Capitalization

"This town ain't big enough for both of us," Uppercase said lowercase.

“This town ain’t big enough for both of us,” lowercase said to UPPERCASE.

 

Capitalization drives me bonkers! Somewhere out in the writing world lives another capitalization-challenged person. Question is, will they step forward and admit it?

Okay, so I capitalize when I shouldn’t. So what? Truth is, I wish I had a penny for every time I have seen a word live in both worlds. Capitalization seems like one of those disciplines forced on the English language just to complicate matters.

All right you say — a proper state is imperative for the world to spin. But would the world stop spinning if English capitalization wasn’t so strict?  Allow me an example, please.

In Heller’s Canal, the book I am now editing, the protagonist, a fine wrangler of suitable lineage, Sam Claiborne, has a dog named Ballou. It so happens that Sam prefers bigger dogs over smaller ones, so he chose a stout shepherd dog of Turkish heritage, thus an Anatolian. Now, since shepherd is lowercase and Anatolian is uppercase, when used together one would expect Anatolian shepherd. When found in most dictionaries, this is the case.

However, in any book I’ve ever seen about the breed, editors use Anatolian Shepherd. Why do definitive books about the breed capitalize one way and dictionaries another?

A little help here, please. I feel the spin of the world going helter-skelter.

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