Majuscules and minuscules

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Thu Nov 19 04:55:45 UTC 2009

For perhaps its first 15 years (1851ff) the NY Times always printed personal names in its news-stories in small caps, unconcerned with the problem that the Proquest OCR would later have in reading small caps.  (Though I just quickly tested Proquest on this, and it did much better that it had a couple of years ago.  When Proquest first offered the digitized NYTimes, its OCR was entirely unable to read small caps or nearly so, so that every search for a proper name drew a blank until about th 1870s.)


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much lately.

----- Original Message -----
From: Mark Mandel <Mark.A.Mandel at GMAIL.COM>
Date: Wednesday, November 18, 2009 11:04 pm
Subject: Re: Majuscules and minuscules

> I just remembered another, facepalm! Egyptian hieroglyphics enclosed
> personal names in a cartouche, an outline frame of a particular shape.
> this being a key clue in the decipherment of hieroglyphics. Persons only,
> not other names we would consider proper nouns.
> m a m
> On Wed, Nov 18, 2009 at 9:53 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at> wrote:
> > Thanks, Mark, and especially for replying to my facetious
> > questions.  And forgive me for feeble humor below.  It's my way of
> > relieving the tension arising from reading second proofs of a journal
> > article of mine.
> >
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list