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  1. #1
    Mori's Avatar
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    Why are some Oxford Dictionaries sentences neither capitalized nor full-stopped?

    Here's an example:
    he's writing a book about his experiences
    Source: Oxford Dictionaries


    As you see it's not a phrase: it's a complete sentence. However, the first word isn't capitalized, and there's no period at the end.

  2. #2
    Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    Re: Why are some Oxford Dictionaries sentences neither capitalized nor full-stopped?

    ‘he's writing a book about his experiences’

    The text is in quotes, so it could be part of a sentence.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. #3
    Rover_KE is online now Moderator
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    Re: Why are some Oxford Dictionaries sentences neither capitalized nor full-stopped?

    jamshidibrahim, please read this extract from the forum's Posting Guidelines:

    You are welcome to answer questions posted in the Ask a Teacher forum as long as your suggestions, help, and advice reflect a good understanding of the English language. If you are not a teacher, you will need to state that clearly in your post. Please note, all posts are moderated by our in-house language experts, so make sure your suggestions, help, and advice provide the kind of information an international language teacher would offer. If not, and your posts do not contribute to the topic in a positive way, they will be subject to deletion.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Why are some Oxford Dictionaries sentences neither capitalized nor full-stopped?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mori View Post
    As you see it's not a phrase: it's a complete sentence. However, the first word isn't capitalized, and there's no period at the end.
    They're treating it as a phrase, in common with the other examples.

  5. #5
    Rover_KE is online now Moderator
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    Re: Why are some Oxford Dictionaries sentences neither capitalized nor full-stopped?

    It's one of the conventions of a lot of dictionaries. Another one is using non-standard abbreviations like sb and sth to save space rather than write somebody and something thousands of times.

  6. #6
    Mori's Avatar
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    Re: Why are some Oxford Dictionaries sentences neither capitalized nor full-stopped?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    It's one of the conventions of a lot of dictionaries. Another one is using non-standard abbreviations like sb and sth to save space rather than write somebody and something thousands of times.
    Thanks for the answer, but it doesn't apply to other example sentences of the same sense — click More example sentences.

    P.S. It's strange that the definitions, which are phrases, start with a capital letter and end in a period!
    A literary composition that is published or intended for publication as a book.
    Last edited by Mori; 04-Nov-2017 at 20:23.

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Why are some Oxford Dictionaries sentences neither capitalized nor full-stopped?

    Definitions are written by humans, but examples are often chosen out of computer language databases. They can supply a phrase or more for an example, but if you ask for more sentences, then they are more likely to provide what you asked for.

    If this is your pet hate, hate it.

  8. #8
    Mori's Avatar
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    Re: Why are some Oxford Dictionaries sentences neither capitalized nor full-stopped?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    examples are often chosen out of computer language databases. They can supply a phrase or more for an example, but if you ask for more sentences, then they are more likely to provide what you asked for.
    Fair enough.


    Definitions are written by humans
    And that's why they shouldn't be written that way. That's not acceptable.
    (Compare them with the definitions and examples in Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary.)

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