Marking Capitals and Small Capitals

by Heather

Proofreaders’ Marks

Unless you’re e. e. cummings or k.d. lang, you’re probably fond of using capital letters from time to time.* But what if you happen to miss one of them now and again? Well, you can easily turn a lowercase letter to a capital with a triple underline.


Now, on occasion you may also want a small capital. Say you’re making a list of authors and Marshall McLuhan is among them. Oh, and did I mention that your list was in all caps? In that case you can use a double underline to indicate that the c in his name ought to be in small caps like the ac in MacDonald. (Edit: the small caps I’m referring to here are shown in the list below and not the sentence that precedes this edit.)

And, truly, that’s all there is to turning your lowercase letters into majuscules!

Want to know how to make capital letters into lowercase ones? You can find that entry here.

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*Caveat: For all I know, cummings and lang may delight in capital letters. I didn’t call them up to ask them—cummings’ number wasn’t listed for some reason anyway—and just made up this bit of libel to be witty. (I hope it worked.)

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That red pencil still burning a hole in your pocket protector? You can find a full listing of all the Word Blog’s Proofreaders’ Marks entries here.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather November 16, 2009 at 10:23 pm

Hi, Kevin.

You’re quite right about using a slash through a capital to make it lowercase. You can read more about that here if you like: http://the-word-blog.com/2009/08/13/changing-capitals-to-lowercase/

The triple underline described above will mark letters as capitals, and the double underline makes them into small capitals. Hope that helps!

And it is funny how new words seem to crop up in bunches, isn’t it? I recently had that happen with the word delope. (Well, it wasn’t really a bunch of times, just twice, but still it was strange.)

Kevin Dickinson November 16, 2009 at 8:17 pm

Hey, I learned something. I always thought the mark for making something lowercase was a diagonal slash through the capital.

And it’s weird, but I just learned the word “majuscule” today, only to read about it here. Maybe it’s just my New Word Radar going off.

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