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  1. #1
    Resaw Guest

    Bulleted List - Capitalize?

    Hello. When I have a list of items that are bulleted, should the first letter of each item be capitalized or lower case? Is there good reference material on this. For example, the following items are found in the average classroom:
    - teacher's desk; (or should this be Teacher's desk?)
    - student desks; (or should this be Student desks?)
    - blackboard; (or should this be Blackboard?)
    - chalk; and (or should this be Chalk?)
    - books (or should this be Books?)

    This is just an example, and may be a poorly constructed one, but it is the principle that I am seeking guidance on.

  2. #2
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    Capitalization

    Hi Resaw :D ,

    you capitalize

    1. at the beginning of each sentence: Today I will go....

    2. the personal pronoun : I

    3. days of the week: Monday, Tuesday....

    4. names of the months : January, February....

    5. names : Bill, Julia.....

    6. festivals and holidays: Halloween, Christmas, Easter...

    7. languages : English, Spanish, German, French ....

    8. names of towns, rivers, mountains, bodies of water : Leeds, The Thames, The Alps, Loch Ness .....

    9. directions but only in connection with names of towns, countries:

    East Africa, West London....

    10. names of relation : Aunt Meggy, Uncle Greg with their names

    11. also: Dad, Mum, Grandmother, Grandfather
    without their names

    But do not capitalize seasons : winter, summer....

    but not: brother, sister, cousin, niece ....

    but not directions: east , west, .....


    These are the basic rules :wink: and I hope this will help you.

    Ulli :D

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    The rules Ulli gives are right, but there are also cases where some people capitalise and others don't. Nowadays, people often capitalise keywords. I recommend that this is used sparingly- too many capital letters, except where required by rule, rapidly loses effect; like people who write in upper case to stress the importance of something. 'Whiteboard' might be capilaised in advertising, or even in a teaching manual, but otherwise, is there any reason:

    I wrote the sentence on the Blackboard.

    Does the help in any way? I don't think so- it's not a proper noun and I can't see the need for it. However, in a training manual for teachers, 'Blackboard Organisation' might work because it is an important subject.

  4. #4
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    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Bulleted List - Capitalize?

    Quote Originally Posted by Resaw
    Hello. When I have a list of items that are bulleted, should the first letter of each item be capitalized or lower case? Is there good reference material on this. For example, the following items are found in the average classroom:
    - teacher's desk; (or should this be Teacher's desk?)
    - student desks; (or should this be Student desks?)
    - blackboard; (or should this be Blackboard?)
    - chalk; and (or should this be Chalk?)
    - books (or should this be Books?)

    This is just an example, and may be a poorly constructed one, but it is the principle that I am seeking guidance on.
    There is no reason to capitalize single common words or non-sentence phrases in a bulleted list. :wink:

  5. #5
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    Language

    It's a pity how language/grammar rules are being misused.

    I won't support this "development" at all.

    Ulli 8)

  6. #6
    Resaw Guest

    Bulleted List - Capitalize?

    Thanks Mike. You have answered my question. Although Ulli clarified some of the rules, none of these rules answered my question, but thanks for the reminder of the rules, anyway.

  7. #7
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    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Bulleted List - Capitalize?

    Quote Originally Posted by Resaw
    Thanks Mike. You have answered my question. Although Ulli clarified some of the rules, none of these rules answered my question, but thanks for the reminder of the rules, anyway.
    You're welcome. I will add this. Lists are sometimes part of a sentence. In those cases, it is incorrect to capitalize the items unless they require capitalization for other reasons.

    Each student should bring:

    a pencil
    an ID card
    a packed lunch

    I see this mistake with multiple choice questions rather frequently.

    The most effective antibiotic for gram-negative urinary tract infections in the dog is

    penicillin.
    tetracycline.
    Baytril.
    ampicillin.
    Lincocin.

    The only two that are capitalized are trade names. The others should not be capitalized.

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