HomeWild Cat SpeciesTigerShould “tiger” be capitalized?


Should “tiger” be capitalized? — 2 Comments

  1. Should “tiger” be capitalized? Only if you’re writing in German.

    “If you look at ancient English it has changed vastly and in a thousand years the words on this page may look very strange.” This may be true of Old English (aka Anglo-Saxon – there is no such linguistic term as “ancient English”); it is vastly different from Modern English, but one of the main reasons for this was the massive import of Latin-derived Norman French words starting in 1066. The Middle English period lasted from about 1150 to 1500. By the end of that time, English had assumed a form that is considered archaic but is still Modern English. However, the Modern English period also marked the advent of mass printing (Gutenberg build his first press around 1440), and with printing came a standardization in spelling, and a marked slowdown in the rate of language change. In the 350 years of the Middle English period, the language that emerged was barely recognizable from that spoken at the time of the Norman Conquest. However, in the 520 years since, Modern English is essentially the same as it was back then. The works of Shakespeare, written between 1585 and 1613, are easily accessible to 21st century readers. The US Constitution is 230 years old, but no dictionary or translating is required. Modern mass media is continuing the trend of halting language change; even attempts at spelling reform have failed. It is more than likely that readers in the year 3020 will still be able to read what is written today – that is, if we’re still around then.

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