1. JTheGreat
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    JTheGreat Contributing Member

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    More Capitalization Help

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by JTheGreat, Sep 26, 2010.

    I know when you call someone something in place of their name (e.g. "Mom" and "Uncle"). I've also heard that you capitalize "Milady" and "Your Majesty".

    What I'm asking, is do you capitalize name-calling, such as calling someone "Dude" or "Stupid"? Help please D:.
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I have a hard time imagining a sentence where someone was called dude where the dude did not head the sentence. It's use is almost always as a attention getter prior to making the actual statement one wishes to make. In this case the fact that the word heads the sentence overrides any other reason one would need to worry about concerning capitalization.

    Now, someone calling someone else stupid is another story. I can easily see structures where the word stupid did not head the sentense.

    "Why are you being so stupid?"

    "Look, stupid. I said the red one not the blue one."


    And in this case I would not capitalize the word.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    basically, when calling someone something like 'dude' or 'stupid' or 'mac' or 'bub' or 'fella' and such, the word is not capitalized, unless as wrey noted, it's the first word in a sentence... it would just be like saying, 'Hey, you!'...

    however, if that's what the character is called by folks who know him, then it's a nickname or a name and so needs a capital...
     
  4. erik martin
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    erik martin Contributing Member

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    Unless you are talking about the Dude, a la Big Lebowski.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    That would be a nickname, Erik.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yeah, erik... like i said, dude! ;-)
     
  7. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Watch Keano Reeves in Bill & Ted.

    "Woah, dude." x 245
    "Yeah, dude." x 372
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    how do you see those examples as 'dude' heading the sentence?

    did you miss the point that the quoted post was a double negative?

    or am i confused?
     
  9. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Respectfully, I think you are. Wreybies said that "dude" always headed the sentence as an attention grabber, and I gave an example of a movie where that is repetitively countered. ;)

    Although, I admit that the words heading "dude" there are closer to gutteral sounds.
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Those sentences are doubly headed, first by the appellation, then by the word 'dude'. The latter is used more like the Jaffa word 'cree' meaning 'attention' or 'yo there', or even like the modern Tourettes-like 'lol' interspered at random points in contemporary electronic communications.
     
  11. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    with the Mom/Uncle stuff, it's only capitalized if it's a name:

    "Hey Mom, what's up?" compared with "I have to tell my mom I'm going out."
     
  12. Seniorladyvideogamer
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    Seniorladyvideogamer New Member

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    Wanting some advice on caps in a book.

    I am writing a childs book for the first time. I had a very poor education at school but I recently spruced up on my writing a little the past few months.
    Anyway....I would like some opinions. The book I am writing I have used caps when the children are shouting at each other and I have also used bold print when someone is talking loud. Do you think this is acceptable when writing a book? I went to the local Library yesturday and just quickly browsed through about a dozen childrens books and only found one book which has some caps in it.
    I rang up a publisher as well and asked her opinion on using some caps when writing a book and she said there is no rule to say you can't use them.
    A family member did tell me to take them out. I had noticed that most of the books in the Library which I browsed through, the writing was all the same. Same font, same size and no caps. Can I get some opinions on this.
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It's acceptable in a comic book. A publisher could choose to all caps or bold shouting when the page is set up, but it should never appear that way in manuscript.
     
  14. Seniorladyvideogamer
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    Seniorladyvideogamer New Member

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    A manuscript, does that mean a novel? I am writing a childs book. It has over 140.000 words in it. I found only one book at the Library which had some caps in it when a person was shouting. I will most probably be getting my own book published. I don't really want to take the caps out where a person is shouting unless it is a must.
     
  15. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A manuscript is the story, poem, article, or novel you submit to a publisher. Manuscript format does not look much like the final published form.

    In brief, a manuscript is typically submitted in a fixed-width 12-point serif font (like4 Courier New), double-spaced, left aligned, with one-inch margins on all sides. This format makes it easier for an editor to annotate a printed copy with notes and editing marks. Manuscript format is also typewriter friendly, with no italics or font changes (italics should preferably be indicated by underlined text).

    Writing in the discipline of manuscript format also helps make you a better writer, because you are less inclined to depend on visual tricks, and instead focus on writing clearly.

    By the way, 140,000 words is way too big for a first novel, especially in a child market. Submission guidelines for most genres of adult novels is typically 80,000-120,000 words, (80,000-100,000 preferred). Young adult (YA) novel guidelines run a bit shorter, and children's books are much shorter, depending on target age group.

    Never mind that some novels in all generes are considerably longer. Established authors with a history of marketability get much more leeway than unknown writers.
     
  16. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    cog is right on all counts, as usual...

    i am puzzled by what you're calling a 'child's' book... if it's that long, it certainly can't be for children... even teens don't read books that long and few adults will, either... as cog noted, a first novel for adults should not be over 100k, if you want it to have the best chances to be published...

    a book as long as yours will cost you a quite a lot to self-publish and sell on your own... and most likely won't sell to anyone but family and friends...

    what age range of children are you writing for?...
     
  17. Seniorladyvideogamer
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    Seniorladyvideogamer New Member

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    Well knowing myself as well as I do I will probably just use my own judgement anyway. That is just how I am. In fact since my daughter told me I can't use some caps or bold print in my book I am losing interest in my book very fast.
    I may go back to it later on but for now I started playing a video game.
    An offline friend told me two days ago she bought this well known book which was written in the 1930s and when she started reading it she got fed up with it because it was written in all slang. She ended up putting the book down because it was written so bad and yet it was a famous great selling book.
    Well... I could end up taking the caps and bold font out but the amount of words I have will probably stay there. Yes I now have over 140.000 words in my book and I am still adding more and more as I edit. I have not been editing my book for a few days now. I am not sure when I will edit it again. So much to think about with this book, so many problems it seems. I guess I am still learning though.
    The age rang is for children 9 to 13 years of age. I assume that would be the age group for my book. The story is about children who have alcoholic parent's and the children get so fed up with their lives they end up going to another world. It is very very involved and deep.
    Harry potter books are very big and thick but I am not sure what age range they are for. I will find out the cost some time in the future. I assume self publishing will set me back around 10.000 dollars, could even be more.
    I will probably have to take out the word alcohol and use another word like wine or beer. The parent's in the story are nearly always at the hotel drinking.
    They do not buy any new clothes for their children, never make them wash or bath, and the children look very poor and smell really bad.
    My story is funny and sad, with a little romance in it.
     
  18. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The word count for the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone, is 76,944 words, just below the low end of the word count range for adult novels. and is targeted to readers ahed nine to eleven years.

    Again, the word count limits are most important for a previously unpublished author. Once a writer has proven he or she will sell books, publishers will give much more leeway.
     
  19. cmcpress
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    cmcpress Senior Member

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    For word count - my take is story first, word count second. If you can write a great story that's over the 80K count then all well and good. If you can justify every word of that 140K and it doesn't include any rambling or unnecessary diversions then all power to you.

    You will have to understand that anyone wishing to publish it may wish to edit it down or will be taking what they view as a large risk because it is different. You may even have problems getting publishers to even read the manuscript because it doesn't ahere to their expectations.

    If it wasn't for authors writing books that break cookie cutter moulds then we would never have any innovation in literature. It may work better as a serial. It could be two books or more.

    When reviewing your book you will need to justify every single scene and ensure that it drives the plot forward. If it doesn't add anything to the overall plot or set something up for later then cut it.

    You may have a wonderfully written back and forth between the characters with amazing dialogue and beautiful description but if it adds nothing to the story then it should go. You have to be very brutal and take a step back from your work.

    As for the content - it's a bit of a curse on modern literature that writers can't use mature themes when dealing with children. Children are more resilient than Adults give them credit for. If you look at the best, most timeless childrens books they are often the darkest - Roald Dahl, Brothers Grimm and so on.

    If the subject matter is dealt with sympathetically, there is no reason you can't deal with children with alcholic parents - and it seems like a worthy subject on which to base your novel.
     
  20. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If your manuscript is in the slushpile, i.e. you're an unknown author trying to get published, the submissions editor will look at the word count first. It it's outside the range, it will be passed over unread. It won't matter one bit if your novel is the greatest story ever written, if no one will read it.
     
  21. cmcpress
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    cmcpress Senior Member

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    True - unless you have a good agent.
     
  22. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes, but agents will also pass over too-long mss from unknown writers, so the same thing applies...

    a ms for 9-13s that long [or longer!?] will have no chance of even being looked at, much less published...
     
  23. Seniorladyvideogamer
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    Seniorladyvideogamer New Member

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    Hi, thanks for your advice. When I edit my book I start from the very beginning of my book and I read over it and I either take something out and or I add something to it. Ususally I do both. By doing this I seem to end up with adding a lot more than what I had taken out.
    In all honestly I would have to say some parts of my book are very interesting but in some parts it may not be really that interesting. Some parts just talk about every day things such as the children got dressed and they started rushing through the house getting ready to go out because their parent's just left to go to the hotel. The children were eager to get back to the park and do their thing. (Without going into too much of it) The children plot and plan fairly early in the story to leave home but the planning part of the story takes a very long time because many preperations do have to be made. There is a very special way which the children leave Earth. They don't just go there. Like I said a lot of planning has to be done before they are able to go. It is a waiting game.
    I cant remember if I actually used the word alcoholics in my story but it starts off explaining that the parent's are heavy drinkers. I realise that could mean the same thing but an offline friend suggested I do not use that wording.....Alcoholics! She told me to use words like wine or beer. She thought the word alcoholics may be a little harsh for a childs book. She has read numerous samples of my book and she has liked it a lot more than she thought she would. She was actually surprised I have written it how it is considering my lack of education etc.
    A year ago before I started writing my book she did not think I had much hope of writing a book and getting it published but since she has seen numerous samples of my book she changed her mind. Now she has a lot of faith in my book. It will need a lot of adjustments, alterations, editing though.
    I don't know if I will be able to do all the editing myself so either a family member will have to help me or I will have to take it to a professional editor or my offline friend I spoke about may do it for me.
    The idea of putting my book into two or three parts does sound good to me. Rather than taking things out of my book which I may not want to take out, considering having my book put into two or even three parts may be a very good idea. I am glad you made this suggestion to me.
    I wont be upset if publishers do not accept my book. It would be good if they did but I wont hold my breath. Not after what I was told by a publisher. She said 95% of books get rejected by publishers. I was thinking on the lines of publishing my own book. That publisher I mentioned to you, she told me she advises people to publish their own book. She said to me that when I am ready to self publish give her another call.
    Ohh by the way, she did ask me what the story is about. When I told her it is about alcoholic parents mistreating their children she told me that I have to take into consideration that it will be mainly parent's buying the book and not children. A lot of parent's are drinker's. Then she started laughing out loud almost like it was quiet funny that I would put such a thing in my book.
    If I find the wording alcoholics in my book I will take it out. I can't even remember if I said that word in my book. As I keep on editing my book I will observe carefully certain words I have put into my book. I may not have said the word Alcoholics but I can't be certain. Sometimes when I read over my book I see things which I forgot I even wrote. There is just so much in my book.
    I can see myself editing my book for another year! Ha ha ha. By the time I am finished editing my book that's when it has to go to someone else for more editing.
    Some sentences I have put in my book do not sound right. Some parts of my book are great as far as I am concerned but other parts sound like a heap of rubbish the way I have written it. It is so strange, I find some times when edit and change things I make some of my book sound really great then other parts... like i said sound like rubbish. I just have not worded it correctly. Maybe my grammar is bad, or the sentences just do not read very well.
    If a publisher was to accept my book he or she would have to like my story. If a publisher does not like what the story is about they probably wouldn't even bother to read even a fraction of my book.
    This message has become a bit long so I will end it now.
    Well I like my own story. I think it is good but there could be parts in it which could be taken out. Maybe they are boring, and they are not interesting enough to be in the book, but the best parts in my book will have a reader wanting to keep on reading.
    Thanks for your message and help.
     
  24. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    True, but being a head is not a reason for "dude" to be capitalised. And how about "Hey, how's it hangin' dude?"
     

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