1. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    Capital After Colons

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by lostinwebspace, Dec 13, 2011.

    I've heard contradictory information on this. Do we follow a colon with a capital letter? I think I heard it's optional unless the colon introduces a set of sentences, in which case you use a capital. Any ideas on this?
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    hast thou googled?

    when it introduces a series of items, there should be no capital... for other uses and capitalization info:

    http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/Writing/c.html
     
  3. Raki
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    Raki Contributing Member

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    I think we covered it in another thread (this thread Post #20). It's really a matter of style (and probably optional). CMOS says no capital, unless a quotation or two or more complete sentences; AP says yes if one or more complete sentences; MLA says only if it's a rule or principle; and New York Times Style says only if the matter before the colon is an introductory element. Personally, I follow the CMOS on this one, and it agrees with Strunk and White's The Elements of Style.
     
  4. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    Sorry. I missed that thread and I didn't do a search. My bad. I follow CMOS, too, I guess, but I was wondering if there was a preference. I guess CMOS comes as close as it gets. And, quite, frankly, it looks the "prettiest." Thanks.

    Yeah, I did, but as I said, I got contrary information on the subject. :(
     
  5. Raki
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    Raki Contributing Member

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    No worries. I just remembered having discussed it and it wasn't too many pages into the forums. For preference ... I think we decided that at least several preferences exist and people fall into all of them. :) I typically go with CMOS and The Elements of Style. When there is a conflict between the two, I go with whichever I feel makes more logical sense. I usually ignore the style guides of AP, NYT, MLA, and so on for creative writing because they mainly deal with news and formal writing. I think the best thing you can do is pick one and remain consistent.
     
  6. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    Might be. My biggest fear is that I'll use a style inconsistent with someone's house style and that will be the deciding factor of them throwing my work in the slush pile. I don't know if agents "slush" me based on a house style or if they write me back and say, "Good work, but please change the following," but it's a fear. Might be a discussion for another thread. :)
     
  7. Raki
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    Raki Contributing Member

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    Definitely.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    stop obsessing over the little stuff... if your writing quality is decent and your story is marketable, no agent or editor is gonna toss your ms because of a misused piece of punctuation or capital letter!
     

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