Index talk:Latin

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Latin words in all UPPERCASE[edit]

User:Hippietrail has started moving Latin words to all UPPERCASE equivalents. See, for example, tabula => TABULA. I think that we should not do this. Just because ancient Roman inscriptions were in all uppercase does not mean that lower or mixed case letters were never used. Every Latin dictionary that I have examined has words in mixed case - and we should do the same. Comments please. SemperBlotto 07:02, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

I totally agree. It is also true to say that Roman is still used and, this means that current spelling includes lowercase. Also, it should not be a move but a copy with at best an indication when this manner became in disuse. GerardM 07:10, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
Having these in all capitals serves no useful purpose. The all uppercase in inscriptions does not mean that there is a difference in meaning between this and the same word in lower case. Eclecticology 08:52, July 11, 2005 (UTC)

These are not "equivalents". These are the corect spellings. Classical Latin was only ever written in uppercase letters without the letters J, U, or W. Latin was only a native language up to this time. Lowercase was not invented until later and even then only one form of each letter was used. Two cases weren't used until even later. By which time Latin was no longer anybody's native language. It wasn't just inscriptions, it was everything in Latin. I've read the relevant articles on Wikipedia and elsewhere, I've consulted with Wiktionary Latin experts and this is correct. For words which came into use when Latin was already a dead language, New Latin, Taxonomical Latin, those should not be in uppercase. It's quite true that post-Classical Latin adpoted various orthographical features of other modern languages and this can all be handled under the "Alternative spellings" since that is what they are. Please read elsewhere in the Beer Parlour how the "every dictionary" arguments do not apply here. All other languages now have their correct spellings. Let Latin have its correct spelling. — Hippietrail 12:23, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

According to Wikipedia, the Romans used Roman cursive for everyday writing. You can see examples from the Vindolanda tablets at It doesn't look a bit like modern uppercase letters, which derive from Roman square capitals. SemperBlotto 14:06, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
German Fraktur doesn't look too much like modern letters either. Both are font variants. You'll see in that very same Wikipedia article that script also refered to as "capitalis cursive" and that it was used up until the 3rd century AD. A good 500 years before mixed case writing appeared. — Hippietrail 17:36, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
Unicode would unify the various scripts, in all probability, as they would be normalized to capital letters in publications (as is apparently usual in epigraphy). The same happens with other scripts' block/print vs cursive/italic forms. In any case, to use lower-case page titles for Latin would require acknowledging that Latin has had a living literary tradition until modern times, which previous discussions on taxonomic Latin (e.g. on Felis domestica, which somehow mutated into *English* recently) suggest that en.wiktionary isn't ready to accept. —Muke Tever 17:44, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
I see what you mean about the drifting cats. Putting "Taxonomy" there is just fine. Yes, H2 headings are reserved for language names, but we needn't be anal about that. It should not prevent us from having additional headings that transcend specific languages. Capitalization in these names should follow the rules of the taxonomical authorities.
The issue isn't about mixed case writing, but about words written all in one case or all in the other. There is no difference in meaning between "tabula" and "TABULA" except perhaps when you want to encourage shouting. Eclecticology 04:48, July 13, 2005 (UTC)
One of PROBVS' coins.
If there's no difference in meaning, then one uses the appropriate orthography. We switched to decapitalized titles so that German ein could be at ein instead of Ein, even though there is no difference in meaning, and Germans routinely capitalize the word in titles, but the former orthography was deemed somehow to be the more appropriate. The Romans used majuscules, not minuscules, so on this Wiktionary that cares so much about proper capitalization, it should indeed be TABVLA. Those who use a nonstandard spelling system making use of minuscules clearly have some kind of political agenda and should not be encouraged. The thing that I look for in these write-ups about an obscure language is the historical context, and you seem to want to absent this. —Muke Tever 17:40, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
As someone else already pointed out, Latin didn't die with the ancient Roman empire, so even if all-caps inscriptions were the only form used in ancient ROMA, it wouldn't matter. Gene Nygaard 18:32, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
Gosh, I didn't think anybody could be taking this seriously. —Muke Tever 21:05, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
I think we tend to use the name Julius rather than IVLIVS today... —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).