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  1. dillseed

    dillseed Active Member

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    Colon: Capping First Word After It If It's a Complete Sentence

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by dillseed, May 28, 2014.

    Guidance varies. Do we uppercase or lowercase the first word following the colon if it's a complete sentence?

    There is a big difference between the two brothers: one is an introvert and one is an extrovert.

    Thank you.
     
  2. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    A colon does not complete a sentence, it separates phrases (in your example, two independent phrases). Ergo, no capital.
     
    dillseed likes this.
  3. dillseed

    dillseed Active Member

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    Thanks again. :)
     
  4. dillseed

    dillseed Active Member

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    From Chicago's Q&A:

    Q. My grammar books say to cap the first word of what comes after a colon if what comes after the colon is a complete sentence. I noticed you didn’t do that. (“Check it out in printed books and magazines and newspapers: you probably won’t find any double periods after abbreviations.”)

    A. It’s fine to capitalize there, although Chicago style is to lowercase after a colon unless what follows consists of two or more complete sentences. Please see CMOS 6.64 for examples and exceptions.
     
  5. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    My question would become why the colon and not a semicolon? My personal feeling as regards the use of the colon to separate a complete clause from another complete clause or fragment is to set of a list of items, a separate event or paradigm, or the rhetorical answer to an implied or actual question. A bit like a punctuation version of thus or ergo.

    In your original example:

    The idea of a rhetorical answer to an implied question is very present. Q) What's the difference? A) Introversion v. extroversion. But in the example given by Chicago's Q&A, I don't feel that same dynamic. I would have gone with a semicolon or a simple period. Curious.
     
  6. thirdwind

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Capitalization is allowed if the part following the colon is a complete sentence. I only learned about this last year. I saw another member on here capitalizing the word after the colon, and I was going to say something until I looked up the rule and found out that this is acceptable. However, this is a personal preference. Either way is fine.

    Also, I do agree with Wreybies about using either a period or semicolon. Although I could see someone using a colon in this example, it seems a bit archaic.
     

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