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Majuscule

Majuscules or capital letters (in the roman alphabet: "A", "B", "C"...) are one type of case in a writing system. Compare minuscule (in the roman alphabet: "a", "b", "c"...). Majuscules and minuscules are sometimes also known as uppercase (or upper case) and lowercase letters, respectively (for example, in computer programming).

Some languages make no distinction between majuscules and minuscules. Latin was originally written using only one set of letters, which later became majuscules when minuscules were invented.

Even in alphabets with a case distinction, majuscules are used:

  1. for capitalization,
  2. for acronyms,
  3. for better legibility, e.g. on signs and in labelling, and
  4. in some languages, as a means of emphasis.

Note: the use of majuscules for emphasis in situations where bold[?] or italic type[?] would suffice is generally considered to be a bad habit[?], albeit one that is quite common in the United States.

Capitalization is the writing of a word with its first letter in majuscule and the remaining letters in miniscule. Capitalization rules vary by language and are often quite complex; however in most modern languages the first word of every sentence is capitalized, as are all proper nouns. See the capitalization article for more details.



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