Hello all,This is not written to start a flame war or a ball-busting session (ah well, I tried) I am just wondering about something. I have noticed in my many email exchanges with people from the UK that they tend to capitalize nouns. At first I wrote it off (no pun intended) to lack of education (i.e. leaving school at 16) but then in applying for a job in England I was having trouble writing a European style CV and the woman at the agency I'm working with sent me 5 examples.

These were all CVs written by teachers and they almost all capitalized random nouns-and not as titles. My brother who has several degrees in English and worked as a journalist said that maybe it's because they are closer to Germany and have been influenced by the German language. Is it correct to capitalize nouns in England? I don't have any examples handy but things like "I am a Teacher." "Our Head(teacher)made the following announcement..." etc.

"I must call my Mum." Thanks
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Hello all, This is not written to start a flame war or a ball-busting session (ah well, I tried) I ... examples handy but things like "I am a Teacher." "Our Head(teacher)made the following announcement..." etc. "I must call my Mum."

Put it down to a liberal education. There isn't much emphasis on rules in the teaching of English here, hence the freeform writing style. Having said this, I would not write such words with a capital letter, nor would I suggest that anyone else do so.
Adrian

b. England 1966; SE Cheshire -1986; Birmingham to date
I don't have any examples handy but things like "I am a Teacher." "Our Head(teacher)made the following announcement..." etc. "I must call my Mum."

If Teacher and Head(master/mistress) are job titles, and Mum is the name the writer gives her mother, I have no serious problem with any of these capitalizations.

John Varela
(Trade "OLD" lamps for "NEW" for email.)
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"Adrian Bailey" (Email Removed) wrote on 05 Mar 2004:
Hello all, This is not written to start a flame ... Head(teacher)made the following announcement..." etc. "I must call my Mum."

Put it down to a liberal education.

Mortimer Adler(1) and Robert Maynard Hutchins are now rolling over in their graves. One may accurately chalk it up to the liberality of license but not of education, I am certain.
There isn't much emphasis on rules in the teaching of English here, hence the freeform writing style. Having said this, I would not write such words with a capital letter, nor would I suggest that anyone else do so.

(1)http://www.sourcetext.com/grammarian/adler2.html

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor.
I have noticed in my many email exchanges with people from the UK that they tend to capitalize nouns.

So did everyone 250 years ago, and for Comic Effect some recent writers (e.g. Robertson Davies especially when writing as Samuel Marchbanks.)
At first I wrote it off (no pun intended) to lack of education (i.e. leaving school at 16) but then ... journalist said that maybe it's because they are closer to Germany and have been influenced by the German language. Is

Geographic closeness to Germany is
linguistically irrelevant unless someone also
reads and writes German fairly well unlikely
in English job applicants. So far as rules are
concerned, German must capitalize all
nouns not random selections.
It seems an unsafe guess that people who
pepper their emails with Capitals left school at 16.

Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs (Ottawa, Canada)
Hello all, This is not written to start a flame ... Head(teacher)made the following announcement..." etc. "I must call my Mum."

Put it down to a liberal education. There isn't much emphasis on rules in the teaching of English here, hence ... this, I would not write such words with a capital letter, nor would I suggest that anyone else do so.

Looking at the examples, I would not capitalise 'teacher', but Headteacher (a specific person with a title) seems OK. "I must call Mum" seems OK too, but "my mum", where it's not a (sort of title) seems odd. I think we need more examples to see exactly what the poster is referring to.

Rob Bannister
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
I don't have any examples handy but things like "I am a Teacher." "Our Head(teacher)made the following announcement..." etc. "I must call my Mum."

If Teacher and Head(master/mistress) are job titles, and Mum is the name the writer gives her mother, I have no serious problem with any of these capitalizations.

In general I don't either, but with the 'a', the 'Our', and the 'my', I do.

Charles Riggs
My email address: chriggs/at/eircom/dot/net
handy but things like "I am a Teacher." "Our Head(teacher)made the following announcement..." etc. "I must call my Mum."

Those could all be seen as Signs of Respect, as with identifiers like God (often even by atheists).
I think some people sometimes capitalize phrases as I did above in a kind of mock sign of respect towards the phrase. I tiny bit of bad humor, maybe. I'm not sure if it harkens back to the 200-year-old writting we've seen, or what.
It might be done in plain text resumes/CVs as a means of emphasis less eye-popping than all caps.
Hello all, This is not written to start a flame war or a ball-busting session (ah well, I tried) I ... examples handy but things like "I am a Teacher." "Our Head(teacher)made the following announcement..." etc. "I must call my Mum."

The practice of capitalising nouns began to drop out of English about 200 years ago, though it still persists in German, as you observe.

The trend in English to use fewer capitals continues, and in my observation is actually more advanced in the UK than in the USA. I may be wrong, but I think people in the USA are more likely to write NATO (or the older N.A.T.O.) than Nato.

Steve Hayes from Tshwane, South Africa
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/7734/stevesig.htm
E-mail - see web page, or parse: shayes at dunelm full stop org full stop uk
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