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Capitalization of o'clock?

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Capitalization of o'clock?

Philip Jägenstedt
Searching for "o'clock" all kinds of possible capitalizations are
found. "O'Clock" just looks plain wrong to me, but what is
Correct(tm)?

Philip

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Re: Capitalization of o'clock?

Philip Jägenstedt
There's some unhelpful advice in
http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/CMS_FAQ/CapitalizationTitles/CapitalizationTitles31.html

Philip

On 4/22/08, Mike Morrison <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>  On Tue, 22 Apr 2008, Philip Jägenstedt wrote:
>
> > Searching for "o'clock" all kinds of possible capitalizations are
> > found. "O'Clock" just looks plain wrong to me, but what is
> > Correct(tm)?
> >
> > Philip
> >
>
>  http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/o'clock says it
> is a contraction of "of the clock", and
> http://musicbrainz.org/doc/CapitalizationStandardEnglish
> says
>
>  '... (4) Capitalize contractions and slang consistent with the rules above
> to the extent that such clearly apply. For example, do not capitalize o' for
> "of", 'n' or n' for "and".'
>
>  So I would say it should be "o'Clock".
>
>  Mike
>
> _______________________________________________
>  MusicBrainz-users mailing list
>  [hidden email]
> http://lists.musicbrainz.org/mailman/listinfo/musicbrainz-users
>

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Re: Capitalization of o'clock?

Olivier-3
This topic was debated earlier at least twice (in a larger context
than the single "o'" example though) - and IIRC never went through a
real resolution.
There were sound arguments on both sides.

If you can find some solid references either way, cover the different
cases and feels like digging/scanning the original threads, I would
really like to see this issue settled.

IIRC, Michelle (dirtyboots), nikki, and Joan all provided interesting
input and should be knowledgeable about all this.

- Olivier

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Re: Capitalization of o'clock?

Mike Morrison-2

On Tue, 22 Apr 2008, Olivier wrote:

> This topic was debated earlier at least twice (in a larger context
> than the single "o'" example though) - and IIRC never went through a
> real resolution.
> There were sound arguments on both sides.
>
> If you can find some solid references either way, cover the different
> cases and feels like digging/scanning the original threads, I would
> really like to see this issue settled.
>
> IIRC, Michelle (dirtyboots), nikki, and Joan all provided interesting
> input and should be knowledgeable about all this.
>
> - Olivier

Are you referring to this thread? (started on mb-users, moved to mb-style)
http://lists.musicbrainz.org/pipermail/musicbrainz-users/2006-August/013497.html
http://lists.musicbrainz.org/pipermail/musicbrainz-style/2006-September/003640.html

That thread (I haven't read all of it) seems primarily to address the
question of words starting with an apostrophe, e.g. 'round or 'Round.
Since that is a contraction of "Around", which would normally have a
capital A, I can see how there would be debate over whether the R should
be capitalized. dmppanda's 2007-02-02 comment on
http://musicbrainz.org/doc/CapitalizationStandardEnglish (hereafter CSE)
says that a capital R seems to have been the consensus. I would point to
the "dialect" argument at
http://lists.musicbrainz.org/pipermail/musicbrainz-style/2006-September/003654.html 
as a strong one in favor of a capital R.

But in the case of "o'Clock", the o is from "of", which is normally
lowercase, and the word Clock is normally capitalized in titles. Here
(unlike with 'Round or 'round) the apostrophe is not replacing a letter
which would have been uppercase. So I think point (4) of CSE
(contractions) can be applied in a more clear-cut way.

Unless, that is, one feels that "o'clock" is truly a single word and
therefore should not have a capital C in its middle. Do any of you feel
this way?

Also there is this offshoot thread, which asks about two issues:
"Script-o-Rama" etc. and "a-Running" etc:

http://lists.musicbrainz.org/pipermail/musicbrainz-style/2006-September/003643.html

IRC discussion of the "a-" topic here:

http://chatlogs.musicbrainz.org/2006/2006-05/2006-05-26.html#T05-14-04-579506

To that discussion I would just add that the "a-" prefix on verbs can mean
"in the act or process of" according to Merriam-Webster, which gives
examples of "a-hunting" and "atingle". Since "Atingle" would have a
capital A (not aTingle), I can go along with a capital A in "A-Hunting" as
well. I believe the "A" here is not the indefinite article "a". As for the
capital H, point (3) of CSE (compounds formed by hyphens) says to
capitalize as if they were two separate words. Was "A-Hunting" the
consensus? Olivier, in his reply to the above list post, mentioned some
edit notes where this issue was discussed but I did not find them.

Some relevant links on "-o-Rama":

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/-orama
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/-rama

The first of these says this suffix is a back-formation from words such as
"panorama", deriving from the Greek "horama" meaning "sight". So the "o"
here is not a contracted "of" but should properly be joined with the
"rama" as one item. Therefore I would argue for "O-Rama" (capital O and R)
on the basis that parts of words, once split up by hyphens, become
separate entities, as with "A-Hunting" or "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive"
(or should it be "Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive"?)

Sorry to raise so many other issues. I too would like to see these settled
and written into CSE.

Mike

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