Topic: Imperial vs. imperial

I've run into another round of capitalization issues that I need help with. I've been capitalizing the term Imperial throughout my book. I've been treating Imperium/Imperial as comparable to Canada/Candian. Pretty much no other resource I've checked capitalizes imperial, except as part of a proper noun (e.g., Imperial Rome). I've now run into a situation where Imperial should definitely be lowercase, so I'm abandoning capitalization of the word, which raises the following cases:

1. A small imperial fleet is approaching. (Lowercase.)
2. The entire Imperial Fleet is approaching. (Proper noun.)
3. The Imperial Perimiter is off limits. (Proper noun.)
4. The Imperial Colloseum collapsed. (Proper noun.)

5. The Imperials are attacking. (???)

6. The imperial admiral is approaching. (Lowercase.)
7. It was Imperial Admiral Gaius Lupus who attacked. (I'm treating Imperial as a formal part of his title, hence caps.)

8. The imperial palace was attacked. (??? Not sure exactly if "imperial palace" should be caps. It strikes me as odd that Imperial Perimeter would be capitalized, but not imperial palace.)

9. The imperial family was attacked. (??? Same question as imperial palace.)

10. His chest was emblazoned with the imperial emblem. (??? Same question. Wikipedia refers to Britain's coat of arms as either the Royal coat of arms or the Royal Arms. Other sources write it as Britain's Coat of Arms.)

11. The Imperial Classiarii attacked. (??? Classiarii is Latin for marines. Not sure if Imperial should be capitalized here or not. I assume it comes down to whether imperial and Classiarii form a proper noun. If I do capitalize it, doesn't that suggest that imperial family, imperial palace, and imperial emblem also be caps? If I take that to a ridiculous extreme, I'll end up with things like Imperial Farts. Where does the use of proper nouns begin and end?)

Thanks!

Re: Imperial vs. imperial

Norm d'Plume wrote:

I've run into another round of capitalization issues that I need help with. I've been capitalizing the term Imperial throughout my book. I've been treating Imperium/Imperial as comparable to Canada/Candian. Pretty much no other resource I've checked capitalizes imperial, except as part of a proper noun (e.g., Imperial Rome). I've now run into a situation where Imperial should definitely be lowercase, so I'm abandoning capitalization of the word, which raises the following cases:

1. A small imperial fleet is approaching. (Lowercase.)
2. The entire Imperial Fleet is approaching. (Proper noun.)
3. The Imperial Perimiter is off limits. (Proper noun.)
4. The Imperial Colloseum collapsed. (Proper noun.)

5. The Imperials are attacking. (???)

6. The imperial admiral is approaching. (Lowercase.)
7. It was Imperial Admiral Gaius Lupus who attacked. (I'm treating Imperial as a formal part of his title, hence caps.)

8. The imperial palace was attacked. (??? Not sure exactly if "imperial palace" should be caps. It strikes me as odd that Imperial Perimeter would be capitalized, but not imperial palace.)

9. The imperial family was attacked. (??? Same question as imperial palace.)

10. His chest was emblazoned with the imperial emblem. (??? Same question. Wikipedia refers to Britain's coat of arms as either the Royal coat of arms or the Royal Arms. Other sources write it as Britain's Coat of Arms.)

11. The Imperial Classiarii attacked. (??? Classiarii is Latin for marines. Not sure if Imperial should be capitalized here or not. I assume it comes down to whether imperial and Classiarii form a proper noun. If I do capitalize it, doesn't that suggest that imperial family, imperial palace, and imperial emblem also be caps? If I take that to a ridiculous extreme, I'll end up with things like Imperial Farts. Where does the use of proper nouns begin and end?)

Okay - 1,6,7,8,9,11

questionably okay - 2,3,4  "Fleet" and "Perimeter" are not proper nouns in themselves but "Colosseum," a particular amphitheater in Rome built by Vespasian, is. 'coliseum' (lower case, with an "i", only one "s") is sometimes used as another word for "amphitheater" that is not the Roman Colosseum. You have a misspelling that is neither.

stumped - 5,10.  I would reword 5 to avoid the problem. 10, go with 'Royal Arms' analogy.

Re: Imperial vs. imperial

Thanks, Charles. Very helpful.

I'm treating Imperial Fleet like US Navy, hence caps.
I'm rethinking Imperial Perimiter. It's a no-fly zone. I may drop the caps for consistency with palace, family, and emblem.
Colosseum was a typo and refers to the one in Rome, hence caps.
I settled on imperials instead of Imperials, since it's really just short for imperial forces.

I think I'm set (until next time). :-)

Thanks.
Dirk

Re: Imperial vs. imperial

Norm d'Plume wrote:

I've run into another round of capitalization issues that I need help with. I've been capitalizing the term Imperial throughout my book. I've been treating Imperium/Imperial as comparable to Canada/Candian. Pretty much no other resource I've checked capitalizes imperial, except as part of a proper noun (e.g., Imperial Rome). I've now run into a situation where Imperial should definitely be lowercase, so I'm abandoning capitalization of the word, which raises the following cases:

1. A small imperial fleet is approaching. (Lowercase.)  YES
2. The entire Imperial Fleet is approaching. (Proper noun.)  YES
3. The Imperial Perimiter is off limits. (Proper noun.)  YES
4. The Imperial Colloseum collapsed. (Proper noun.)  YES

5. The Imperials are attacking. (???) YES--LIKE AMERICANS/CANADIANS

6. The imperial admiral is approaching. (Lowercase.) YES
7. It was Imperial Admiral Gaius Lupus who attacked. (I'm treating Imperial as a formal part of his title, hence caps.) YES

8. The imperial palace was attacked. (??? Not sure exactly if "imperial palace" should be caps. It strikes me as odd that Imperial Perimeter would be capitalized, but not imperial palace.) I'D GO WITH CAPS FOR CONSISTENCY. OR IF THE PALACE HAS A NAME, USE IT--LIKE BUCKINGHAM PALACE.

9. The imperial family was attacked. (??? Same question as imperial palace.) CHECK AND SEE IF THE ROYAL FAMILY IS CAPITALIZED. IF SO, USE CAPS.

10. His chest was emblazoned with the imperial emblem. (??? Same question. Wikipedia refers to Britain's coat of arms as either the Royal coat of arms or the Royal Arms. Other sources write it as Britain's Coat of Arms.) I AGREE WITH CHARLES. OR YOU COULD SAY THE EMBLEM OF THE IMPERIUM.

11. The Imperial Classiarii attacked. (??? Classiarii is Latin for marines. Not sure if Imperial should be capitalized here or not. I assume it comes down to whether imperial and Classiarii form a proper noun. If I do capitalize it, doesn't that suggest that imperial family, imperial palace, and imperial emblem also be caps? If I take that to a ridiculous extreme, I'll end up with things like Imperial Farts. Where does the use of proper nouns begin and end?) CAPS. YOU CAPITALIZE ARMY, NAVY, AIR FORCE, MARINES, COAST GUARD WHEN REFERRING TO THE U.S., I'D GO WITH THE CAPS.

Thanks!

SEE MY COMMENTS IN CAPS. JUST BEING FACETIOUS.

Re: Imperial vs. imperial

Thanks, Janet. I lowercased perimeter because there is one per palace on Earth, so there is more than just one. Based on a bit of research, emblem is lowercase even though Coat of Arms is capitalized (at least in Britain). As a result, I went with imperial palace (lowercase) for consistency, but will name the palace as you suggest.

As for imperial family, I went lowercase. Otherwise I would end up with caps on Imperial Family but lowercase on imperator, which is wrong. I don't want to capitalize imperator since that causes a cascade of other inconsistencies. It looks weird to me to put royal family and imperial family lowercase (ditto for imperator), but I'm sure I'll get used to it. If not, I'll be back. :-)

Thanks for your help.

Re: Imperial vs. imperial

Imperials is an odd duck. I originally capitalized all occurences of Imperial based on your observation that it is like Canadian, which made sense. However, I found that inconsistent with every other resource I looked at for usage of imperial. Since Imperials is short for imperial forces, I went with lowercase for that, too. For now. :-)