Capitalization Rules for Pokemon? (Discussion Topic)

Which convention?


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A cat who writes stories
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Re: Capitalisation of Pokemon names

Agreed on moves as verbs and 'paralysis healer', which are entirely sensible. The words of Dˁnyḏnnw are indeed wise, but as with any widely used product, potions would become a genericised trademark very quickly. As I understand it, such words are not capitalised: here in the UK, vacuum cleaners are almost exclusively referred to as 'hoovers' - lowercase - due to the Hoover Company's former dominance.

Essentially what Dˁnyḏnnw said. Something like "Parlyz Heal", I would simply call a paralysis healer. No caps needed. And things like Poké Ball are brand names even in the Pokémon world. Kind of like how there's a bit of a dispute between "photoshopped" and "Photoshopped", or "kleenex" and "Kleenex". Do you decapitalize the genericized brand or not?
As you may have expected, I do not capitalise the generic name. Let's say I had a Silph or Devon representative explaining the merits of his company's newest capture device. Under such circumstances, I would refer to it as a Poké/Great/Ultra/etc Ball. In most cases, however, I will simply write 'pokéball,' which I imagine would be the standard form in-universe when not referring to a specific product. (A little like the way any given cola drink, even a Pepsi, will be said to be a 'coke,' don't you think?) That, or 'capture device,' ha. Does that seem sound to you?
 
Power Player
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I think it's author's choice. I personally don't capitalize pokemon names unless it's their given name - Ash's Pikachu for example - but I do capitalize attack names because they're used as names/titles for the attack.
But Farla tends to be pretty bitchy anyway, so I'd take what she says with a grain of salt.
 
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Re: Capitalisation of Pokemon names

I don't capitalize pokemon names in my stories unless the species name is also their given name. Most items remain uncapitalized as well, unless they're types of Pokeballs or Potions. I do it this way because I feel that Pokeballs and Potions are trademarked items within universe, while capitalizing species names just seems unnecessary to me.

However, I do capitalize attacks because I think of the attack names as titles or actual names.
 
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I capitalize the names, but I don't capitalize the attacks or the word "pokemon" in general.
 
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Re: Capitalisation of Pokemon names

Do you you capitalize the actual word "pokeball", @RaiThunder;?

Usually I don't capitalize items at all, as they are generic, mass-produced items referred to colloquially. So dusk ball, super potion... anything; it's just names. A dusk ball is a specialized variety of pokeball in the same sense a boot is a specialized variety of footwear. I wouldn't capitalize "boot" because it's a variety of footwear, so I wouldn't capitalize "dusk ball" either.

However, if they had brands, like the "Silph Co Duskball" versus the "Kurt Enterprises Night Ball" or whatever, then those brand names would be capitalized. Both may be considered the same type of pokeball (specialized for capture in dark areas), just like a boot from Nike and a boot from Puma are both the same type of footwear - specialized for, well, whatever boots are made for (walkin', perhaps?)
 
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I got this from Bulbapedia and I use this when reviewing stories that have Pokemon in them.

The word Pokémon is always capitalized, as well as the names of Pokémon species. So are nouns starting with "Poké", such as Pokéblock, PokéNav and Poké Flute. Note, however, that there is no one common trend for spelling of words beginning with "Poké" - they can be written as a compound word, with the second part of the word capitalized or uncapitalized, or as two words with the second word capitalized. Also note that this applies to many nouns starting with "Pokémon", such as with Pokémon Trainer.
Items and all words in them are always capitalized; they are considered proper nouns for the purposes of Bulbapedia. "Leftovers", "Escape Rope", or "Water Stone" are all correct as written; a page would not be titled "Water stone". Case should match that of the game text, such as the DeepSeaTooth.
Locations should also be capitalized in a manner consistent with English grammar; Ruins of Alph has the A in Alph always capitalized, while numbered routes, such as Route 101, Route 217, and so on, are proper nouns and must have the R capitalized.
Specific terminology is different; leveling up and legendary Pokémon have a lowercase L, as "starter Pokémon" would have a lowercase "s" (but, of course, a capital P in Pokémon).
Specific types are called "the Water type" and "the Rock type" when used as nouns and "Water-type" and "Rock-type" when used as adjectives, while their subject pages are Water (type) and Rock (type), respectively. Squirtle is a "Water-type" is not correct; Squirtle is a Water type and Squirtle is a Water-type Pokémon are.
The plural of "Pokémon" is "Pokémon", as is the plural of every Pokémon species the same as the singular, much like moose or sheep.
Evolutionary levels should be designated as "unevolved", "first evolution", and "second evolution" for Pokémon that have undergone zero, one, and two evolutions respectively during their development. TCG terminology of "basic Pokémon", "stage 1 Pokémon" and "stage 2 Pokémon" should not spill over into other media, as Pikachu and several other Pokémon are considered basic in the TCG sense, yet are Pokémon that have undergone one evolution in their lifetimes, making them first-evolution Pokémon, more akin to Charmeleon than unevolved Pokémon, which their pre-evolutions are.
It has a bit more then capitalization in there but that is what I use. (yes I know I don't write but I still review)
 
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I agree that it's up to the author's choice. Personally, I always capitalise Pokémon names and attack names. I may be less strict with attack names at times, but usually I always capitalise.
 
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Wow, Rai, you must have dug deep for this necromancy.

Anyway, this thread actually predates the Writer's Block, which is why it isn't already in there, but discussion topics should be in the Block, so I'm moving it there now.

EDIT: After moving this thread into the Block, I realised there was another capitalisation thread in there (though that one merely two years old, rather than three) so I have merged them. You can see the resultant mess throughout this thread. Still, feel free to discuss capitalisation in this thread.
 
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Re: Capitalisation of Pokemon names

I actually do capitalize the word Pokeball @Llama_Guy, because in this world they are corporate owned item in the world I write in. I capitalize other items like 'Potion' and 'Pokedex' as well. I decide whether to capitalize based on whether the product is owned by a company or not. So cheri berry couldn't be capitalized but Super Potion would be, in the same way Advil would be. Dusk Ball is a corporate owned and licensed product of Silph Co. and as such I capitalize it the way I would a Macbook.
 
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As someone who writes pokemon stories for FF.net, as well as read them, I personally feel that it is entirely up to the author. Everyone has their own unique writing styles, and this kind of stuff can become very confusing if thought about too hard. However, if you feel that a pokemon species must be capitalized at ALL times, then please, read over this logical standpoint.

Take Ash and his pokemon for example, because Ash doesn't actually name any of his pokemon, they are refered to by their species' name, therefore, this is obviousely their default given name and therefore would need to be capitalized.
Now, other trainers, like Richie, refer to their pokemon by an actual given name, or "nickname" as it is called in the Pokemon franchise, his pikachu is called Sparky, so again, obviousely this would be capitalized. BUT, what if someone doesn't know Sparky's nickname? How would they know to call him "Sparky" in the first place? They wouldn't. Therefore, they would refer to him by his species name, and since they are directly refering to Sparky, that is when, personally, I would have the species name capitalized.
Then there's when they are refered to in the third person, that is when I would have the species name lowercased. Do you capitalize "wolf" in a sentence like "The wolf was walking through the forest." No, you don't, so why capitalize the pokemon in these sentences?

Here's a more in-depth explanation as to why a pokemon's species is not required to be capitalized:
Think of the word "pokemon" as the overall species, or rather the genus of the individual pokemon species, this is why you would usually see the word "Pokemon" capitalized almost every time it is mentioned, like in the subbed anime, either that, or it is for copyright reasons. But again, that is up to the author, nor is that what we are talking about. We are talking about the individual species' of pokemon.
Do you capitalize the word "wolf"? No. Do you capitalize the word "fox"? No. Do you capitalize a specific breed of dog? No. So why capitalize the name of an individual pokemon species if not directly refering to them, like in the aspect of a name?
Because "Pokemon" is the genus, each individual pokemon species would be considered a "sub-species" of Pokemon, just like wolfs, foxes, and dogs are all sub-species' of the Canidae/Canis lupus genus. Because you do not capitalize a sub-species, and individual pokemon are figuratively each a sub-species of Pokemon, therefore, it is not necessary to capitalize a pokemon species like fennekin, chespin, or froakie. Unless of course, there is another capitalization rule in effect.
And as for using their species name for, as I like to call it, a third person descriptive referance/mention. Do you capitalize "wolf" in a sentence like "The wolf was walking through the forest." No, you don't, so why capitalize the pokemon species in a sentence like "The riolu was walking through the forest."

Keep in mind, these are my PERSONAL oppinions on the matter. And BEFORE you try spouting your invalid arguements without any proper evidence to back it up, actually try to look into the details of what I said. Thank you.

Honestly though, I used to capitalize any mention of a pokemon species, but after looking it over when using it in the third person, like as a quick and easy way to describe an individual pokemon, I felt that lowercase would be better. But, yet again, that is ALL up to the author.
And before anyone starts hating on me, or if you somehow find my stories on FF.net and start hating on me there too about my imperfect writing quality, just know that I, and probably many others, have our reasons for poor quality stories: Possible mental disorders like autism (which I actually have), learning disabilities, low self-esteem and/or confidence, rushed work, stress, and many MANY other things.
 
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On FF.net I saw someone, who was, frankly, a condescending asshole, rant on about not capitalizing Pokemon names and attacks. She felt that they should follow the precedent of real world animals not being capitalized.
There are people on FF.net who will snub if not outright flame fics for using not using the Common Noun method. I have also noticed (on FF.net, at least) that the people using the Common Noun method seem to be a hell of a lot more arrogant than those who use other variants.
Oh gosh, I hate it whenever I see reviews like that on Fanfiction.net. It's practically become a meme.

One thing worth noting is that official media treats species names like they're proper nouns, even though they logically shouldn't be.
Omastar's Gold PokéDex entry said:
Apparently, it cracked Shellder's shell with its sharp fangs and sucked out the insides.
Just one Shellder?

Also:
ScytheRider said:
By the way... certain people, especially trolls on FFnet, will tell you that capitalizing the species names of Pokémon and items is grammatically incorrect. I agree, it is. However, there is this other thing called “artistic license” and “style”, which means that you are allowed to break the rules of grammar, and if in doing so, your style choices are enjoyable to the general audience and work in the story’s favor, they are fine. Personally, since Pokémon species names are capitalized, not only in the games, but in every single supplementary material ever created for Pokémon, we’re just used to seeing them like that, and so it feels more natural to see the species names capitalized in fan fiction! It’s a popularity contest, you see, not a law. If you don’t like it, I’m sorry! Write your own story! :p
PMD:SR - Chapter 2: Escape Route
 
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I prefer to capitalise if the species name is used as a proper noun: Bulbasaur the bulbasaur. It's the most consistent method in regards to English. That being said, some of the arguments for it show up the inconsistency of the language. You don't capitalise breeds of dog, but you do horses. Linnaean names are an even worse example, since the rules of nomenclature state that you make the name stand out in some way - commonly italics, but also bold or underlining are acceptable.

When it comes to pokémon attacks I find it useful to be able to clearly mark where it is an attack - is it a Hurricane or a hurricane? The whole point of grammar is to aid clarity, so I don't see how it's not consistent with the way language usually works.

Items and the like I tend to waver over. Strictly speaking either method can be appropriate. A Poké Ball could be a branded item or a generic name - much like sellotape and coke.
 
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I prefer to capitalise if the species name is used as a proper noun: Bulbasaur the bulbasaur. It's the most consistent method in regards to English. That being said, some of the arguments for it show up the inconsistency of the language. You don't capitalise breeds of dog, but you do horses. Linnaean names are an even worse example, since the rules of nomenclature state that you make the name stand out in some way - commonly italics, but also bold or underlining are acceptable.

When it comes to pokémon attacks I find it useful to be able to clearly mark where it is an attack - is it a Hurricane or a hurricane? The whole point of grammar is to aid clarity, so I don't see how it's not consistent with the way language usually works.

Items and the like I tend to waver over. Strictly speaking either method can be appropriate. A Poké Ball could be a branded item or a generic name - much like sellotape and coke.
"coke" is considered a generic in in the UK? I ask cause I know in North America the generic form would be considered "cola".

Interesting, because I remember "Coke" being used as a proper noun when spoken in dialog by a character in Philip Pullman's "The Subtle Knife", but in that same passage, the term "Coke" was only used in dialog, while "cola" was used to describe the drink in the narration. I don't know of the capitalization in my US purchased edition was a localization change or what, but I took the "Coke" vs. "cola" as being a way the writer sort of injected personality into the dialog, while keeping the narration "objective" in a sense.

And as many said, I think it depends on the author and the piece, as long as whatever they choose is consistent.

If I were reading a book found in a library in the Pokemon world, I'd reason Pokemon species names would be treated at improper nouns, while individual Pokemon called by their species names would be considered proper nouns, but if I'm going that far, the whole concept of individual Pokemon in the care of a human being called by their species name is probably just a conceit for the purposes of the audience and establishing the official names of the Pokemon species rather than complicating things by giving human raised Pokemon unique names as would probably be the case in a more "realistic" setting.

When it comes to differentiating between an individual Pokemon and otherwise "unnamed" Pokemon of a certain species, many scriptwriting formats happen to not run into that issue so much cause character names often get rendered in all caps anyway.

For a loose example,

"A large female Charizard, SANDY, enters the room."

Or if the Charizard was unnamed and there were no other Charizards to worry about, you'd just go with CHARIZARD.

And then if there were multiple "unnamed" characters of the same species, they'd go by "PIPLUP 1", "PIPLUP 2", and so forth, or if there were two "unnamed" Pokemon of the same species belonging to different characters, you could go with "ASH'S PIKACHU", "FREDDY'S PIKACHU" and so forth.

But you still have to decide of concepts like "Trainer" or the names of attacks proper nouns. I go with these things being proper nouns, especially since they generally help highlight terms or words from our world that have a unique meaning or significance in the Pokemon World.
 
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"coke" is considered a generic in in the UK? I ask cause I know in North America the generic form would be considered "cola".
I think this is more of a regional thing more than a continental thing. Up here in (western) New York, asking for a coke will get you a Coca-Cola. When I briefly visited Canada and stopped by a Dairy Queen, my request of a coke prompted the waitress to ask if I meant Coca-Cola or Pepsi. Even further when I was down south of the Mason-Dixon line, the waitress didn't bother asking me what I meant and returned with a Sprite, far from any form of cola. I hear it's also different out west, but I haven't experienced what they're like out there.

As for capitalization, I don't think there are any specific standards. I choose to capitalize the name of the species since it helps them stand out from the other words. After all, that's what I believe Pokémon to be, something that stands out from the regular animals we know. It might not make sense in a taxonomical sense, since we don't say "Look at that Dog over there!" or "Watch out for the Sea Gulls, they're nasty little assholes."

I don't remember where I picked it up from myself. It may have come from the games. I seem to recall a few Pokédex entries referring to species with a capitalized name, as well as NPC dialogue.
 
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i remember being taught as a kid that "coke" is a common noun in english.

anyway, definitely common noun for me, though i also use words like "dog" and "canine" and "mutt" for canine-like pokemon if i want variety.
i don't mind if others capitalize pokemon names or not, but i personally can't bring myself to use capitalizations (though this has nothing to do with me not preferring to capitalize anything while talking online normally lol). i just feel like it sounds kinda like "Then the Butterfree™ (Intellectual Property of Nintendo) attacked the Metapod®" if that makes sense. ;P
 
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