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Off capitalization questions

4:23 pm on Apr 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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What is the grammatically correct way to start these sentences?

:hover is used when you want...
.htaccess allows you to...

mod_rewrite allows you to...

The first two start with punctuation, and just look awkward. All three are words that are normally lowercase by default, and .Htaccess or Mod_rewrite aren't correct.

edit - 'Off' in the title should be 'Odd'. Hate those typos.

8:13 pm on Apr 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I don't know what is grammatically correct but maybe you could reword it:

ie --

to do this, that and the other, use mod_rewrite..


12:40 am on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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When I looked into this some years ago I was unable to find a definitive English grammar answer. As what I finally decided on is also used by major code organisations (i.e. Apache) I feel confident I made the correct decision: treat code as <code>.

<p><code>.htaccess</code> files provide a way to make configuration changes on a per-directory basis.</p>

The monospace <code> nicely differentiates the non-dictionary code term from the rest of the sentence. And it is nice semantic markup. Use CSS to spice to taste.

Adding the 'title' attribute or a link to a glossary definition can be nice touches that also emphasise the difference and importance of the term.

1:02 am on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Perhaps the use of italics would be appropriate.

.htaccess allows people to ...

1:09 am on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Here's the answer I got from an English teacher friend of my Mom's...

"Tech / language trumps all." Basically, if the punctuation needs to be there or the word has to be lower case it's ok to keep it that way.

2:36 am on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I'd agree with Nutter. That's how scientific stuff is handled: "p53 expression was reduced..." Also names: "von Hippel-Lindau syndrome predisposes to..."

The bottom-line rule in punctuation and grammar is always "clarity above all," and I think that applies here. If something is meant to be lower case, there's probably a reason, and to capitalize it could be confusing. This would also keep me from using italics in place of capitalization; in the paragraph above, if I wrote "p53..." it would have a different meaning in genetics lingo.


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