Capitalization Rules for Pokemon? (Discussion Topic)

View Poll Results: Which convention?

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  • The Bulbapedia method

    11 25.00%
  • The Context-dependent Bulbapedia method

    18 40.91%
  • The Pokemon-only method

    1 2.27%
  • The Common Noun method

    5 11.36%
  • Other (specify in thread)

    7 15.91%
  • Huh? What's capitalization?

    2 4.55%
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Thread: Capitalization Rules for Pokemon? (Discussion Topic)

  1. #1
    Requiem Raver Drakon's Avatar
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    Question Capitalization Rules for Pokemon? (Discussion Topic)

    Exactly as the topic says.

    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.

    But every thing I see with regards to Pokemon capitalizes the Pokemon names.

    But what about attacks? Are those always capitalized as well?
    Last edited by Drakon; 11th December 2009 at 08:36 AM.
    What are the Legendaries really like? Find out in The Life of the Legendaries

    Humans and pokémon no longer live in harmony. Hear their tales in The Poké Wars Chronicles: Tales From A World At War

    Cynthia once had it all: powerful pokémon, fame and hordes of adoring fans. But Ho-oh's campaign tears her life asunder. Now to survive this deadly new world, she must do the one thing that she never wanted: kill. Follow her trials through a world at war in Poké Wars: Downfall of a Champion

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    Bloody Melt
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    Default Re: Capitalization Rules for Pokemon?

    Mostly the author's preference. I usually advise people to capitalize because it looks cooler that way. Also, you have to mark the thread as discussion...
    If ya need me, I'm probably playing some Mann vs Machine: http://steamcommunity.com/id/optimatum

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    Lighting Things on Fire Sarcastically Insane's Avatar
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    Default Re: Capitalization Rules for Pokemon? (Discussion Topic)

    They're proper nouns, so you have to capitalize them. Species names (i.e. Canis Lupis) are proper nouns. The reason we don't cap "wolf", the common name for Canis Lupis, is because it isn't a species name. Also, if you are naming a specific Pokemon of a species, you HAVE to capitalize it, as its name is, say, "Arcanine".
    Currently writing Hoenn Wars, a Travelsverse fic that needs no prior Travelsverse knowledge to understand. Chapter Seven, Sacrifice, is up.



    That's interesting; I might have a look when I have the time. Thanks!

    EDIT: Oh my god, these are too many links! Very specific...
    ^Someone's first impression of TVTropes.

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    ... Amphlosion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Capitalization Rules for Pokemon? (Discussion Topic)

    There's no true reason to assume that the names we see are the species names. I personally have leaned towards capitalizing only when it is what the trainer refers to his pokémon as.
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    Religion is a club Every Breaking Wave's Avatar
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    Default Re: Capitalization Rules for Pokemon? (Discussion Topic)

    I think it's down to author preference, but I've always leaned towards using both the Pokemon and attack names as proper nouns. Species name are capitalized, but as Amphlosion noted there is a difference between a species name and a commonly used name. I personally see them (say Ampharos) as being both the species name and the personal name used by the trainer.

    "Sparky, use Thunderbolt," Richie yelled.
    "Counter it with your own Thunderbolt, pikachu," Ash ordered - doesn't look quite as right, does it?

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    Requiem Raver Drakon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Capitalization Rules for Pokemon? (Discussion Topic)

    I capitalize attacks only to avoid situations like this:

    "Aipom use tickle!" the trainer shouted. Now which tickle is it? Is it the attack that drops attack and defense by one level? Or is the action (like Bulbasaur tickling Psyduck with its vines)?

    If I am referring to legendary Pokémon, I capitalize only if I am referring to them collectively. The result is either "Legends" or "Legendary Pokémon".

    By the way, the person who was so anal about capitalization (or lack of) is Farla, the author of the OT fic Ice. I will give that she is an excellent writer and reviewer but she needs to stop being so condescending.
    What are the Legendaries really like? Find out in The Life of the Legendaries

    Humans and pokémon no longer live in harmony. Hear their tales in The Poké Wars Chronicles: Tales From A World At War

    Cynthia once had it all: powerful pokémon, fame and hordes of adoring fans. But Ho-oh's campaign tears her life asunder. Now to survive this deadly new world, she must do the one thing that she never wanted: kill. Follow her trials through a world at war in Poké Wars: Downfall of a Champion

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    Different Akiyama's Avatar
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    Default Re: Capitalization Rules for Pokemon? (Discussion Topic)

    You know, I've always thought of the Pokemon buisness when someone writes "Pokemon" and not the creatures that are called "pokemon". Because capitalization would be used to show something is special, if the name of a pokemon is the species name (meant to address the species as a whole) then I'm going to make it "Sceptile" but if it's refered to as just another sceptile (or group of), then it's sceptile(s). Why do all the lists show them as capitals? Maybe it's that it came from Japanese, and that it remains concerete as it always was listed . . .

    but that's like German in how they make all nouns start with capitals, I don't know why they do it, but that seemed to transfer over to the Pokemon frachise. An attack, a move: is that capital? Maybe if it is refered to as "the move Water Gun is. . ." then it could. But to me, it should be "use water gun!" as you would write "use the pipewrench!". Why, the move Water Gun can come in many forms, pipes come in many forms too, I conclude that.

    Lengendary Pokemon refers to the kingdom of such high power pokemon, if there is only one of each as I assume then all of the pokemon in this series are captial (maybe). Because they treat them like gods, as we call "Zeus" and not "zeus".

    Because, I do not trust the way any pokemon list capitalized the moves or pokemon, it did not fit right in the complex gears of English to me.

    Even worse is the plural form of pokemon speices, I just add an "s" or "es", like "sceptiles", because it just doesn't seem right to call a group of sceptiles "sceptile" instead of "sceptiles".

    And if you ask me, capital letters draw readers' attention, seeming thus un-needed to draw them to every pokemon shown.

  8. #8
    is obsessed with Noivern! Zekurom's Avatar
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    Default What capitalization convention do you use?

    *edit 05/07/2010* A link to the pluralization convention thread, if you want to look at that.

    Oh no, I'm bringing this up again. >:D

    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, and items 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.

    To start the poll, I personally use the Context-dependent Bulbapedia method as shown above.

    (NOTE: If this topic belongs more in the Pokemon World forum, feel free to move it there. I just thought it would be most relevant here as this is the place where most of the writing takes place and people would care most about this issue.)
    Last edited by Zekurom; 19th November 2010 at 09:08 PM. Reason: SAT practice - correcting a extraneous comma.
    The word "quadragonal" is the only word with "dragon" in it where "dragon" is not a root word. That makes it awesome.

  9. #9
    Let's get funky! Gama's Avatar Former Head Administrator
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    Default Re: [discussion] What capitalization convention do you use?

    I use the second one, but not exactly in the way that you've said because when used as verbs I still sometimes capitalise the names of Pokemon moves.

  10. #10
    is obsessed with Noivern! Zekurom's Avatar
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    Default Re: [discussion] What capitalization convention do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gastly's Mama View Post
    I use the second one, but not exactly in the way that you've said because when used as verbs I still sometimes capitalise the names of Pokemon moves.
    Just to clarify, I'm not talking about sentences like this:

    "Go and Thunderbolt that Tentacruel!" said Colo.

    The word "thunderbolt" isn't a verb, so in the Context-dependent Bulbapedia, it should be capitalized.
    The word "quadragonal" is the only word with "dragon" in it where "dragon" is not a root word. That makes it awesome.

  11. #11
    Let's get funky! Gama's Avatar Former Head Administrator
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    Default Re: [discussion] What capitalization convention do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zekurom View Post
    Just to clarify, I'm not talking about sentences like this:

    "Go and Thunderbolt that Tentacruel!" said Colo.

    The word "thunderbolt" isn't a verb, so in the Context-dependent Bulbapedia, it should be capitalized.
    Oh yeah, I realise, I still capitalise the moves. I've even said "Gyarados Bit Snorlax!" before, which just looks weird so I avoid doing it.

  12. #12
    is obsessed with Noivern! Zekurom's Avatar
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    Default Re: [discussion] What capitalization convention do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gastly's Mama View Post
    Oh yeah, I realise, I still capitalise the moves. I've even said "Gyarados Bit Snorlax!" before, which just looks weird so I avoid doing it.
    Yeah, so then you're pretty much using the Context-dependent Bulbapedia method, point for point.
    The word "quadragonal" is the only word with "dragon" in it where "dragon" is not a root word. That makes it awesome.

  13. #13
    Let's get funky! Gama's Avatar Former Head Administrator
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    Default Re: [discussion] What capitalization convention do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zekurom View Post
    Yeah, so then you're pretty much using the Context-dependent Bulbapedia method, point for point.
    In Example Sentence 2 of the Context-dependant Bulbapedia method, I'd have capitalised the 't' on Tackle.

  14. #14
    is obsessed with Noivern! Zekurom's Avatar
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    Default Re: [discussion] What capitalization convention do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gastly's Mama View Post
    In Example Sentence 2 of the Context-dependant Bulbapedia method, I'd have capitalised the 't' on Tackle.
    Oh. Okay, then, that's a slight variation.
    The word "quadragonal" is the only word with "dragon" in it where "dragon" is not a root word. That makes it awesome.

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    Requiem Raver Drakon's Avatar
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    Default Re: [discussion] What capitalization convention do you use?

    I use my own style that draws some cues from Context-dependent Bulbapedia method.

    • Items are not capitalized.
    • Pokémon is not capitalized when used to refer to the creatures themselves
    • "Pokémon Trainer", "Trainer", "Gym Leader" are capitalized only if they are used as a title (Ex: "And now the first match will be between Trainer Ketchum and Trainer Roarke")
    • "Legendaries" and "Legends" are capitalized when used to refer to the legendary pokémon as a group.
    • Legendary trios are capitalized. (Weather Trio, Lake Trio, Dragon Trio, Legendary Beasts, Legendary Birds, Legendary Golems)
    What are the Legendaries really like? Find out in The Life of the Legendaries

    Humans and pokémon no longer live in harmony. Hear their tales in The Poké Wars Chronicles: Tales From A World At War

    Cynthia once had it all: powerful pokémon, fame and hordes of adoring fans. But Ho-oh's campaign tears her life asunder. Now to survive this deadly new world, she must do the one thing that she never wanted: kill. Follow her trials through a world at war in Poké Wars: Downfall of a Champion

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