complicated, though titles of printed works from earlier eras written in English generally conform to a currently recognizable style. For instance, the . . .

Published 29 April 2018

Can I silently change the initial capital letter in a quotation to fit the quotation syntactically into my sentence?

No. As the MLA Handbook advises, “Unless indicated in square brackets or parentheses, changes must not be made in the spelling, capitalization, or interior punctuation of the source” (75). Let’s say your original source reads as follows: Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world. If you need to lowercase the initial letter of the first word . . .

Published 23 April 2018

How do I style the names of centuries in MLA style?

MLA style spells out the names of centuries in prose and in titles of English-language works, even when the title page uses a numeral: Queen Victoria ruled England for most of the nineteenth century. Music of the Twentieth Century We make an exception and retain the numeral if it precedes an abbreviation in a title: The Ekopolitan . . .

Published 3 April 2018

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