It can happen to everyone, from time to time, to have doubts about the use of small and capital letters when writing.
For this reason, I wanted to answer some of the most frequently asked questions, hoping that this little guide could be useful to my foreign students.
First of all, remember that, according to the style guides, the titles of original works must be written in italics.
In Italian, the capital letter is used only for the first letter of the title and for any proper names it contains. Example: La vita è
The abbreviations and acronyms of institutions or institutions should generally be written in all capital letters, without separation points (FIAT, BNL, USA, UN …).
They keep the capital letters in the initials of all the words that compose them even when they are written in full:
Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, United States of America, Organizzazione
The common name will be in lower case and the proper name in capital letters: mar Mediterraneo,
A particular case of this rule is the names formed by a generic noun and an adjective that makes the compound a proper name. Example: Monte Bianco, Monte Rosa, Lago di Garda …
Here too, as a general rule, the common name goes in lowercase, and the proper name is capitalized. So:
In this case, we must be cautious because they are considered as proper names and therefore must be written with the initial capitalized.
Example: Prima Guerra Mondiale, Novecento, Medioevo, Cubismo …
If we refer to ancient populations, then the name will be capitalized (example: “i Vichinghi”).
If we refer to modern peoples or adjectives of nationality, then the name will be in lower case (example: “
The use of upper and lower case letters also serves to distinguish ancient populations from the populations of the same name that continue to exist even in the modern age (for
The months must always be written in lower case, as well as the decades (for example “
The names of public or religious holidays are capitalized, even if they are compound names: Natale, Capodanno, Primo Maggio, etc.
The names of the zodiac signs are in uppercase: Gemelli, Pesci, etc.
The names of the languages are written in small letters:
Currency names should be written in lower case: euro, dollaro, sterlina, corona etc.
Sources: Accademia della Crusca, Corriere.it, Treccani