December 15, 2019, 08:11:30 AM

Author Topic: Grammar Quesiton...  (Read 1234 times)

Offline Matthew

Grammar Quesiton...
« on: May 29, 2019, 11:45:15 PM »
Normally I wouldn't bother people with this, but searching has turned up very little.

Essentially what I have is a place (or rather a city split into districts). Without going into too many details, there are the 'tops' which are basically the rooftops of each distinct area. They are nicknamed 'the tops' by the characters who live there.

I just can't decide whether this need's to be capitalised, or how. Should it be 'The Tops' or 'the Tops' or just 'the tops'. In prose, the latter 'tops' looks right to my eye, but I keep using 'the Tops' because I think it should be like that because it's a name of a place. Then again it's the name for a series of places, not one specifically.

It's been bugging me all night... Anyone have an opinion?

Offline Bender

Re: Grammar Quesiton...
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2019, 11:52:06 PM »
Capitalized.

It's like the Den or the Cave or the Square, a place to do stuff rather than generic rooftops.

But it depends on how specific you want to be. "Meet me at the Tops" is specific enough? If not, then tops should suffice.
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Offline Matthew

Re: Grammar Quesiton...
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2019, 12:12:47 AM »
Yea, that's my issue. It doesn't feel like a proper noun. In this world, the tops could refer to anyplace across the city at that level, so although you could say "Meet me at the Tops," that wouldn't narrow it down much. I guess you could say it's a different level of the city, almost like saying "they live on the Hills." Where the Hills would be the noun they use, but also just hills.

I agree that it seems to favour Tops, it just irks my eye whenever I type it like that, but I know there is other technically correct grammar that has the same effect (like a . before .)   which to me looks way too emoji so if I was writing casually I'd stick it after like ).

Offline JMack

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Re: Grammar Quesiton...
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2019, 01:05:15 AM »
Based on your last response, I vote for “tops”, lowercase.

Two thoughts:
1. I’m sick and tired of the If-it’s-capitalized-it-must-be-IMPORTANT! school of Fantasy writing.
2. By leaving it lowercase, you get to capitalize something more specific, such as maybe: “meet me at Garrett’s Tops” while normally “he ran through the tops”.
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Offline Matthew

Re: Grammar Question...
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2019, 03:41:47 AM »
Yea, I think I'd like that option the best. Over capitalising annoys me now end.

Offline Skip

Re: Grammar Quesiton...
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2019, 04:29:22 AM »
Looks like you've decided, but maybe this will provide some context. Let's suppose your character said, "Meet me on the rooftops." You wouldn't capitalize that, right?

But it also makes me wonder. Where? I mean, every building in the city has a top. Saying "Meet me in the tops" is a bit like saying "Meet me in the streets."
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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: Grammar Quesiton...
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2019, 08:06:45 AM »
I agree with the above, non capitalised because it's very generic for the people who live there.
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Offline CameronJohnston

Re: Grammar Quesiton...
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2019, 02:48:14 PM »
Lowercase for sure in this situation. If you said, West Tops, now that's a discrete place. Using tops is akin to sewers or slums.

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Offline isos81

Re: Grammar Quesiton...
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2019, 07:54:15 AM »
1. I’m sick and tired of the If-it’s-capitalized-it-must-be-IMPORTANT! school of Fantasy writing.

Agreed :)
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Offline IWFerguson

Re: Grammar Quesiton...
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2019, 08:04:34 AM »
After reading the question, I initially decided it should be capitalized, like, say, the Aleutian Islands. Multiple places are still places. However, after reading the responses, I'm fully convinced lowercase is correct.

I think, though, that it may depend on the POV and genre. If it's contemporary fantasy and omniscent, maybe caps are correct, but in another world/time/culture with POV character familiar with the term, lowercase fits the bill.
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Offline J.R. Darewood

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Re: Grammar Quesiton...
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2019, 01:22:26 AM »
Unrelated to grammar calling them "tops" makes me immediately think of gay sex. Capitalizing helps. A little. But yeah I still think of gay sex. Are the people who live in the other part of the city called "the bottoms" ?

Offline JMack

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Re: Grammar Quesiton...
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2019, 01:44:55 AM »
Unrelated to grammar calling them "tops" makes me immediately think of gay sex. Capitalizing helps. A little. But yeah I still think of gay sex. Are the people who live in the other part of the city called "the bottoms" ?

My brother used call “top!” whenever we had to choose between bunk bed levels.
I was stuck with bottom.
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Offline Matthew

Re: Grammar Quesiton...
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2019, 05:16:54 AM »
I'm going to hope I can get that image out of my head now...

I think I'm going to stick with 'the tops'. It isn't actually a rooftop thing at all though. I just used that to save having to world-build for you guys, though I suppose I could have used sewer dwellers referring to street level as the tops would have worked too (still not what I've written though). In this world everyone from there knows what it means (so no capitals needed).

So yea, thanks for the help. It was bugging me.

Offline J.R. Darewood

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Re: Grammar Quesiton...
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2019, 05:30:05 AM »
Jmack is far more wholesome than I am. Maybe it's just me...