Pearson Adult Learning Centre HomePearson Adult Learning Centre: Tips for Writers by Brad Hyde

 

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Food, Glorious Food!

When was the last time you had a manhattan in Manhattan? Maybe never, but the rules for capitalization in food are pretty interesting, nevertheless. As in my tip for capitalization in the names of games, if a food has a place name in it then it will sometimes (but not always) take the same capital.

Here are some interesting examples:

We have Irish coffee but enjoy a daiquiri (a place name!). Frankfurt is a large industrial city in Germany. However, when the place name is used to identify a food, we get the word “frankfurter.”

To make things even more confusing we have French bread, but also french fries. Why the difference? Well, the bread is identified as coming from the country of France; the fries are only a style of cutting potatoes, apparently. When unsure, do what I do: run a Google search and see how many of the words are capitalized and how many not. Usually, the most “correct” usage will have the greatest number of hits!



(December 11, 2011)

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