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    #1

    capitalization

    Dear teachers,

    According to a rule (UK) it's possible not to capitalize (= not mandatory?) an adjective derived from a country or city if it's part of a common noun:

    "Close the venetian blinds" / "He just loves danish pastry"
    so would you say "I had an english muffin for breakfast" ?

    All the best,
    Hela

  1. RedMtl's Avatar
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    #2

    Smile Re: capitalization

    Quote Originally Posted by hela View Post
    Dear teachers,

    According to a rule (UK) it's possible not to capitalize (= not mandatory?) an adjective derived from a country or city if it's part of a common noun:

    "Close the venetian blinds" / "He just loves danish pastry"
    so would you say "I had an english muffin for breakfast" ?

    All the best,
    Hela

    Yes, I would say that. One might see otherwise, however. It is likely dependant upon the country of the English speaker.

    Good luck!

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: capitalization

    But, paradoxically, when something really doesn't come from somewhere, it's more likely to be capitalized. For example, "Indian ink" doesn't come from India; the French for Indian ink is encre de Chine (I doubt if it comes from China either, though I'm open to correction). But I don't think it's common to write "indian ink". [But maybe I'm biased; I'd use capitals for Venetian blinds and Danish pastries too].

    b

    PS On second thoughts, I might well drop the capital if the adjective became a (common) noun: "For breakfast I just had coffee and a danish".
    Last edited by BobK; 09-Mar-2008 at 12:36. Reason: Added PS

  3. RedMtl's Avatar
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    #4

    Smile Re: capitalization

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    But, paradoxically, when something really doesn't come from somewhere, it's more likely to be capitalized. For example, "Indian ink" doesn't come from India; the French for Indian ink is encre de Chine (I doubt if it comes from China either, though I'm open to correction). But I don't think it's common to write "indian ink". [But maybe I'm biased; I'd use capitals for Venetian blinds and Danish pastries too].

    b

    PS On second thoughts, I might well drop the capital if the adjective became a (common) noun: "For breakfast I just had coffee and a danish".
    Actually, there is a strong case for the ink, as it was made at the time (not now, of course) coming from China. A less strong line of evidence for Egypt. Neither being India!

    Also, of note for non-English users, it is more commonly called India Ink, not "indian" -- at least in North America. Geographically this makes much more sense, since the origin is a reference to geography, not culture. And "Indian" has quite a different meaning here, not always complementary.

    Interestingly, it is indeed called "China Ink" as well -- in India! (This I have direct confirmation of, not just hearsay.)

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