5 Capitalization

5.12 Personification

Personified entities and concepts are capitalized:

O Freedom, what liberties are taken in thy name!
If the Sun and Moon should doubt, they’d immediately go out

Ships and other craft are traditionally female

he left the Titanic before she foundered on her maiden voyage
Formerly, it was also conventional to use she of nations and cities in prose contexts, but this is old-fashioned, and the impersonal pronoun is now used:
Britain decimalized its (not her) currency in 1971

The device is still found in poetic and literary writing:

And that sweet City with her dreaming spires
She needs not June for beauty’s heightening

The names of characters in a play who are identified by their occupation are capitalized in stage directions and references to the text (in the text their names would generally be in small capitals):

[First Murderer appears at the door]


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New Hart's Rules