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The following directions respecting the use of capital letters, are extracted from Lindley Murray's English Grammar.

It was formerly the custom to begin every noun with a capital: but as this practice was troublesome, and gave the writing or printing a crowded and confused appearance, it has been discontinued. It is, however, very proper to begin with a capital,

  1. The first word of every book, chapter, letter, note, or any other piece of writing.
  2. The first word after a period; and, if the two sentences are totally independent, after a note of interrogation or exclamation. But if a number of interrogative or exclamatory sentences are thrown into one general group, or if the construction of the latter sentences depends on the former, all of them, except the first, may begin with a small letter: as, “How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning? and fools hate knowledge? “Alas! how different! yet how like the same!”
  3. The appellations of the Deity: as, “God, Jehovah, the Almighty, the Supreme Being, the Lord, Providence, the Messiah, the Holy Spirit.”
  4. Proper names of persons, places, streets, mountains, rivers, ships: as, “George, York, the Strand, the Alps, the Thames, the Seahorse.”
  5. Adjectives derived from the proper names of places: as, “Grecian, Roman, English, French, and Italian.”
  6. The first word of a quotation, introduced after a colon, or when it is in a direct form: as, “Always remember this ancient maxim: 'Know thyself.'” “Our great Lawgiver says, 'Take up thy cross daily, and follow me.'” But when a quotation is brought in obliquely after a comma, a capital is unnecessary: as, “Solomon observes, 'that pride goes before destruction.'” The first word of an example may also very properly begin with a capital: as, “Temptation proves our virtue.”
  7. Every substantive and principal word in the titles of books: as, “Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language;” “Thomson's Seasons;” “Rollin's Ancient History.”
  8. The first word of every line in poetry.
  9. The pronoun I, and the interjection O, are written in capitals: as, “I write:” “Hear, O earth!”

Other words, besides the preceding, may begin with capitals, when they are remarkably emphatical, or the principal subject of the composition.

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