How Did Capital Letters Become Part Of English?

How to do calligraphy Capital letters

Capitalization is part of writing the proper script of a language. In general the first word of a sentence, and all proper nouns are supposed to be capitalized. Did you ever wonder how capitalization became part of languages?

To solve this mystery, we need to analyze an old Roman script, called “uncial”. The Latin and Greek scribes of the 3rd century AD used Uncial, which is a majuscule (“large” or “capital” letter) script. The original 21 letters of the English alphabet were derived from the uncial style of writing. Gradually, as the language evolved, more letters were added, and the English language alphabet count increased from 21 to 26.

That means that the original script for English was all uppercase letters – then how did lowercase join the club? With time, a small, more rounded, and connecting style lettering was introduced. By the 9th century AD, the use of this minuscule lettering had become quite common. In fact, people started mixing the majuscule and minuscule lettering, the former used to stress and emphasize certain words. To formalize things, Modern English rules define that all proper nouns, and the first word of the sentence be capitalized!

  • Omais
  • August 4, 2011, 6:05 pm
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  • 8


    - DarkHunter August 5, 2011, 6:05 pm
  • 5

    intredasting - how did capital letters become part of english?

    - DarkHunter August 16, 2011, 11:15 am
  • 2

    Great post Omais! I'm a totally Grammar Nazi/Literature Nerd and I love stuff like this. :)

    Thanks mate:)
    - Omais September 30, 2011, 8:15 am
    your a grammar nazi? let the battle begin!
    - bufus101 September 30, 2011, 3:15 pm
    *You're *Nazi *Let
    - ClassicDarlingXO September 30, 2011, 3:25 pm
    your pretty well at fixing grammar
    - bufus101 September 30, 2011, 3:27 pm
    AAHHH!!! I'm crushed under the weight of bad grammar.....
    - ClassicDarlingXO September 30, 2011, 3:29 pm
    You're pretty good at correcting grammar.*

    bufus, you're a sick bastard indeed.
    - CallMeGoogle September 30, 2011, 3:47 pm
    so i win? xD
    - bufus101 September 30, 2011, 4:27 pm
    - bufus101 September 30, 2011, 4:28 pm
    You guys are silly. :)
    - ClassicDarlingXO September 30, 2011, 4:35 pm
    eye iz uhf thuh bad gramer, o shit!
    - chaosmaster September 30, 2011, 4:43 pm
    nonono. to be a good anti-grammar nazi you have to be it subtlety. see what i did there? =D
    - bufus101 September 30, 2011, 5:36 pm
    Dewd. You are killing me.... lol
    - ClassicDarlingXO September 30, 2011, 5:48 pm
    Dude, you are killing me... lol.*
    - iGreenDay September 30, 2011, 6:35 pm
    sorry, i may be a pro at this =P and dam, got grammar nazied yourself. that must hurt =/
    - bufus101 September 30, 2011, 7:51 pm
    i suppose your right about that one. i guess i just have to do it a little differently from now on. but not just that, alot more to!
    - chaosmaster September 30, 2011, 8:07 pm
    Actually there is something to be said for colloquial writing and writing with personality versus professional quality. Therefore there is some leeway for informal documents. Greenday just doesn't seem to understand the difference. ;)
    - ClassicDarlingXO October 1, 2011, 8:41 am
  • 1

    RIDICULOUSLY boring, but still a good post. +3 for information.

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