Student or Learner
Is colon always followed by a small letter?
Is this correct?
Reasons why preschools gain popularity: (a) more parents....
The answer is that the first word of any entry on a list or outline, no matter where it is, normally begins with an upper-case letter.
A. The causes of the war
. . 1. Economic causes
. . 2. Social causes
. . 3. Political causes
. . . .a. The rise of regionalism
. . . .b. The background issues
B. The first signs of hostility
. . 1. Impressing of American sailors
. . . . a. Response of the US (Federal)
. . . . b. Agitation from New England journalism
. . 2. The pressure from France
It isn't usual for a colon (or any other punctuation) to be part of a list, but if it is for some reason, then I would normally capitalize the following word
II. The French monarchy: The attitude of L'etat c'est moi
c) The main factors
d) Other factors: The influence of philosophy
Here is a rule of thumb for capitalizing after a colon:
If the information preceding the colon serves no purpose other than to set up the information following the colon, begin the first letter after the colon with a capital letter. If both halves of the sentences are equally important, do not capitalize.
I'll give you two examples to show what I mean.
1. She had no friends in school: the girl was a pill to her classmates.
2. There's something very important you must remember: Always obey your mother, even if she tells you to jump off a bridge.
Did they take her orally three times a day?
I note this definition in the Urban Dictionary, but I've been told this source is totally unreliable.
2.4 an annoying or nagging person
I've never heard "pill" used in that way either.
We were taught back in the days of Grade 8 typing that any full stop, including a colon, required capitalization afterwards, not to mention two spaces. I don't follow it, but that's because I prefer the way French and Italian do it. I thought it was mostly just me.
could it possibly mean that she is so boring that she puts everyone around her to sleep, as in a sleeping pill?
This is absolutely the word to describe a boring or nagging person.
Calling such a person "a pill" goes back to at LEAST my grandmother's childhood, and I still use it today.
A person doesn't have to be a pill all the time. Sometimes a bad show of nagging and pestering can be dismissed or deprecated by mumbling to your friends, "What a pill she is today."
Or one of your friends may set up a clamor about her mother-in-law's meddlesome behavior; you respond supportively by saying, "tsk. What a pill!"
English has a lot of words to denote the exact way in which someone is unpleasant; "pill" is one of them, but a lot of them are not used in polite company. I think people readily distinguish between a pill, a moron, an a**hole, a jerk, a fool, a tool, a wad, a creep, a pest, and so on.
Finding the exact term is part of the fun of badmouthing others.
In the second sentence, the colon was used correctly: It follows a formal salutation, introduces a list, or signals the start of a long quote following a complete sentence.
And the upper-case letter was used correctly for the first word of such a list or quotation.
But the first sentence should have been punctuated with a SEMICOLON, not a colon. This sentence is simply one made of two independent clauses. That's why the word starting the second independent clause is in lower case.
The first sentence should be punctuated like this:
1. She had no friends in school; the girl was a pill to her classmates.
How to use the semicolon properly