All Caps? guest author at Hebrew’s house

  2. It’s all in the NAME
  3. At the Christian Law Fellowship and Assembly, we’ve been repeatedly requested to publish our
  4. accumulated research concerning the use of all or full capitalized letters for proper names;
  5. i.e.,
  7. as commonly substituted for
  8. John James Smith
  9. in all court
  10. documents, Driver’s Licenses, bank accounts, Birth Certificates, etc.
  11. Is this some special English grammar rule or style? Is it a contemporary American style of
  12. English? Is the use of this form of capitalization recognized by educational authorities? Is this an
  13. official judicial or U.S. government rule and/or style of grammar? Why do lawyers, court clerks,
  14. prosecutors, judges, insurance companies, banks, and credit card companies always use all
  15. capital letters when writing a proper name?
  16. What English grammar experts say
  17. One of the foremost authorities on American English grammar, style, composition, and rules is
  18. The Chicago Manual of Style
  19. . Their latest 14
  20. th
  21. Edition, published by the University of Chicago
  22. Press, is internationally known and respected as a major contribution to maintaining and
  23. improving the standards of written or printed text. We could find no reference in their manual
  24. concerning the use of all capitalized letters with a proper name or any other usage. We wrote to
  25. the editors and asked this question:
  26. “Is it acceptable, or is there any rule of English grammar, to allow a proper name to be
  27. written in all capital letters? For example, if my name was John Robert Jones, can it be
  28. written as JOHN ROBERT JONES? Is there any rule covering this?”
  29. We received the following reply from the Chicago Editorial Staff:
  30. “Writing names in all caps is not conventional; it is not Chicago style to put anything in
  31. all caps. For instance, even if ‘GONE WITH THE WIND’ appears on the title page all in
  32. caps, we would properly render it ‘Gone with the Wind’ in a bibliography. The only
  33. reason we can think of to do so is if you are quoting some material where it is important
  34. to the narrative to preserve the casing of the letters.
  35. We’re not sure in what context you would like your proper name to appear in all caps, but
  36. it is likely to be seen as a bit odd.”
  37. Yes, it does appear “a bit odd” for governments, their judicial courts, and other legal entities
  38. incorporated within their legal jurisdiction to use this method of capitalizing every letter in a
  39. proper name.
  40. We then contacted Mary Newton
  41. Bruder, Ph.D., also known as
  42. The Grammar Lady
  43. , who
  44. established the Grammar Hotline in the late 1980’s for the Coalition of Adult Literacy. We asked
  45. her the following:
  46. “Why do federal and state government agencies and departments, judicial and
  47. administrative courts, insurance companies,
  48. etc
  49. ., spell a person’s proper name in all
  50. capital letters? For example, if my name is John Joseph Smith, is it proper
  51. at any time
  52. to
  53. write it as JOHN JOSEPH SMITH?”
  54. Dr.
  55. Bruder’s reply was short and to the point:
  56. “It must be some kind of internal style. There is no grammar rule about it.”
  57. Another fellow researcher, whose report on this subject can be found at
  58. AllCapName.html
  59. ,
  60. queried the same question from Cambridge University about capitalization. The reply from them
  61. was signed by Colin T.
  62. Clarkson:
  63. “I have checked A comprehensive grammar of the English language, by Randolph
  64. Quirk… [et al.] (London:
  65. Longman, 1985), The Oxford English grammar, by Sidney
  66. Greenbaum (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996) and Hart’s rules for compositors and
  67. readers at the University Press, Oxford, by Horace Hart, 39th edition (Oxford: Oxford
  68. University Press, 1983). I find no grammatical rule which defines a situation in which all
  69. the letters of a name or, indeed, of any word should appear as capitals. Rather the use of
  70. capitals or small capitals in this way is simply a typographical device used for emphasis,
  71. for example of headings or keywords.”
  72. So, in addition to there being no American English rule of grammar to spell names in all capitals,
  73. there is neither – for those who still believe that Britain rules this country – a British English rule
  74. of grammar. The rule which spells our names in all capital letters is outside the rules of grammar.
  75. It seemed that these particular grammatical experts had no idea why proper names were written
  76. in all caps, so we began to assemble an extensive collection of reference books authored by
  77. various publishers, governments, and legal authorities in order to find the answer.
  78. What English grammar reference books say
  79. Manual on Usage & Style
  80. One of the reference books we obtained was the
  81. Manual on Usage & Style
  82. , Eighth Edition, ISBN
  83. 1-878674-51-X, published by the Texas Law Review in 1995. In
  84. Section D,
  86. , paragraph D: 1:1 states:
  87. “Always capitalize proper nouns… [Proper nouns], independent of the context in which
  88. they are used, refer to specific persons, places, or things (
  89. e.g
  90. ., Dan, Austin, Rolls
  91. Royce).”
  92. Paragraph D: 3:2 of Section D states:
  93. “Capitalize
  94. People
  95. ,
  96. State
  97. , and any other terms used to refer to the government as a
  98. litigant (
  99. e.g
  100. ., the People’s case, the State’s argument), but do not capitalize other words
  101. used to refer to litigants (e.g., the plaintiff, defendant
  102. Manson).”
  103. It appears that not a single lawyer, judge, or law clerk in Texas has ever read their own
  104. recognized law style manual as they continue to write “Plaintiff”, “Defendant”, “THE STATE
  105. OF TEXAS” and proper names of parties in all capital letters on every court document.
  106. The Elements of Style
  107. Another well recognized reference book we obtained was
  108. The Elements of Style
  109. , Fourth Edition,
  110. ISBN 0-205-30902-X, written by William
  111. Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White, published by
  112. Allyn &
  113. Bacon in 1999. Within this renowned English grammar and style reference book, we found only
  114. one reference to capitalization located within the Glossary at
  115. proper noun
  116. , page 94, where it
  117. states:
  118. “The name of a particular person (
  119. Frank
  120. Sinatra
  121. ), place (
  122. Boston
  123. ), or thing (
  124. Moby Dick
  125. ).
  126. Proper nouns are capitalized.”
  127. There’s an obvious and legally evident difference between capitalizing the first letter of a formal
  128. name as compared to capitalizing the entire name.
  129. The American Heritage Book of English Usage
  130. In
  131. The American Heritage Book of English Usage, A Practical and Authoritative Guide to
  132. Contemporary English,
  133. published in 1996, at
  134. Chapter 9,
  135. E-Mail, Conventions and Quirks,
  136. Informality
  137. , they state:
  138. “To give a message special emphasis, an E-mailer may write entirely in capital letters, a
  139. device E-mailers refer to as
  140. screaming.
  141. Some of these visual conventions have emerged
  142. as a way of getting around the constraints on data transmission that now limit many
  143. networks”.
  144. Here is a reference source, within contemporary – modern – English, that states it’s of an
  145. informal
  146. manner to write
  147. every
  148. word
  149. of – specifically – an electronic message, a.k.a. E-mail, in capital
  150. letters. They say it’s “
  151. screaming
  152. ” to do so. By standard definition, we presume that’s the same as
  153. shouting or yelling. Are all judges, their court clerks and lawyers shouting at us when they print
  154. our proper names in this manner? Is the insurance company screaming at us for paying the
  155. increased premium on our policy? This is doubtful as to any standard generalization, even
  156. though specific individual instances may prove this to be true. We can, however, safely conclude
  157. that it would also be informal to write a proper name in the same way.
  158. Does this also imply that those in the legal profession are writing our Christian names
  159. informally
  160. on court documents? Aren’t attorneys and the courts supposed to be specific, whereas they
  161. formally write their legal documents within the “letter of the law”?
  162. New Oxford Dictionary of English
  163. The
  164. New Oxford Dictionary of English
  165. is published by the Oxford University Press, 1998.
  166. Besides being considered the foremost authority on the British English language, this dictionary
  167. is also designed to reflect the way language is used today through example sentences and
  168. phrases. We submit the following definitions:
  169. Proper noun
  170. (also
  171. proper name
  172. ). Noun. A name used for an individual person, place, or
  173. organization, spelled with an initial capital letter, e.g.
  174. Jane
  175. ,
  176. London
  177. , and
  178. Oxfam
  179. .
  180. Name
  181. .
  182. Noun
  183. 1
  184. A word or set of words by which a person, animal, place, or thing is
  185. known, addressed, or referred to:
  186. my name is Parsons, John Parsons.
  187. Kalkwasser is the
  188. German name for
  189. limewater.
  190. Verb
  191. 3
  192. Identify by name; give the correct name for:
  193. the
  194. dead man has been named as John Mackintosh.
  195. Phrases
  196. .
  197. 2 In the name of.
  198. Bearing or
  199. using the name of a specified person or organization:
  200. a driving
  201. licence in the name of
  202. William Sanders.
  203. From the
  204. Newbury House Dictionary of American English
  205. , published by Monroe Allen
  206. Publishers, Inc., 1999:
  207. name
  208. n.
  209. 1
  210. [C] a word by which a person, place, or thing is known:
  211. Her name is Diane
  212. Daniel.
  213. We can find absolutely no example in any recognized reference book that specifies or allows the
  214. use of all capitalized names, proper or common. Is there any doubt that a proper name is written
  215. with the first letter capitalized, followed by lower case letters?
  216. U.S. Government Style Manual
  217. Is the spelling and usage of a proper name defined officially by U.S. government? Yes. The
  218. United States Government Printing Office in their
  219. Style Manual
  220. , March 1984 edition (the most
  221. recent edition published as of March 2000), provides comprehensive grammar, style and usage
  222. for all government publications,
  223. including
  224. court and legal writing.
  225. Chapter 3, Capitalization
  226. , at § 3.2, prescribes rules for proper names:
  227. “Proper names are capitalized… [Examples given are] Rome, Brussels, John Macadam,
  228. Macadam family, Italy, Anglo-Saxon.”
  229. At
  230. Chapter 17, Courtwork
  231. , the rules of capitalization, as mentioned in Chapter 3, are further
  232. reiterated:
  233. “17.1. Courtwork differs in style from other work
  234. only
  235. as set forth in this section;
  236. otherwise the style prescribed in the preceding sections will be followed” [bold emphasis
  237. added].
  238. After entirely reading § 17, we found no other references that would change the grammatical
  239. rules and styles specified in Chapter 3 pertaining to capitalization.
  240. At § 17.9, this same official U.S. government manual states:
  241. “In the titles of cases the first letter of all principal words are capitalized, but not such
  242. terms as
  243. defendant
  244. and
  245. appellee
  246. .”
  247. This wholly agrees with Texas Law Review’s
  248. Manual on Usage & Style
  249. as referenced above.
  250. Examples shown in § 17.12 are also consistent with the aforementioned § 17.9 specification: that
  251. is, all proper names are to be spelled with capital first letters; the balance of each spelled with
  252. lower case letters.
  253. Grammar, Punctuation, and Capitalization
  254. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has publish one of the most
  255. concise U.S. Government resources on capitalization. NASA publication SP-7084
  256. ,
  257. Grammar,
  258. Punctuation, and Capitalization, A Handbook for Technical Writers and Editors
  259. , was compiled
  260. and written by the NASA
  261. Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. At
  262. Chapter 4.
  263. Capitalization
  264. , they state in
  265. 4.1 Introduction
  266. :
  267. “First we should define terms used when discussing capitalization:
  268. Full caps
  269. means that every letter in an expression is capital, LIKE THIS.
  270. Caps &
  271. lc
  272. means that the principal words of an expression are capitalized, Like
  273. This.
  274. Caps and small caps
  275. refers to a particular font of type containing small capital
  276. letters instead of lowercase letter.
  277. Elements in a document such as headings, titles, and captions may be capitalized in either
  278. sentence style
  279. or
  280. headline style
  281. :
  282. Sentence style calls for capitalization of the first letter, and proper nouns of
  283. course.
  284. Headline style calls for capitalization of all principal words (also called caps &
  285. lc).
  286. Modern publishers tend toward a
  287. down
  288. style of capitalization, that is, toward use of fewer
  289. capitals, rather than an
  290. up
  291. style.”
  292. Here we see that in headlines, titles, captions, and in sentences, there is no authorized usage of
  293. full caps. At
  294. 4.4.1. Capitalization With Acronyms
  295. , we find the first authoritative use for full
  296. caps:
  297. “Acronyms are always formed with capital letters. Acronyms are often coined for a
  298. particular program or study and therefore require definition. The letters of the acronym
  299. are not capitalized in the definition unless the acronym stands for a proper name:
  300. Wrong
  301. The best electronic publishing systems combine What You See Is What You Get
  302. (WYSIWIG) features…
  303. Correct
  304. The best electronic publishing systems combine what you see is what you get
  305. (WYSIWIG) features…
  306. But
  307. Langley is involved with the National
  308. Aero-Space Plane (NASP) Program.”
  309. This cites, by example, that using
  310. full caps
  311. is allowable in an acronym. Acronyms are words
  312. formed from the initial letters of successive parts of a term. They never contain periods and are
  313. often not standard, so that definition is required.
  314. Could this apply to lawful proper Christian names? If that were true, then JOHN SMITH would
  315. have to follow a definition of some sort, which it does not. For example, only if JOHN SMITH
  316. were defined as ‘John
  317. Orley Holistic Nutrition of the Smith Medical Institute To
  318. Holistics
  319. (JOHN SMITH)’ would this apply.
  320. The most significant section appears at
  321. 4.5.3. Administrative Names
  322. :
  323. Official designations of political divisions and of other organized bodies are capitalized:
  324. Names of political divisions
  325. Canada
  326. New York State
  327. United States
  328. Northwest Territories
  329. Virgin Islands
  330. Ontario Province
  331. Names of governmental
  332. units
  333. U.S. Government
  334. Executive Department
  335. U.S. Congress
  336. U.S. Army
  337. U.S. Navy
  338. According to this official U.S. Government publication, the States are
  339. never
  340. to be spelled in full
  341. caps such as NEW YORK STATE. The proper English grammar style is New York State. This
  342. agrees, once again, with Texas Law Review’s
  343. Manual on Usage & Style
  344. .
  345. The Use of a Legal Fiction
  346. The Real Life Dictionary of the Law
  347. We refer to
  348. The Real Life Dictionary of the Law
  349. . The authors, Gerald and Kathleen Hill, are
  350. accomplished scholars and writers. Gerald Hill is an experienced attorney, judge, and law
  351. instructor. Here is how the term
  352. legal fiction
  353. is described:
  354. Legal fiction
  355. . n. A presumption of fact assumed by a court for convenience, consistency
  356. or to achieve justice. There is an old adage: ‘Fictions arise from the law, and not law
  357. from fictions.’ “
  358. Oran’s Dictionary of the Law
  359. From
  360. Oran’s Dictionary of the Law,
  361. published by the West Group 1999, within the definition of
  362. Fiction is found:
  363. “A
  364. legal fiction
  365. is an assumption that something that is (or may be) false or nonexistent is
  366. true or real. Legal fictions are assumed or invented to help do justice. For example,
  367. bringing a lawsuit to throw a nonexistent “John Doe” off your property used to be the
  368. only way to establish a clear right to the property when legal title was uncertain.”
  369. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law
  370. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law
  371. 1996
  372. states:
  373. legal fiction
  374. :
  375. something assumed in law to be fact irrespective of the truth or accuracy
  376. of that assumption. Example: the
  377. legal fiction
  378. that a day has no fractions —
  379. Fields v.
  380. Fairbanks North Star Borough
  381. , 818 P.2d 658 (1991).”
  382. This is the reason behind the use of
  383. full caps
  384. when writing a proper name. The U.S. and State
  385. Governments are
  386. deliberately
  387. using a legal fiction to “address” the Lawful Christian. We say this
  388. is deliberate because their own official publications state that proper names are not to be written
  389. in
  390. full caps
  391. . They are deliberately not following their own recognized authorities.
  392. In the same respect, by identifying their own government entity in
  393. full caps
  394. , they are legally
  395. stating that they are also a legal fiction. As stated by Dr. Mary Newton
  396. Bruder in the beginning
  397. of this report, the use of
  398. full caps
  399. for writing a proper name is an “internal style” for what is
  400. apparently a pre-determined usage and, at this point, unknown jurisdiction.
  401. The main key to a legal fiction is
  402. assumption
  403. as noted in each definition above.
  404. Conclusion: There are no official or unofficial English grammar style manuals or reference
  405. publications that recognize the use of
  406. full caps
  407. when writing a proper name. To do so is
  408. considered a legal fiction.
  409. The Assumption of a Legal Fiction
  410. An important issue concerning this entire matter is whether or not a legal fiction, such as a
  411. proper name written in
  412. full caps
  413. , can be substituted for a lawful Christian name or
  414. any
  415. proper
  416. name, such as the State of Florida. Is the use of a legal fiction “legal”? If so, from where does
  417. this legal fiction originate and what enforces it?
  418. A legal fiction can be used when the name of a “person” is not known by using the fictional
  419. name “John Doe”. This is understood by all and needs little explanation. If you have no way to
  420. identify someone, then the legal fiction John Doe or Jane Doe is used to describe an unknown
  421. name
  422. until
  423. the proper name can be identified.
  424. In all cases, a legal fiction is an
  425. assumption
  426. of purported fact without having shown the fact to be
  427. true or valid. It’s an acceptance with no proof. Simply, to assume is to pretend.
  428. Oran’s
  429. Dictionary of the Law
  430. says that the word
  431. assume
  432. means:
  433. 1. To take up or take responsibility for; to receive; to undertake. See assumption.
  434. 2. To pretend.
  435. 3. To accept without proof.
  436. These same basic definitions are used by nearly all of the modern law dictionaries. It should be
  437. noted that there is a difference between the meanings of the second and third definitions with that
  438. of the first.
  439. Pretending
  440. and
  441. accepting without proof
  442. are of the same understanding and meaning.

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