How are you?
Thank you for all your responses to my last post. I really enjoyed reading about your weekend activities - swimming, walking on the beach, picnicking by the Nile, reading the Shakespeare play A Midsummer Night's Dream, even watching awful movies... ;)
Anyway, last week I set a piece of homework. To capitalise the following sentence:
my uncle is a professor of chinese at the university of edinburgh. students call him professor jones but I call him uncle steven. he spent a long time in the east studying buddhism.
Well here is the correct answer:
My uncle is a professor of Chinese at The University of Edinburgh. Students call him Professor Jones but I call him Uncle Steven. He spent a long time in the East studying Buddhism.
Some of you were close but no one was completely correct! So which parts of this sentence are worth learning form? I want to pick out six points:
My uncle (1) is a professor (2) of Chinese (3) at The University of Edinburgh (4). Students call him Professor Jones but I call him Uncle Steven. He spent a long time in the East (5) studying Buddhism (6).
1) uncle or Uncle? Normally uncle wouldn't have a capital letter, unless it comes right before a person's name, like 'Uncle Steven' in the next sentence.
2) This is the same for professional job titles. As a noun professor doesn't need a capital letter, but when it is someone's title, like 'Professor Jones' or 'Dr Doolittle' it takes a capital letter.
3) 'Chinese' here indicates the language. Languages are capitalised, as are nationalities and of course countries.
4) 'The University of Edinburgh' is the official name of the institution. As the word 'the' is part of the official title, it also needs a capital letter. You can check this by doing a quick online search if you're not sure.
5) Compass directions like north, south east and west only take capital letters when they are part of a name established by popular usage to mean a certain region, for example: the Pacific Northwest, the South Pacific, or the East or West when talking about those areas in cultural terms.
6) Buddhism and other religions take capital letters.
So - by combining this post and the last one I hope you have some of the basic rules for capitalising in English. There are others - sorry - as we know English is a complicated language and many native speakers sometimes make mistakes with this kind of thing! But these should help you to start with.
Right, enough of capital letters. Let's turn to Vito's blog on Venice.
Beautiful Venice... I have to say again that your pictures are amazing! I was lucky enough to go to Venice a few years ago myself and it took my breath away. You have brought back some lovely memories for me. In fact, your blog was very practical with lots of advice for travellers about tickets, fares and transport in the city! What was your favourite part?
Bearing in mind the lesson on capitalisation above, how would you modify this sentence?
"If you need a rest or if you want to see some really interesting Museums, Churches, Islands like Burano - Murano and Torcello, you can't miss this beautiful city..."
Vito - You finished your blog by talking about the unforgettable restaurants in Venice. So would you like to write a blog about Italian food. Pizza, pasta and risotto are all delicious and world-famous, but perhaps you could introduce some more regional specialities that we might not know about?
And everyone else - what is your opinion of Italian food? Is it popular in your country? What is your favourite and why?
Me - I have to say I love it - a freshly-made thin-crust pizza with moist tomato-based topping with different cheeses and ham is a real treat for me. Mmmm.
Ah good, it's time for lunch. Perfect timing.
See you soon!