Monday, February 01, 2010

Why do you capitalize Chihuahua?

Alex is currently taking an online writing class through home2teach. Each week she has grammar, spelling, typing, and a writing assignment. We just completed 3 weeks and, so far, it is going pretty well. She is learning in all 4 areas, learning to hand things in on a deadline, and learning to be more independent as the teacher doesn't want me to correct her work - she wants to catch the errors herself so she sees where Alex needs help..

This week, her teacher sent back her assignment for edits (they always have you edit your work to improve it) asking her to capitalize Chihuahua. I wasn't sure why and I happened to be on the phone with my brother and he told me it was because they were named for a place - Chihuahua, Mexico.

I just hadn't thought that one through very well! This is one of our capitaliation rules: "Capitalize words derived from proper nouns." So, for example, "I must take English and math." So, because Chihuahua is derived from a proper noun, we should capitalize it!

Here are a few other dog breeds you would capitalize under this rule:
  • Chihuahua - from Chihuahua, Mexico
  • Great Pyrenees - mountain range in central Europe
  • German Shepherd - from Germany
  • Maltese - the island of Malta
  • Labrador - province of Canada
  • Jack Russell - named after a person - a dog breeder
  • Saint Bernard- from the place, St. Bernard Pass, which was named after a monk
  • Doberman - named after a German tax collector and dog breeder, Herr Louis Doberman. According to Purina's site, "Herr Louis was a night watchman as well as a dog-catcher and tax collector and needed the ultimate protection dog to accompany him on his rounds. Thus he spent 60 years in his native town of Apolda, in the state of Thueringen, South Central Germany, working on the perfect dog for personal protection."


live4evermom said...

I'll have to remember that one.

Robin said...

Now that is a capitalization rule I didn't know. Very cool. I will have to remember that. Thanks, Dana!

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