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Thread: Grammar, Capitalisation, Canon issues, etc

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  1. #1
    The Canon Queen Hufflepuff
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    Grammar, Capitalisation, Canon issues, etc

    Have a question about grammar? Punctuation? Or need to know if a word should be capitalised? Stuck on a quick canon fact? Well, this is the thread to ask your questions in.

    Many Potter words are capitalised in the British versions but not in the American. Generally it is preferable to use the British versions as your guideline.

    So, ask away and we will answer you questions.

    Thank you to BB for the suggestion of this thread.
    Terri Black (as in Mrs Sirius {aka Padfoot} Black)
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  2. #2
    padfoot_returns
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    Oh, this is a great thread idea, BB!

    I've always had this question. Is common room capitalized or not? I *think* it was capitalized in the earlier books but it wasn't capitalized in DH. I would have expected it to be something that would be capitalized but its not in DH but who knows. I only the American versions of the books. Thanks to whoever will answer (if someone will lol)

    xxRiham

  3. #3
    The Canon Queen Hufflepuff
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    I always thought it was supposed to be, but on the official list us mod types refer to, it isn't capitalised. So, common room or common-room. Though most don't use the hyphen.
    Terri Black (as in Mrs Sirius {aka Padfoot} Black)
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  4. #4
    Silverah
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    What about series-specific nouns like "muggle" and "squib"? And species like "goblin" and "centaur" and "werewolf"? I'm never sure about whether these are considered to be proper nouns or not. They're persons or things, but they're also names.

  5. #5
    Inverarity
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    There is a well-known LJ compendium of Potterwords, detailing which words are capitalized in the books and which words are not. I know you allow Wikipedia links -- perhaps an exception to the no-outside-linking rule would also be appropriate for other reference materials.

    Rowling herself was not always consistent. Some words get capitalized in some places and not in others. Her style is particularly frustrating with regards to magical creatures, since you pretty much need to consult a reference list to know which ones get capitalized and which ones don't, as there is no consistent rule to rely on.

    (This is also a pain when you make up your own magical creatures in fan fictions, and then you mix them in sentences with existing Potter creatures which might not be capitalized/uncapitalized the same way.)

    Also, some words are capitalized or not -- differently -- in the American and British editions.

  6. #6
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
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    In the British versions, the Trio drink Butterbeer and Sirius drinks Firewhisky. But in the American versions they drink butterbeer and firewhisky.

    Also, Harry says 'There's no need to call me "sir", Professor.'

    but in America he'd say 'Sir' - is that right?

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  7. #7
    Honigkuchenpferd Hufflepuff
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    Proper names Rowling invented - like "Muggle", "Squib" or "Quidditch" - are capitalised in the British edition.

    A mnemonic rhyme of myself is that creatures like "centaurs", "werewolves" and "goblins", that exist in our own myths and legends, are written in lower case whereas invented creatures like "Dementors" are capitalised (at least in the British editions). Though, in doubt, I always consult the books first.
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  8. #8
    Sixth Year Hufflepuff
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    Hey, guys,

    I was wondering, you know when you use a spell's name in your story? Well, do you always have to italicise it? When a person says it directly, yes? What about if it were more like this:

    The Avada Kedavra is one of the three unforgivable curses.
    Rubbish example, but is it right? Basically... do you always italicise a spell's name in the text, or are there any exceptions?

    -hugs- Thanks in advance!

  9. #9
    Sixth Year Hufflepuff
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    Technically, the name of the curse isn't Avada Kedavra, it's the Killing Curse, so it might be a good idea to use that instead...

    I've always had it drilled in me by betas and mods that spells have to be italicised, but I'm not really sure.

    BB



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  10. #10
    Savannah Hen Slytherin
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    I would agree with BB that most spells have names and it is better to use those (not italicised) than use the incantation to describe the spell. I'm not sure about whether incantations should be italicised when not in direct speech, because I can't think of an example at the moment where the incantation is referred to without it being cast.

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