This section is from the book "Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: A Guide To Correct Writing", by Thos. E. Hill. Also available from Amazon: Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: The How-To-Do-Everything Book Of Victorian America.
MANY people greatly disfigure their writing, and stamp themselves as illiterate, by the omission or improper use of capital letters.
What do we think of the man who, wishing to place his son in the care of a teacher, wrote a letter, introducing his boy, thus?
"deer sur yeW Bein a man of noleg i Wish tu Put Mi son in yure skull."
" mister Grean Wunt you let mi Boay hev a Pare ov Esy toad shuz."
Fortunately the rules for using capitals are few, and once acquired, are easily remembered.
Begin every paragraph with a capital letter.
Begin every sentence following a period with a capital letter.
Begin each proper name with a capital letter.
Begin the names of places, as Boston, Newport, Niagara, with capital letters.
Begin the words, North, South, East, West, and their compounds and abbreviations, as North-east, S. W., with capital letters, when geographically applied.
Begin the names of the Deity and Heaven, or the pronoun used for the former, as, in His mercy - Thou, Father, etc., with capital letters.
Begin all adjectives formed from the names of places or points of the compass as English, Northern, each with a capital letter.
Begin each line of poetry with a capital letter.
Begin all quotations with a capital letter.
Begin the name of any historical event, as the French Revolution, with capital letters.
The pronoun I and the interjection O must invariably be capital letters.
Begin names of the month, as June, April, with capital letters. Also the days of the week, as Monday, Tuesday, etc.
Begin all addresses, as Dear Sir - Dear Madam, with capital letters.
Capital letters must never be placed in the middle of a word.
WHILE the omission of punctuation may not mar the appearance of writing, as do bad spelling and improper use of capitals, its correct use is, nevertheless, essential to the proper construction of a sentence.
"He is an old and experienced hand; in vice and wickedness he is never found; opposing the works of iniquity he takes delight."
"He is an old and experienced hand in vice and wickedness; he is never found opposing the works of iniquity; he takes delight."
The following are the principal characters or points used in punctuation: