Tag Archives: capitalization

Major Works and Minor Works Quiz With Answers

M is for MAJOR WORKS AND MINOR WORKS!



Are you as ready to move on from this topic as I am? With teaching it to one hundred students last week and writing about it here several times, I am just about “major and minored” out! However, we can’t leave such a misunderstood topic without a quiz!

So here you go…..Decide in each sentence provide whether the title is a major work or minor work. (Answers below.)




1. I used the encyclopedia essay titled Mammals for my report.

2. I just got a new cd called Ballads for the Ballroom. (That sounds like a good idea–I should do that!)

3. Have you ever read the book The Red Badge of Courage?

4. My favorite dance song on my new cd is Could I Have This Dance?

5. She assigned five chapters this week, starting with Non-Essential Information. (You guess it, LL readers–that is what we are going to study this week on here!)

6. They said we could consult Wikipedia, but we aren’t allowed to cite it.

7. Our new favorite boxed television show is Person of Interest.

8. I haven’t received a Reader’s Digest magazine in years.

9. My favorite composition series is Meaningful Composition.

10. I am using their bonus book right now, called The SAT Essay and Other Timed Writing.



Image from Marketmybook





ANSWERS! Major Works are shown with Italics; Minor Works are shown with quotation marks. Explanations are in parentheses following each sentence.

1. I used the encyclopedia essay titled, “Mammals,” for my report. (Encyclopedia essay title is a Minor Work--found within the encyclopedia, whose title is a Major Work.)

2. I just got a new cd called Ballads for the Ballroom. (Musical compilation titles are Major Works–the song titles on/in the compilation are Minor Works.)

3. Have you ever read the book The Red Badge of Courage? (Book titles are Major Works–the chapter titles within the book are Minor Works.)

4. My favorite dance song on my new cd is “Could I Have This Dance?” (Song titles are Minor Works–the title of the songbook or cd that contains the song is the Major Work.)

5. She assigned five chapters this week, starting with “Non-Essential Information.” (Chapter titles are Minor Works–the title of the book containing the chapters is the Major Work.)

6. They said we could consult Wikipedia, but we aren’t allowed to cite it. 
(Encyclopedia titles are Major Works–the titles of the essays within the encyclopedia are Minor Works.)

7. Our new favorite boxed television show is Person of Interest. (Television show titles are Major Works–the titles of the scenes or chapters within the program are Minor Works.)

8. I haven’t received a Reader’s Digest magazine in years. (Magazine or journal titles are Major Works–the titles of the articles within the magazine/journal are Minor Works.)

9. My favorite composition series is Meaningful Composition
(Book titles are Major Works–the chapters within the book are Minor Works.)

10. I am using their bonus book right now, called The SAT Essay and Other Timed Writing. (Book titles are Major Works–the chapters within the book are Minor Works.)

Capitalization of Flowers

“April Showers Bring May Flowers”




 For flower lovers and grammar lovers, here is some vital info on capitalizing names of flowers:


1. Do NOT capitalize names of flowers that do not already contain proper noun elements: 

                a. roses
                b. geraniums
                c. daffodils


2. DO capitalize any part of :

               a.  black-eyed Susan
               b. African daisy.

March Holidays

 



I am adding a new little feature to LL 365–the holidays for that month capitalized and punctated properly (well, relatively so!). Many holidays come and people wonder, “Do you cap Day in Thanksgiving Day?” “Do you show possession to Fool in April Fools Day?” etc. etc.

So…for the next few weeks…a list of holidays punctuated and capitalized as correctly as I found! Note that different style guides (i.e. Associated Press vs. Modern Language Association, etc.) choose to punctuate and capitalize lesser known (National Kool-Aid Day!) or newer things (i.e. email vs. e-mail) differently. In those cases, it is truly a style preference rather than a hard and fast rule. So….Happy April…I mean, happy April! 🙂 And definitely, Happy Easter!

All Fool’s Day/April Fools Day

Daylight Savings Time
Palm Sunday
Passover
Good Friday
Easter
Easter Monday

Happy Presidents Day or Happy Presidents’ Day!

Happy Presidents’ Day. Or is that Presidents Day? Or Presidents’ Day?

Well….it depends on which expert you ask! Here is the run down:

1. It is NOT President’s Day
      a. President’s denotes one President…and this holiday honors Washington and Lincoln both…as well as all presidents
     b. President’s Day says that it is the day that belongs to one President (singular)
     c. It follows the rule of writing the noun first (President) then if the word does NOT end in s, put apostrophe s (President’s Day)

2. Some say it is Presidents’ Day
     a. The Gregg Reference Manual (my favorite handbook) cites it as such
     b. This denotes many presidents all owning one day (or at least Lincoln and Washington)
     c. It follows the rule of writing the noun first (Presidents) then if the word ends in s, put an apostrophe on the outside of the s
     d. This is the correct way to show possession of one thing to more than one “owner”—or any noun that ends in an s (glass’ smudges).

3. Some say it is Presidents Day
     a. The Associated Press Stylebook cites is as such
     b. This method does not denote possession, but rather uses the word President as an adjective (actually a “proper adjective” in that it is an adjective made from a proper noun–some of the time–we will not even get into whether it is (President) or isn’t (president) in this post!)
   c. This is like saying that, that is a Grisham book (as opposed to a book that Grisham owns–Grisham’s book), and it is certainly  not incorrect

P.S. Capitalize president when referring to a certain president or the holiday in question!

So there you have it! More subjectivity in our English language. Happy Presidents’ Day! And Happy Presidents Day!

COMMA CLUES #3: Greeting and Closing of Letter

Today’s Comma Clues post was actually supposed to be up yesterday–in case you were writing a love letter in honor of Valentine’s Day!! If you are still in the middle of penning a love note for that special someone, be sure to follow these two comma rules–with a freebie capitalization rule thrown in as a, well, Valentine’s Day gift!

This information could be more valuable to you than you might think: I just read that a new survey shows that following “teeth,” grammar is the next benchmark that would-be daters use in evaluating potential mates on dating sites. So study this thoroughly before you write that letter! Smile…

Comma Clues #3: A comma should follow the greeting (salutation) and closing of a letter.

Dear Ray Baby, 

All my love,

I have to leave you with a few tips:

1. This rule applies to the “friendly” letter–which I assume your love letter will be.

2. Never use a colon following a greeting in a friendly letter. The colon should only follow a greeting in a business letter.

3. Always capitalize all major words in a greeting of a letter. In this way, think of it as a title and capitalize accordingly. 

a. Dear Friend and Colleague (no cap for and)
b. Dear First True Love

4. Only capitalize the first word in the closing of a letter (except for proper nouns in it, of course).

a. Sincerely yours,
b. All my love,

So…go write that love letter with confidence. And be sure to flash those pearly whites when you actually meet!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day! Some tips for punctuation and capitalization of this loving holiday:

1. In a greeting (such as a card), cap all three words: Happy Valentine’s Day.

2. Show possession to the singular proper noun Valentine--the day belongs to him: Valentine’s Day.

3. Cap Day in the holiday because it is part of the holiday’s name (as opposed to day in Christmas day in which Christmas is the name of the holiday, not day): Valentine’s Day.

4. You can just call it Valentine when appropriate, but remember that Valentine is a singular proper noun, so in other contexts, do not plural it before showing possession:


a. I’m making Valentine’s cupcakes.
b. I got a Valentine card.





5. If you are calling cards Valentines, keep the following in mind:


a. Still cap it–any time a proper noun element is used, it retains its capitalization: I got a Valentine this morning. (In this case, it is sometimes called a proper adjective–an adjective that is a proper noun in its non-descriptive states.)


b. Just plural it with an s (not an apostrophe s): I got some Valentines at school today.



 
Most of all, enjoy your Valentine’s Day! 🙂

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

 The third Monday in January is the day we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday–Martin Luther King Jr. Day. With every multi-word proper noun, there are potential errors for capitalizing and punctuating.

This is the case with today’s holiday as well, especially since it has some words that are three words or fewer (potentially indicating we should not cap them, depending on where they fall within the proper noun). It has an abbreviation (Jr.), which makes for a potential difficulty with the period (or not) and even a comma (since many incorrectly think it should be written Martin Luther King, Jr {with a comma}).

So how about a little capitalization, proper noun, punctuation lesson to start the week off right? According to the Associated Press Style Book and the Chicago Manual of Style, this holiday should be written as follows (my notes below that):

Martin Luther King Jr. Day:

1. Proper nouns, including holidays, should be capitalized.

2. A proper noun containing two or more words should follow these capitalization rules:
         a. Capitalize the first and last word regardless of those words’ lengths: Fourth of July, Training for Triumph, Ode to Joy
         b. Capitalize any internal words of a proper noun that are four letter or longer: World Book Encyclopedia
         c. Capitalize any internal words of a proper noun that are three words or fewer if they are not one of the following:
               i. Prepositions: Ode to Joy (NOT cap the prep to)
               ii. Articles/Noun Markers: “For the Beauty of the Earth”
        d. Capitalize any internal words of a proper noun that are three words or fewer if they are important to the title, regardless of the part of speech:
              i. “This Is My Father’s World” (Is=linking verb important to title; My=pronoun important to title)
              ii. Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jr. is important to title)


3. Capitalize Day in this holiday because it is part of the official title of the holiday (whereas Christmas day is not since day is not really the holiday’s name).

4. Write Jr. with a capital J, lower case r., period following it–and no comma anywhere. As one of my handbooks tells it: Names do not contain commas!

5. Also note that the official holiday does not have Rev. or Dr. as part of it, though those are titles given to him. Neither one is given in the holiday (just like General or President is not used in George Washington’s Birthday). (That holiday is also called Presidents’ Day.)

6. Lastly, note that this holiday is also called Martin Luther King Day (with no Jr.).

Now you know how to write and punctuate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Hope it’s a good one!

Day 123: Independence Day/July 4th

The capitalization of this holiday isn’t the grammar/writing issue. It’s the spelling!

Of course, like any other holiday, both words are capitalized:

Independence Day

Or if written with the informal name: July 4th.

Spelling independence is a little more of an issue.

You may find long lists of rules for ent/ence vs ant/ance if you begin a study on this–many of which are so confusing and detailed (emphasis on the fourth syllable from the right, use ent!! okay..that’s stretching it…) that an average person cannot decipher them much less memorize them.

When rules are too detailed and confusing, a writer is better off memorizing spellings or using spell check.

I will leave you with two simple rules for ent/ence that I think are actually helpful:

1. Use ent/ence (not ant/ance) if the root you are adding it to ends with c or g:
    diligence, innocent

    This rule actually makes sense because if you used ant/ance, the c would then say kuh (innocant–innokant) and the g would then say juh (diligant–dili-gant).

2. Use ent/ence if the root you are adding it to ends with d:
    independent

Hope this helps–and hope you had a happy July 4th!

day 121: june holidays

June is quickly getting away from us! I did not post the “official” spelling for all (two!) of the June US-nationally-recognized holidays, so here they are:

1. Flag Day
    a. No possessives to deal with!
    b. Capitalize both words as both are words in the actual holiday
    c. Bonus: Great holiday since I was born on this date! 🙂

2. Father’s Day
   a. We went through this earlier–but remember–one father; his day: father’s
   b. Cap both words!


day 119: happy father’s day

Father’s Day presents some of the same challenges in writing as Mother’s Day. Like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day is written with a capital letter at the beginning of each word—and is written as a day for the singular father—not plural (fathers).
The “official” take on that goes like this (according to encyclopedias as well as the Chicago Manual of Style):
“Although the name of the event is usually understood as a plural possessive (i.e. ‘day belonging to fathers’), which would under normal English punctuation guidelines be spelled ‘Fathers’ Day,’ the most common spelling is ‘Father’s Day,’ as if it were a singular possessive (i.e. ‘day belonging to Father’). In the United States, Dodd used the ‘Fathers’ Day’ spelling on her original petition for the holiday, but the spelling ‘Father’s Day’ was already used in 1913 when a bill was introduced to the U.S. Congress as the first attempt to establish the holiday, and it was still spelled the same way when its creator was commended in 2008 by the United States Congress.”
So…Happy Father’s day to my father, my children’s father—and all fathers—regardless of whether it is written in a singular or plural possessive manner!