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Informal Name Capitalisation Question
« on: March 31, 2020, 10:23:41 pm »
Hi there. I'm having trouble figuring out whether to capitalise an informal place name that I'm using in a piece of fiction.

In the story, a group of people live on a property on the side of a hill. They informally call the property "The Hill" and refer to it like that in everyday speech. My first instinct is to always capitalise 'The Hill' (as it's the name of the place) - but when it is written as part of the story it often just looks weird. eg:

- "John first arrived at The Hill in June."

- "Now I'd finally left the property, The Hill seemed like some kind of bad dream."

Should I just leave it in lowercase? I'm really unsure now.


Re: Informal Name Capitalisation Question
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2020, 07:51:56 am »
Proper nouns that name specific people, places, and things require capitalization, even if the name is informal.

"The Hill" refers to that specific hill; it always refers to that (and only that) hill.

By contrast, "the hill" can refer to any hill.


A similar example is from the movie "The Big Lebowski"

The main character was named "The Dude".

If you write about him, it's "The Dude" because that's the character's name. "The Dude is a funny guy." means "The man we call 'The Dude' is funny."

If you write about "the dude", that means just some random guy. "Do you see the dude in the red hat?" means "Do you see the man who is wearing a red hat?"

edit: typo
« Last Edit: April 01, 2020, 08:42:18 am by slycordinator »


  • oglop
  • The Legend

    • 4437

    • August 25, 2011, 07:24:54 pm
    • Seoul


Re: Informal Name Capitalisation Question
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2020, 08:05:16 am »
stop talking to bots

https://www.reddit.com/r/grammar/comments/fs7t8i/informal_name_capitalisation_question/
At first, I assumed it was one, but when I didn't see the spam links in the post or profile like had showed up in the previous ones, I guessed this might've just been a non-native member.


  • irishcaron
  • Newgookin

    • 1

    • November 17, 2020, 12:55:12 pm
    • Rapid City, SD
Re: Informal Name Capitalisation Question
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2020, 02:50:06 pm »
OK cheers. Might be easier if I just change the name! Thanks for the reply.


  • Arsalan
  • Lord Admin

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    • September 18, 2006, 02:00:00 pm
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Re: Informal Name Capitalisation Question
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2020, 01:49:32 pm »
There's nothing to really indicate that it is a bot, other than the reddit post that could've been the same user.  Maybe unlikely, but let's check if they respond, and with what.... any comments @farukhcasy2?
https://REDThanos.com
https://www.facebook.com/arsalan.lavang.9

"My heart bursts into starlight,
like collapsing ecstasy."


  • Mr C
  • The Legend

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Re: Informal Name Capitalisation Question
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2020, 02:22:52 pm »
There's nothing to really indicate that it is a bot, other than the reddit post that could've been the same user.  Maybe unlikely, but let's check if they respond, and with what.... any comments @farukhcasy2?

What, since April?  If it was a bot, I'm sure it was cowed by your speedy response!

Mr. C is not a bad person, in fact is quite a good person here. One of the best people on this forum if you really look at it
-Mr.DeMartino


  • Arsalan
  • Lord Admin

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    • September 18, 2006, 02:00:00 pm
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    more
Re: Informal Name Capitalisation Question
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2020, 12:29:56 am »
I'll get back to you later on that, lol :)
https://REDThanos.com
https://www.facebook.com/arsalan.lavang.9

"My heart bursts into starlight,
like collapsing ecstasy."


  • Kyndo
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    • 1550

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: Informal Name Capitalisation Question
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2020, 07:05:14 am »
:laugh: