U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: the grammar of photographic writers

Re: the grammar of photographic writers

----- Original Message ----- From: "Ryuji Suzuki" <rs@silvergrain.org>
To: <alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca>
Sent: Saturday, October 13, 2007 10:55 PM
Subject: Re: the grammar of photographic writers

From: Richard Knoppow <dickburk@ix.netcom.com>
Subject: Re: the grammar of photographic writers
Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2007 13:54:58 -0700

     I think this may be a modern change. I was taught to
     capitalize the names of both elements and compounds
     some practice seems to be not to capitalize the
     compound names, as in Sodium carbonate.  If current
     practice in chemistry is not to capitalize chemical
     names that are not trade names I will follow this in
     the future, its a lot less trouble:-)
I don't know of any current authors of chemistry who
capitalizes names of an element or compound. I also don't
of those from the past, but to be sure(er) I looked at
authors from 1920s (primarily because I have more
from this era that I've seen in the original
rather than reprints, etc.)

Except for in quotations from German language, and
uses in the index, label, headline, or tabulated formula,
see no sign of a practice to capitalize elements or
compounds. That is, in the middle of English sentences, I
no evidence suggesting that capitalizing those was a
practice in 1920s.

I have seen non-chemist authors who capitalized elements
compounds from all eras, but examples are very sporadic
I see no suggestion that it was a common practice.

Incidentally, my Chicago Manual is about 14 years old
ed) but it has the following:


Generic names of pharmaceuticals should be used so far as
possible and given lowercase treatment. Proprietary names
(trade names or brands), if used at all, should be
and enclosed within parentheses after the first use of the
generic term.


Names of chemical elements and compounds are lowercased
written out; the chemical symbols, however, are
and set without periods.

  FWIW, I looked at the first edition (1942) of Mees and he
does not capitalize chemical or compound names except in
charts and tables.

Richard Knoppow
Los Angeles, CA, USA