In the last post, we introduced proper adjectives and gave instruction on capitalizing them. A proper adjective is essentially a proper noun that has been put into adjective form. Words are different parts of speech based, oftentimes, on their suffixes. For example, loveliness (with the ness suffix) is a noun…but changing a suffix often changes a word’s part of speech. Thus, lovely is an adjective; loveliness is a noun.

There are many other difficulties with proper adjectives and proper noun elements within common nouns.

For example, animal, flower, plant, and tree breeds are not capitalized (i.e. husky, mockingbird, rose, poison ivy, and sycamore tree). However, if a proper adjective or proper noun element is part of the name, that part of it is capitalized (but the rest of it remains lower case):

1. black-eyed Susan (Susan is a proper noun in other contexts, so it gets capitalized here as well)

2. Australian sheep dog

3. Alaskan husky

4. Jack Russell terrier

More on caps and proper nouns later!


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