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Thread: Capitalise after colon?

  1. #1
    watching The Office again Ellis Clover's Avatar
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    Capitalise after colon?

    I have the following sentence in my WIP:

    I looked at the wall calendar: thirteen days without a drink.

    Is this correct, or should 'thirteen' be capitalised? Ie:

    I looked at the wall calendar: Thirteen days without a drink.
    WIP #1: Track (Mystery/Thriller) 95k/90k - resting
    WIP #2: Tumble Down (Mainstream/Contemporary) - 20K/75K
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    Real estate was an industry she’d taken for granted would be a buzz. It was paid performance art, wasn’t it? And she'd loved it at first, passionately loved it – the agents’ shiny faces and newsreader voices, the pompous excesses of its ads, its innate base soullessness – back when she’d assumed everyone was in on the joke.
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  2. #2
    reading all the things Anna Iguana's Avatar
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    In your example, I believe "thirteen" does not need to be capitalized. (Google backs up my instinct.)

  3. #3
    watching The Office again Ellis Clover's Avatar
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    Lovely, thanks Anna!
    WIP #1: Track (Mystery/Thriller) 95k/90k - resting
    WIP #2: Tumble Down (Mainstream/Contemporary) - 20K/75K
    WIP #3: Stumps (Mystery/Thriller) - plotting

    Real estate was an industry she’d taken for granted would be a buzz. It was paid performance art, wasn’t it? And she'd loved it at first, passionately loved it – the agents’ shiny faces and newsreader voices, the pompous excesses of its ads, its innate base soullessness – back when she’d assumed everyone was in on the joke.
    - Tumble Down

    ellisclover.com

  4. #4
    It's all symbolic. Night_Writer's Avatar
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    I don't think a colon is what you want for that sentence.

    http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/edu...grammar/colons
    Heretic.

  5. #5
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    A colon is ok, but a full stop would work too.

    I don't like capitalisation after colons but a few publishers do prefer this rather antiquated form. Very few.

    Just be consistent.

  6. #6
    Herder of Hamsters AW Admin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack View Post
    A colon is ok, but a full stop would work too.

    I don't like capitalisation after colons but a few publishers do prefer this rather antiquated form. Very few.

    Just be consistent.
    What Old Hack said; this is not grammar or even usage; it's typographic style. So pick one and stick with it, and if your publisher does something different, it will be easy to change.

    Capitalization after a colon is, as Old Hack notes, not a common style sheet decision these days.

  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW
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    The only time I regularly see capitalization after a colon is in business or other professional/occupational writing when the colon introduces a list and each member of the list is set off as its own paragraph.

  8. #8
    figuring it all out
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    Since a new sentence always starts after a colon, I would think it deserves capitalization. However, I hardly capitalize. It feels like a technical letter than a fictional story.

  9. #9
    Reading the blank pages AW Moderator Sage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverYoursCaffiene View Post
    Since a new sentence always starts after a colon
    It does?
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  10. #10
    Herder of Hamsters AW Admin's Avatar
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    That's a style sheet decision. And no, a new sentence doesn't always start after a colon.

    There are differences between U.S. and U.K. styles.

  11. #11
    practical experience, FTW heza's Avatar
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    I feel like I was told weird things about colons in school. I was always told that the information after the colon renames or explains the word or phrase that precedes the colon. And I was also told in my Technical Editing course in college that you always capitalize if the sentence that follows is complete. It sounds like none of that's exactly accurate. Time to brush up on my colon usage.
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