1. Ruth Jacobs
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    Ruth Jacobs Member

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    "Miss" or "miss"

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Ruth Jacobs, Dec 18, 2010.

    I would very much appreciate your thoughts on this. In dialogue, should the first letter of "miss," used as a noun to address another character, be capitalised?

    I have seen "sir" in dialogue and it seems to be all lower case, which makes me think that "miss" should be as well, but it doesn't look right, perhaps because the word "miss" has another meaning and "sir" doesn't.

    Also I capatilise the first letter of "Mum" and "Uncle" etc. when a character is addressing that person in dialogue. Am I correct in doing so?

    "I was only trying to help you, miss," he said. Or: "I was only trying to help you, Miss," he said.


    "I was only trying to help you, Mum," he said. Or: "I was only trying to help you, mum," he said.
     
  2. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    I think so..I do that as well..
    I'm only following what I was taught at school ;o
     
  3. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Capitalize it if you're substituting it for a name.

    "Hey Dad, will you help me for my homework?" - Dad is capitalized

    "I have to ask my dad to help me with my homework" - dad is lowercase

    "Miss" is usually a title, so is usually capitalized. If you have something like "She watched as the young miss and her date exited the taxi cab" then it's lowercase, because you aren't calling her "Miss" as a name.
     
  4. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    Mallory is spot on.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes, she is...
     
  6. Ruth Jacobs
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    Ruth Jacobs Member

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    Thank you all very much for the feedback.

    If Miss should be capitalised when addressing a person in dialogue, should Missus, Mister and Sir be as well?

    I am not using those in my novel, only Miss, but just curious.
     
  7. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Yes. Any type of title (Sir, Ma'am, Professor, Doctor, President etc) is capitalized if and only if it's being used in place of a name. :) If it's just a regular noun, with "the" in front of it, it's lowercase.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    they're not always... it's more a matter of style, than a rule... those are often typed in lower case even if used as a substitute for a name:

    "Here, now, missy! Don't go gettin' all het up," he said.

    "Yes, sir!' the cadet responded, with a snappy salute.

    "No, our boy's not comin' home, Missus." The old man patted his wife on the shoulder, which was for him, akin to a full-blown, two-armed embrace.
     

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