Joel Stringfellow (njyoder) wrote in linguaphiles,
Joel Stringfellow
njyoder
linguaphiles

The origin of capitalization.

What is the origin of capitalization? What purpose does it or did it servce?

Thinking about it, I find it hard to come up with a good, pragmatic reason. Here are my guesses (I admit they are sort of grasping, but I'm at a loss here):
*It originated in capitalization of names, where the purpose was to specially emphasize people's names.
*It serves an aesthetic purpose; it makes the writing looker neater and more organized.
*It is for visual clarity: upper case letters are easier to read, but take longer to write and later lower case letters came in later to make writing quicker.

Additional request: can someone recommend text(s) on the origins and purposes of various 'odd' aspects of language like this?
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  • Polish translation, please

    A coworker gave my dad this bottle of vodka (it has grass in it!), and I'm dying to know what the text says. Can anyone help?

  • FRENCH and ENGLISH: oddalający się

    Imagine that a boy is standing on the deck of a ship. The ship is leaving a port. The boy looks back at a town, which is getting smaller and smaller…

  • Note on back of photo...

    I collect orphaned photos. Most of them don't have anything written on them, and the ones that do are almost always in english. This photo,…