CHAT about it – Chapter 13
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Discussion Topic 1: In this chapter you learned that the first-person singular pronoun I is capitalized; however, in other languages such as French and Italian, this same pronoun is not capitalized. Why do you think we capitalize this pronoun in English? Try doing research to find an answer. Share your thoughts and findings with your classmates.
Discussion Topic 2: The word capitalize comes from capital, meaning “head.” The word capital, in all its uses (capital of a state or country, capital punishment, capitalism, capital letter), is associated with some sort of importance. Why do you think some words are capitalized in English and others are not? What do capitalized words communicate in our writing? Why do you think it is important to follow standard capitalization rules? Share your thoughts with your classmates.
Discussion Topic 3: Choose a language other than English and conduct research to find out what capitalization rules are used. What words are commonly capitalized? What pronouns are capitalized, if any? Does the language use capital letters at all? Share your findings with your classmates.
Discussion Topic 4: As mentioned in the FAQs About Business English section in this chapter, many countries especially in Europe, have a system similar to U.S. trademarks based on geographical indications (GIs). Certain products can be identified only if they originate from a particular area. For example, Gorgonzola cheese, Kalamata olives, and Champagne can be labeled as such only if they come from the designated region of Italy, Greece, or France. Choose a specific country and do research on its use of geographical indications. What specific products are covered by GIs in this country? Share your findings with your classmates.
Discussion Topic 5: In this chapter you learned that some company and product names contain unconventional capitalization known as intercaps; for example, iPad, LinkedIn, eBay, WhatsApp, PowerPoint, and QuickBooks. If you were writing to these companies or writing about these products, would it be important to get the capitalization right? Why or why not? What if you were including these terms on a resume? Would it matter whether you capitalized them properly? Share your opinions with your classmates.
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