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  #1    
Old January 15th, 2011, 12:37 PM
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I've posted this on both Bulbagarden and Serebii now, and thought that the more "hardened" and "experienced" reviewers and writers here could give their thoughts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zekurom
Lately, I've been seeing a noticeable split between people who put the names of Pokémon in caps the "Bulbapedia" way (basically, the official way) and those who put it in lowercase with the justification that nouns like "animal", "mouse", and "dragon" aren't capitalized either. It's not just a select few anymore that leave the species names in lowercase.

This applies to items and moves, too. You say "potion", I say "Potion". Everyone seems to do it a different way.

These are the main conventions that I see (and the options on the poll):
  1. The Bulbapedia method (the official method, also known as the German method)
    • Capitalize all names of Pokémon species, and items as they appear in the games.
    • Capitalize all names of moves, wherever they appear as moves.
    • Example sentence: The Pokémon Trainer used a Potion on his Squirtle, returning him to his Pokéball and hopping on his Bicycle to rush to the Viridian City Pokémon Centre.
    • Example sentence 2: "Squirtle, Tackle that Pidgey!" said the Trainer, commanding the Squirtle to use Tackle.
    • Example sentence 3: The Electrode shot a Thunderbolt at the Mudkip, who proceeded to eat the Oran Berry it was holding. The Mudkip then ran away, searching for other Berries.
  2. The Context-dependent Bulbapedia method
    • Capitalize all names of Pokémon species, and items as they appear in the games.
    • An exception is made for objects that are exactly the same as they are in real life. (e.g. bicycle, running shoes, trainer)
    • Do not capitalize names of moves that are also verbs, when they are used as verbs. (e.g. tackle, bite, scratch)
    • All other move names should be capitalized as they are in the Bulbapedia method.
    • Example sentence: "The Pokémon trainer used a Potion on his Squirtle, returning him to his Pokéball and hopping on his bicycle to rush to the Viridian City Pokémon Centre."
    • Example sentence 2: "Squirtle, tackle that Pidgey!" said the trainer, commanding the Squirtle to use Tackle.
    • Example sentence 3: The Electrode shot a Thunderbolt at the Mudkip, who proceeded to eat the Oran Berry it was holding. The Mudkip then ran away, searching for other berries.
  3. The Pokémon-only method
    • Capitalize all names of Pokémon species as they appear in the games.
    • Do not capitalize the names of items or moves. They are not treated as proper nouns. (In some variants, only the items are left in lowercase.)
    • Example sentence: "The Pokémon trainer used a potion on his Squirtle, returning him to his pokéball and hopping on his bicycle to rush to the Viridian City Pokémon centre."
    • Example sentence 2: "Squirtle, tackle that Pidgey!" said the trainer, commanding the Squirtle to use Tackle.
    • Example sentence 3: The Electrode shot a thunderbolt at the Mudkip, who proceeded to eat the oran berry it was holding. The Mudkip then ran away, searching for other berries.
  4. The Common Noun method
    • Do not capitalize the names of species, only the names when they are used as proper nouns.
    • Do not capitalize the names of items or moves, except when a move name is used as a proper noun. (In some variants, the proper-noun exception here does not exist. In which case, the "Tackle" in example sentence 2 should be lowercase.)
    • Example sentence: The pokémon trainer used a potion on his squirtle, returning him to his pokéball and hopping on his bicycle to rush to the Viridian City pokémon centre.
    • Example sentence 2: "Squirtle, tackle that pidgey!" said the trainer, commanding the squirtle to use Tackle.
    • Example sentence 3: The electrode shot a thunderbolt at the mudkip, who proceeded to eat the oran berry it was holding. The mudkip then ran away, searching for other berries.

In the above rules, "used as a proper noun" means that it is grammatically a proper noun because it does not have an article (e.g. "the", "a", "one") preceding it, and it is not a plural noun. Take the sentence "Meet Squirtle, my Squirtle." The first Squirtle is used as a proper noun, and the second one is not.

So I'm just interested, fanfic writers. What convention do you use? You can justify your case if you want to, but I don't want this thread turning into a flame war about which which method is the right one.
Now, we agreed that the "Bulbapedia Method" was not going to be an acceptable name for the first method, but nobody else could come up with one that works.

Also, there actually isn't a poll, but that's because this is a secondary thread.
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  #2    
Old January 15th, 2011, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonite Ernston View Post
that the more "hardened" and "experienced" reviewers and writers here
There's a lot of us? *shot repeatedly*

Quote:
Now, we agreed that the "Bulbapedia Method" was not going to be an acceptable name for the first method, but nobody else could come up with one that works.
Canon method. The reason why is because the argument in support of this method is usually that it's the way it's done in canon.

Alternate that I personally use: meta method -- because it's done from a meta perspective. (As in, it's unlikely that people within the Pokémon universe would capitalize things like "pikachu" if it's not being used as a name; the only reason why it's done in canon material is because everything is under a copyright or trademark. Capitalizing things like that is just a means of denoting what would be special items or creatures to readers or players beyond the fourth wall.)

As a side note, yes, I've noticed the discussions on Serebii about the names for these kinds of things, and all I can say for advice is that usually, you'll want to dig a little deeper when it comes to names. Not to be biting or anything, but sometimes, you really can find a pretty simple name just by asking yourself why the method exists in the first place, not where it's found or who came up with it. I, for one, have been calling this method the meta method for years because it was the best way to describe it without getting too wordy.

To answer the question, I personally use a variation of the fourth. All Pokémon-related words and phrases, for the most part, get a lowercase letter if they're not being used as names. For example: it's Ash's pikachu, but it's named Pikachu. Ash is a pokémon trainer who goes to gyms to earn badges.

The exceptions (besides species names being used as words) are these:

1. Moves are always capitalized for the most part if they're actually being used as moves. This is because the ones that are actually being used as moves are considered, in my fic universes, to be the names of techniques -- sets of smaller moves that are bundled into one particular action. For example, if a Pokémon bites something, they're just using their teeth in a pretty straightforward manner. If a Pokémon uses Bite, they charge their teeth with Dark-type energy to deal damage or simply bite down harder than they would normally, depending on the Pokémon and circumstances. A tackle is just a Pokémon jumping on an opponent; a Tackle is the Pokémon bracing itself first, followed by putting a good amount of energy into the leap and throwing all of its body weight into the opponent to knock it down. So, basically, context-dependent meta method at work here.
1a. The same logic goes to special abilities, like Static and Blaze.

2. Special items also get capitalized due to being the names of particular items. Example: Brendan might own a pokénav and the Red Orb. "Red Orb" is the name of the particular item; pokénav is just the name of that type of item.

3. Names of particular places in general, due to being proper nouns. For example, the Mauville City Pokémon Center is completely capitalized because it's actually the name of that particular place. I could also say that Mauville City has a pokémon center or that the characters are at the pokémon center, and these wouldn't be capitalized because I'm referring to the place by what it is, not by its name.

4. Outside of fanfiction, I capitalize almost everything for the sake of not having to explain why I'm not capitalizing those words. Certain things I get away with, however. For example, I never capitalize things like "badge" or "gym."

But beyond that, yeah, pretty much everything that serves as a common noun isn't capitalized in my writing because it just makes grammatical sense to me. I've considered going back to the meta method (or a variation thereof) because of the number of times I've had to explain my capitalization methods to someone who's only seen the meta method or to people who have something against Farla on FFNet for one reason or another. (Yes, that last comment is relevant.)

Beyond that, I'm going to have to ask if you're aware of how restrictive these four categories are. Not to be biting or anything. (I know that came off as rude, but I just can't really phrase it any other way.) I'm just saying there's actually a lot of different variations on these four groups and that capitalization methods in this fandom, from what I've observed through years of reading fic, seems more like a spectrum than something that can be grouped into four neat categories. There's, of course, the two opposite ends of the spectrum (the meta/canon method and the common noun method), but there's a lot of people who do a variety of different things in between. I've seen people who capitalize only Pokémon names and moves, people who don't capitalize anything but certain items, people who don't capitalize types (e.g., Pikachu is an electric-type Pokémon, Pidgey is a normal/flying-type) or species (e.g., Pikachu is the mouse Pokémon, Bidoof is the plump mouse Pokémon, et cetera) but capitalize everything else... and, of course, yours truly, who just uses a crapload of different rules for no apparent reason besides it made sense at the time. None of these are incorrect, of course, so long as they're consistent, so I'm thinking that maybe there's no real categories when it comes to this kind of subject besides the two extremes.

Anyone else's thoughts?
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Last edited by JX Valentine; January 15th, 2011 at 01:48 PM.
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Old January 15th, 2011, 03:59 PM
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I can see why he grouped the way we capitalize things into four categories as that's how most writers does it. Many fics I would see the writers have the capitalization fall under one of the categories. However, I agree that the categories are restrictive as to how to capitalize the Pokemon names, items, and such. I too have my own ways of capitalizing things, and so has many other authors.

Anyways, going by the categories used, I use the the Context-dependent Bulbapedia method, but the verb-based attacks like Tackle is depending on the context. If I have a trainer use Tackle in a commanding way and the attack he wanted his Pokemon to use, I'll go "Eevee, Tackle!" However, if it's more tackle as an action and not in a formal battle setting, I would write, "Eevee, tackle that tree!"

Oddly enough, one thing I did differently from the Context method is I don't capitalize potions and other game items that are only in the Pokemon world saved for maybe very important key items with unique names like Lustrous Orb and the Red Chain.

No, I didn't copy pasta the last parts from my post at Serebii. D:
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Old January 15th, 2011, 04:06 PM
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I use the same method as Bay. I used to capitalize everything, but became way too lazy to remember what ruling I used for what word. So I just went with whatever. I tend more towards context-dependent, though, if I think about it.

But I think I'm really all over the place depending on what I write or when.
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Old January 15th, 2011, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JX Valentine View Post
There's a lot of us? *shot repeatedly*
Thesis, you, Dragonfree, Astinus, to name a few.

At least there are a lot more of you than there are at Bulbagarden. I can say that confidently.

Quote:
Canon method. The reason why is because the argument in support of this method is usually that it's the way it's done in canon.
We decided that that name wouldn't do either, because:

1) It's too prone to not being used a proper noun (as, it is literally the canon method)
2) This convention (of capitalizing names) is also used in a lot of other fictional works, such as Animorphs.

Quote:
Alternate that I personally use: meta method -- because it's done from a meta perspective. (As in, it's unlikely that people within the Pokémon universe would capitalize things like "pikachu" if it's not being used as a name; the only reason why it's done in canon material is because everything is under a copyright or trademark. Capitalizing things like that is just a means of denoting what would be special items or creatures to readers or players beyond the fourth wall.)
The name "Meta method" might work. The ones we came up over at Bulbagarden were things like the "Xeno method".

Quote:
As a side note, yes, I've noticed the discussions on Serebii about the names for these kinds of things, and all I can say for advice is that usually, you'll want to dig a little deeper when it comes to names. Not to be biting or anything, but sometimes, you really can find a pretty simple name just by asking yourself why the method exists in the first place, not where it's found or who came up with it. I, for one, have been calling this method the meta method for years because it was the best way to describe it without getting too wordy.
There were a lot of them? *shot repeatedly*

Is the name "the Common Noun method" okay, though?

Quote:
But beyond that, yeah, pretty much everything that serves as a common noun isn't capitalized in my writing because it just makes grammatical sense to me. I've considered going back to the meta method (or a variation thereof) because of the number of times I've had to explain my capitalization methods to someone who's only seen the meta method or to people who have something against Farla on FFNet for one reason or another. (Yes, that last comment is relevant.)
I've seen Farla's antics too. She's perhaps the only reason I even know about the Common Noun method. Before her, I thought it was just bad grammar.

Quote:
Beyond that, I'm going to have to ask if you're aware of how restrictive these four categories are. Not to be biting or anything. (I know that came off as rude, but I just can't really phrase it any other way.) I'm just saying there's actually a lot of different variations on these four groups and that capitalization methods in this fandom, from what I've observed through years of reading fic, seems more like a spectrum than something that can be grouped into four neat categories. There's, of course, the two opposite ends of the spectrum (the meta/canon method and the common noun method), but there's a lot of people who do a variety of different things in between. I've seen people who capitalize only Pokémon names and moves, people who don't capitalize anything but certain items, people who don't capitalize types (e.g., Pikachu is an electric-type Pokémon, Pidgey is a normal/flying-type) or species (e.g., Pikachu is the mouse Pokémon, Bidoof is the plump mouse Pokémon, et cetera) but capitalize everything else... and, of course, yours truly, who just uses a crapload of different rules for no apparent reason besides it made sense at the time. None of these are incorrect, of course, so long as they're consistent, so I'm thinking that maybe there's no real categories when it comes to this kind of subject besides the two extremes.
I realize that these categories are very restrictive, but everybody has their own variation. These groups are my best attempt to lump them into generalized categories as I can.
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Old January 15th, 2011, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonite Ernston View Post
Thesis, you, Dragonfree, Astinus, to name a few.
Dragonfree and Thesis. There's a couple of names I haven't seen in awhile. On here at least. But that's neither here nor there.

We're unfortunately lacking in the active member count as of late. I hesitate to say exactly why (because it could potentially be my bad), but thanks nonetheless about the compliment. I just hope that we can get that member count back eventually so we could get some real discussions going again. (Sure, there's this one already, but.)

Quote:
We decided that that name wouldn't do either, because:

1) It's too prone to not being used a proper noun (as, it is literally the canon method)
2) This convention (of capitalizing names) is also used in a lot of other fictional works, such as Animorphs.
Not quite sure I'm getting what you mean by the first point, so to clarify, do you mean that not everything covered by the meta method is a proper noun or that canon doesn't always capitalize everything the way one would assume it should? If not, feel free to correct me.

As for the second, I'd imagine that every franchise would have its own separate conventions. For example, Pokémon has unique conventions in its own canon (where attacks are capitalized, items, et cetera), whereas Animorphs has a completely separate set of rules (where, if I recall correctly, it's mostly just races that are capitalized). In short, it's okay to give this particular set of rules a name that implies that it only covers Pokémon because, well, it can only really cover Pokémon. Wandering off into another franchise or universe means using a completely separate set of rules.

Not only that, but "canon method" is actually a vague term. The word "canon" itself applies to any official source (e.g., the games/anime/manga for Pokémon, the books for Animorphs, et cetera), not just one particular one. So, to say "canon method" literally means "the way it's done within a particular canon." Considering the above, that means it could be a pretty flexible term because it, on a literal level, names the particular conventions used within a single canon universe.

But I'm okay with naming it the meta method too. b)'')b

I'm also A-OK with using "common noun method" because it's pretty straightforward. After all, that points directly to the reasoning behind it, so it's pretty easy to understand.

However, I am curious as to why "Xeno method" was proposed, just because I'm curious to know who/what Xeno is.
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  #7    
Old January 15th, 2011, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by JX Valentine View Post
Dragonfree and Thesis. There's a couple of names I haven't seen in awhile. On here at least. But that's neither here nor there.
I actually only know about Thesis from that "How not to write an OT story" guide.

Quote:
Not quite sure I'm getting what you mean by the first point, so to clarify, do you mean that not everything covered by the meta method is a proper noun or that canon doesn't always capitalize everything the way one would assume it should? If not, feel free to correct me.
As in: properly named, it should be spelled "the Canon method", the way I'm trying to name them. The "C" is to be capitalized.

It has nothing to do with the method itself. Sorry if I confused you. (This also explains why I say "the Common Noun method" instead of "the common noun method".)

Quote:
As for the second, I'd imagine that every franchise would have its own separate conventions. For example, Pokémon has unique conventions in its own canon (where attacks are capitalized, items, et cetera), whereas Animorphs has a completely separate set of rules (where, if I recall correctly, it's mostly just races that are capitalized). In short, it's okay to give this particular set of rules a name that implies that it only covers Pokémon because, well, it can only really cover Pokémon. Wandering off into another franchise or universe means using a completely separate set of rules.
Fair enough. It's just the "species capitalization" part that seems to be fairly consistent across canons. Besides that, they sometimes will italicize the word, but very rarely do you see a foreign species name in lowercase and roman.

Quote:
But I'm okay with naming it the meta method too. b)'')b
Considering that it's how you do it yourself

Quote:
I'm also A-OK with using "common noun method" because it's pretty straightforward. After all, that points directly to the reasoning behind it, so it's pretty easy to understand.
Alright. At least I got one name down pat.

Quote:
However, I am curious as to why "Xeno method" was proposed, just because I'm curious to know who/what Xeno is.
"Xeno" is a prefix meaning "alien; foreign". It was proposed because only creatures that are not described in common English are capitalized as such.

For example: "Butterfree is a type of butterfly." Nobody would argue with this.

Last edited by Dragonite Ernston; January 15th, 2011 at 09:17 PM.
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Old January 16th, 2011, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Dragonite Ernston View Post
I actually only know about Thesis from that "How not to write an OT story" guide.
Yeah, he's an on-and-off member, and that was a couple years ago when PC actually had a lot more intelligent discussion. And then something else happened, and we stopped actually talking to each other (save for a few frustrating months where we'd only talk in the FFL). So, there you go. Not sure where he ran off to after that, but he and a lot of other people from back then are unfortunately no longer around. We hope to grow a new community, though, or at least coax some of the people back if we happen to know how to contact them.

Either way, yeah, sorry if it sounds a little on the quiet side.

Quote:
As in: properly named, it should be spelled "the Canon method", the way I'm trying to name them. The "C" is to be capitalized.

It has nothing to do with the method itself. Sorry if I confused you. (This also explains why I say "the Common Noun method" instead of "the common noun method".)
Still not quite clear on this. ._. What does the capitalization of the method name have to do with why "Canon method" was turned down as a name?

I really don't mind either way if you decide not to use that suggestion (so long as we don't go back to calling it the Bulbapedia method). I'm just curious because I haven't really read the naming discussion on BMGf.

Quote:
Fair enough. It's just the "species capitalization" part that seems to be fairly consistent across canons. Besides that, they sometimes will italicize the word, but very rarely do you see a foreign species name in lowercase and roman.
This is usually because the reason for capitalizing tends to vary by context. For some, the species name refers to the race (or planet, in the case of a lot of science fiction), not just a species. Example: the word "Vulcan" is capitalized in Star Trek canon because it's not being used like the word "cat." Rather, it's actually being used like the word "Asian" or "Earth." It's the name of a race of people and the planet. Hence, it's treated like a proper noun. Same logic with Animorphs canon, lax the part about planets.

Pokémon's rules tend to be a little bit different because the species name isn't being used as a race name or a name that's the same of a particular place. (Persian is the arguable exception. The name comes from the real-world cat breed, which is always capitalized because the cats were named after a particular location.) So, from the perspective of someone inside the Pokémon universe, things like "Pikachu" can be used exactly the same way as "mouse"; it can't be used to describe a location from which that particular group of creatures descended. As a result, you have slightly different rules because the only reason why they're capitalized is due to trademark.

And this is all pretty long-winded explanation, but what I'm getting at is just basically a warning that there are subtle differences. Sometimes, species names are capitalized in books because that's actually grammatically correct according to English grammar, not in-universe rules. With that being said, I'm not sure if it's a good idea to say that most fictional species tend to be capitalized for the same reason, and if we're going to be talking about methods, the why factor is a huge part of the discussion (if only for the fact that we'd have to build a good supporting argument for why certain words are capitalized). Besides, it's a mixed bag, as you've already hinted. Besides the part about italics, not all canon universes treat capitalization the same way anyway. For example, World of Warcraft tends to go back and forth about what is and isn't capitalized. (For example, "crocolisk" tends to be left lowercase. Bronze dragonflight, night elf, tauren -- ditto. Elder Gray Bear? Okay, why not?) Then, you have the poem "Jabberwocky," which is pretty much half a catalogue of fictional species. Sailor Moon? Individual creatures are. Sometimes entire categories (like Lemure). But the term "youkai" (the word for demons in general) is not. And then, if you want to have fun in the Lord of the Rings fandom, ask the fans whether or not "hobbit" (which, okay, is also a race, but) should be capitalized.

Long story short, a lot of the time, universes make up their own rules for capitalizing species. Sometimes, these rules match up with other universes; other times, they don't. For the sake of simplicity, it would be best to just apply these methods to only Pokémon to avoid having to apply exception after exception and define 20138520 variations. (The latter point is also why I said it'd probably be best to define capitalization as a spectrum instead of four separate categories.)

Quote:
Considering that it's how you do it yourself :P
Well, I am an egotist. ;D

Quote:
"Xeno" is a prefix meaning "alien; foreign".
Herpaderp. Because you used Bulbapedia method as a former name, I automatically assumed you were naming the convention after a particular BMGf member, rather than the actual prefix. My bad.
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  #9    
Old January 16th, 2011, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by JX Valentine View Post
Still not quite clear on this. ._. What does the capitalization of the method name have to do with why "Canon method" was turned down as a name?
As in, "the Canon method" is actually "the canon method", and I want to use a word that isn't related to storytelling (but is possibly related to grammar) there.

Actually, when I look at it, the StudioRevolution.net site lists only two camps of people, instead of the four that I have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonite Ernston View Post
For example: "Butterfree is a type of butterfly." Nobody would argue with this.
Apparently, I'm dead wrong about this, as Farla did argue against it in one of her FanFiction.net threads.

Last edited by Dragonite Ernston; February 18th, 2011 at 08:29 AM.
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