Posted by: episystechpubs | June 28, 2013

Editor’s Corner: Capital Punishment

I was going to introduce this as today’s “quick and dirty tip,” but I guess it’s not really quick, nor is it dirty. Goodness gracious, it isn’t all Greek, either! The word capitonym is a combination of capit– (English capital, from Latin caput meaning head) + nym (Greek for name, word). A capitonym is a word that changes its meaning (and sometimes pronunciation) when it is capitalized. For more information and an unedited chart of capitonyms, see Wikipedia. For the abbreviated version, see the table below.

Capitalized Word Lowercase Word Notes
August: the eighth month of the year august: majestic or venerable Different pronunciations
Cancer: a constellation and astrological sign, or a genus of crab cancer: a class of diseases
Catholic: relating to the Catholic Church (usually the Roman Catholic Church) (adj.); a member of that church (noun) catholic: free of provincial prejudices or attachments; universal
Earth: a planet earth: the dry land of this planet
Ionic: relating to Ionia or to a style of classical architecture ionic: relating to (chemical) ions
Italic: of, or relating to Italy italic: pertaining to a sloping typeface or font
Job: subject of a book of the Bible job: a form of employment Different pronunciations
March: the third month of the year march: to walk briskly and rhythmically
Mass: a liturgical function mass: a physical property of matter
May: the fifth month of the year may: modal verb
Mosaic: pertaining to Moses mosaic: a kind of decoration
Nice: a city in France nice: pleasant Different pronunciations
Polish: from Poland polish: to create a shiny surface by rubbing ; a compound used in that process Different pronunciations
Tangier: a city in Morocco tangier: comparative of adjective "tangy". Different pronunciations

Kara Church
Senior Technical Editor
619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773


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