Majuscules and minuscules

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Thu Nov 19 13:30:13 UTC 2009

At 11/18/2009 11:55 PM, George Thompson wrote:
>For perhaps its first 15 years (1851ff) the NY Times always printed
>personal names in its news-stories in small caps,

Did the Times want to distinguish personal names from common nouns
that they were still, like their 18th-century forebearers, printing
with initial 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.
> > ISTR
> > 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 -

The American Dialect Society -

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