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Thread: Pokémon Species Capitalization

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    Default Pokémon Species Capitalization

    In the Pokémon series, it is understood in the games (and maybe the anime; I'm not sure since I don't watch it much anymore) that Pokémon species' names are capitalized in all grammatical instances.

    Some examples:

    "I caught a Charizard today."

    "Her Charizard learned Fire Blast."

    "Have you seen my Charizard?"

    "I choose you, Charizard!"



    But why is that? In English, it is commonly understood that simple animal species are not capitalized.

    Real-world examples:

    "I caught a fly today."

    "Her dog learned to roll over."

    "Have you seen my cat?"

    "I choose you, fish!" (Not sure why you'd say that. Work with me.)

    Some have suggested that specific real-world species are capitalized while the general reference to the animal is not (i.e. German Shepherd vs dog).
    However, I believe this to be because there is a nationality included in the name. Specific species such as fruitbat or canary are types of bat and bird respectively, but are not capitalized.

    Another argument I've heard in terms of pro-capitalization is that you should at least capitalize the names if they are, in fact, the nicknames.

    For example:

    If you caught a Pikachu and named it Sparky, cool. You would capitalize "Sparky."

    But if you caught a Pikachu and decided not to nickname it, its name would be "Pikachu." "Pikachu" in this case would be a proper noun.



    So, this brings me back to the question at hand: Why do we capitalize Pokémon species and not real-world species?

    Do you always capitalize the Pokémon species names as a rule or not?

    Do you think the species names even should be capitalized?

    Let me know what you think, provide arguments for or against, bring up new points on the subject, but please guys, be civil.


    (thread approval given by bobandbill)
    Last edited by SlowPokeBroKing; 12th January 2016 at 6:12 PM.

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    Really, I think they should stay capitalized, because in actuality, they could act like names, since they aren't given any other names besides what they're trainers call them. Also, sometimes, you may refer to a family by using their last name in plural form, such as the Browns, the Egnews, etc. Also, the Pokemon names were the only things in the HP bar portion of the screen, so the capitalization just came naturally.
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    Quote Originally Posted by me from the questions thread
    The weird thing about that is that the idea about capitalizing nouns in other languages.

    The German language captalizes every noun (not pronouns, but nouns). They don't even capitalize other national adjectives. For example Deutsch would be their language, but if you describe the nationality, it's deutsch.
    If we went by German linguistics, and talked about Glurak (Charizard), then we wouldn't really have this type of discussion since every noun in German starts with an uppercase letter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SerenadingCelebi View Post
    Really, I think they should stay capitalized, because in actuality, they could act like names, since they aren't given any other names besides what they're trainers call them.
    I addressed that in the OP. But that's like saying if some people happened to name their dog "Dog," the word "dog" should be a proper noun in every instance from then on because it is a name sometimes.

    Point being a Pokémon species is not meant to be a name. It is a species. You can very much call it by its species as a nickname if you want, but that does not make it a name.

    Also, sometimes, you may refer to a family by using their last name in plural form, such as the Browns, the Egnews, etc.
    Not sure how this relates to the topic at hand. If you're acknowledging the idea that Pokémon should be addressed differently in plural form (Charizards and Pikachus), I agree even though I don't do that because it's not the way it's supposed to be said. But there is a case for it.

    In any case, it doesn't have much to do with capitalization.

    Also, the Pokemon names were the only things in the HP bar portion of the screen, so the capitalization just came naturally.
    That's fine to be capitalized. I would capitalize any standalone word in contexts. Like if I was labeling a dumpster, I would write either "Dumpster" or "DUMPSTER." But in the case of grammar, like in a sentence, it's a bit different.

    Quote Originally Posted by Auraninja View Post
    If we went by German linguistics, and talked about Glurak (Charizard), then we wouldn't really have this type of discussion since every noun in German starts with an uppercase letter.
    I learned German in high school, and I understand the capitalization rule. That doesn't mean anything in this conversation though because we are speaking English, a language that doesn't follow that grammatical rule.

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    The point is that at least in English, German, French, Italian, and Spanish, the Pokemon are all capitalized the same. Take this French Pokemon page for Rondoudou (Jigglypuff).

    The point is that Pokemon is full of jargon and colloquialisms, essentially making Pokemon its own language.

    Take, the example of Charizard using Fire Blast. Since Pokemon look pretty much the same (gender differences and the like aside), we can universally paint the picture of what a Charizard looks like. As far as Fire Blast, how does a Pokemon use a move? We know it means to conjure up power, but if you said that to someone who didn't know Pokemon, they wouldn't understand the meaning of the word use in that statement, even though they are fully aware of the definition of use in common usage.

    TL;DR- Pokemon uses its own terms, and therefore plays by its own rules and forges a new language.

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    This debate has been going on for years in the fandom, especially in the fan fiction community. Basically, the games, animé and all of the official text capitalizes Pokemon species names, as well as the names of attacks, abilities, items and more. A lot of people point out that we don't capitalize these sorts of things in real life, and that, as you said, it makes more sense and is clearer grammatically if you say "This is my pikachu, his name is Pikachu."

    And even though I love grammar and realize that this is probably right, I'm used to capitalizing Pokémon species names, and most people, especially those outside of the fic community do it, so as long as TCPi and Nintendo capitalize Pokémon, I shall, too!

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    I don't think the capitalization of Pokemon species indicates anything in the world of Pokemon. Pokemon names are just capitalized because they're abstract names of abstract creatures which don't equal to animals in our world. It makes sense grammatically as names are always capitalized in English and probably most languages that use the latin alphabet. "pokemon" or "charizard" would just look wrong because it is grammatically wrong, "Pokemon" and "Charizard" look nice and clean.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hasty Jynx View Post
    I don't think the capitalization of Pokemon species indicates anything in the world of Pokemon. Pokemon names are just capitalized because they're abstract names of abstract creatures which don't equal to animals in our world. It makes sense grammatically as names are always capitalized in English and probably most languages that use the latin alphabet. "pokemon" or "charizard" would just look wrong because it is grammatically wrong, "Pokemon" and "Charizard" look nice and clean.
    Exactly. Also, Pokémon names are capitalized because they're specific characters.

    I don't think it really would matter either way whether they should even be capitalized.

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    TL;DR- Pokemon uses its own terms, and therefore plays by its own rules and forges a new language.
    That's one way I like to consider looking at it. In the Pokemon world, maybe their way of treating Pokemon in terms of naming conventions means that they stick to the capital for the species. That doesn't match with the real world English rules, but then one has to consider that Pokemon is really a hugely fundamental aspect of the, well, Pokemon world. It makes sense that they garner the importance that tends to come with a capital letter.
    This debate has been going on for years in the fandom, especially in the fan fiction community. Basically, the games, animé and all of the official text capitalizes Pokemon species names, as well as the names of attacks, abilities, items and more. A lot of people point out that we don't capitalize these sorts of things in real life, and that, as you said, it makes more sense and is clearer grammatically if you say "This is my pikachu, his name is Pikachu."
    Yeah, it is a sticking point in areas (and with certain people) in fics, haha. Personally I see valid points for both sides in writing. I think the more important aspect on this point is consistency - as long as you capitalise or don't capitalise Pokemon names in writing without flip-flopping, it's all good to me. Personally I stick to capitalisation.

    Curiously, it was only until 5th gen games that in the games they moved from ALLCAPS to Capitalisation... although we know that the latter was used for the likes of DP's demos, so it was something they toyed with.

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    Aside from it just being the way Game Freak decided they wanted it, I would say the reason is that the term Charizard (or any other Pokemon name), is both the name of an individual Charizard and the species as a whole. Because it works as both, you treat it as a proper noun. Its sort of like saying "There are many Bobs in the world." You're using the name Bob not as someone's name, but as "species" name. However, since it is the name of individuals, you still treat it as such.

    That's part of the reason I've never liked nicknames. The Pokemon's real name is Charizard, it's not the same as calling your pet Dog.

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    Pokemon's names are scientific names given to a specie.

    To put it simply, "John Smith" is a scientific name given to the specie "homo sapien", which belong to the order "primates", classed under "mammals" and belong to the animal kingdom.

    "Talonflame" is a scientific name given to the specie "peregrine falcon", which belong to the order "falcons", classed under "birds" and belong to the animal kingdom.
    "Vileplume" is a scientific name given to the specie "corpse flower", which belong to the order of "flowering plants", under the plant kingdom.

    Inanimate objects, on the others hand, are always considered common nouns.
    So a name given to a common noun is already a proper noun.

    Chandelure is a chandelier.
    Geodude, Graveler, Onix, Boldore, etc. are rocks/boulders/stone.

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    My reasoning for this is that since Pokémon names haven't been in the English language for a really long time, or maybe the translators wanted it to sound more like names so it sounds more right.

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    I think it should be that the pokemon species should be uncapitalised, but if you are referring to an individual pokemon it should be capitalised because that's its name, a proper noun. ie. This is Bulbasaur, my bulbasaur. But I never bother checking when I post TBH, sometimes in the same sentence I'll go back and forth because I didn't bother to hold shift.

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    It's grammatically correct to write pokémon species names lower case if you take them to be treated the same as common animals in their own world. This wouldn't affect anything about how you'd write them outside of fanfiction, though, because in our world they're brand names, so if you're writing about the franchise itself, it's more correct to capitalize them. Reaching for the shift key is hard, though.

    I don't get too worked up if people choose to capitalize pokémon species in fanfiction, but it's annoying when people start applying the logic of "it's capitalized in the games, therefore I need to capitalize it!" more broadly. For example, "Bike" is capitalized in the games, but it looks ridiculous if you have your character riding their Bike around in your fanfic--you end up with a real pileup of capitalized words, which is ugly as well as grammatically incorrect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wulava
    Pokemon's names are scientific names given to a specie.
    There's no such thing as a "specie." "Species" is already singular.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wulava
    To put it simply, "John Smith" is a scientific name given to the specie "homo sapien", which belong to the order "primates", classed under "mammals" and belong to the animal kingdom.
    "John Smith" is a given name and has nothing to do with science. Homo sapiens is the scientific name; the genus is capitalized, the species is not, and both are italicized.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Auraninja View Post
    The point is that at least in English, German, French, Italian, and Spanish, the Pokemon are all capitalized the same. Take this French Pokemon page for Rondoudou (Jigglypuff).

    The point is that Pokemon is full of jargon and colloquialisms, essentially making Pokemon its own language.

    Take, the example of Charizard using Fire Blast. Since Pokemon look pretty much the same (gender differences and the like aside), we can universally paint the picture of what a Charizard looks like. As far as Fire Blast, how does a Pokemon use a move? We know it means to conjure up power, but if you said that to someone who didn't know Pokemon, they wouldn't understand the meaning of the word use in that statement, even though they are fully aware of the definition of use in common usage.

    TL;DR- Pokemon uses its own terms, and therefore plays by its own rules and forges a new language.
    I know what you're getting at by saying that Pokémon goes by its own terms (which is fine and I can live with that), but the foreign language argument still doesn't really apply. Sure, German capitalizes stuff. But the other languages you listed don't. So, you're not really stating anything that helps or hurts either side of the debate, just that the capitalization exists.

    Quote Originally Posted by Psychic View Post
    This debate has been going on for years in the fandom, especially in the fan fiction community. Basically, the games, animé and all of the official text capitalizes Pokemon species names, as well as the names of attacks, abilities, items and more.
    This is a very compelling argument. It's a video game/RPG staple that everything of importance is capitalized or color-coated for convenience. I'm very supportive of this argument.

    And even though I love grammar and realize that this is probably right, I'm used to capitalizing Pokémon species names, and most people, especially those outside of the fic community do it, so as long as TCPi and Nintendo capitalize Pokémon, I shall, too!

    ~Psychic
    Same. I asked the question just to see what people thought and how interesting it is just how many theories there are surrounding the subject, but I am far too used to capitalizing the names to stop now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hasty Jynx View Post
    I don't think the capitalization of Pokemon species indicates anything in the world of Pokemon. Pokemon names are just capitalized because they're abstract names of abstract creatures which don't equal to animals in our world. It makes sense grammatically as names are always capitalized in English and probably most languages that use the latin alphabet. "pokemon" or "charizard" would just look wrong because it is grammatically wrong, "Pokemon" and "Charizard" look nice and clean.
    Looking "nice and clean" is not the same thing as being grammatically correct. It's correct in the sense that the rules set by the creator are being followed, but they are by no means official English rules.

    And the abstract argument doesn't really hold much weight. Just because something is made up or abstract doesn't lend itself to automatic proper noun status. Look at Harry Potter. You don't capitalize "thestral" or "hippogriff" or "mandrake" even though they are strange, abstract creatures that are very specific to one abstract world. This actually even helps the pro-capitalization argument because there are so many fictional environments full of fictional creatures in the vain of animals that aren't constantly capitalized like Pokémon are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flo View Post
    Exactly. Also, Pokémon names are capitalized because they're specific characters.
    But they aren't. Ash's Pikcahu is a specific character. Iris' Axew is a specific character. A randomly encountered Mankey that you cause to faint for experience points does not fit that description. If you caught the Mankey, fine. It is your partner and is deserving of the status of a name, which very often is just "Mankey." Otherwise, wild Pokémon are not specific characters.

    I don't think it really would matter either way whether they should even be capitalized.
    It doesn't really matter. But honestly, do any of these threads matter? Do things making you happy or grinding your gears deserve make any more sense to discuss? It's all in good fun.

    Quote Originally Posted by bobandbill View Post
    In the Pokemon world, maybe their way of treating Pokemon in terms of naming conventions means that they stick to the capital for the species. That doesn't match with the real world English rules, but then one has to consider that Pokemon is really a hugely fundamental aspect of the, well, Pokemon world. It makes sense that they garner the importance that tends to come with a capital letter. Yeah, it is a sticking point in areas (and with certain people) in fics, haha. Personally I see valid points for both sides in writing. I think the more important aspect on this point is consistency - as long as you capitalise or don't capitalise Pokemon names in writing without flip-flopping, it's all good to me. Personally I stick to capitalisation.
    This is something I can agree with. They are a totally different culture to the real world for obvious reasons and I don't see why they shouldn't be allowed to do such a thing. I'm just trying to get in the heads of the developers and why they would do this.

    Curiously, it was only until 5th gen games that in the games they moved from ALLCAPS to Capitalisation... although we know that the latter was used for the likes of DP's demos, so it was something they toyed with.
    Funny anecdote: Any time I would catch a Pokémon in RSE or DPPt, I would always change the name of the Pokémon from its ALLCAPS version to the grammatically correct naming of the final evolution of it. I wasn't really a nickname guy until somewhat recently and I absolutely hated the ALLCAPS names.

    For example: if I caught a GROWLITHE, I would nickname it Arcanine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bguy7 View Post
    Aside from it just being the way Game Freak decided they wanted it, I would say the reason is that the term Charizard (or any other Pokemon name), is both the name of an individual Charizard and the species as a whole. Because it works as both, you treat it as a proper noun. Its sort of like saying "There are many Bobs in the world." You're using the name Bob not as someone's name, but as "species" name. However, since it is the name of individuals, you still treat it as such.

    That's part of the reason I've never liked nicknames. The Pokemon's real name is Charizard, it's not the same as calling your pet Dog.
    Well, that's a bit different than what you described. If you were to say all white, brown haired, blue eyed, straight, Christian men were named Bob, fine. Then they would be a species. But just because it is a common name does not make it a species name. It is a given name. Technically, all species names are given names, but they have all undergone specific naming customs in their cultures.
    All Charizard are called Charizard, but they aren't all named Charizard. That wouldn't really make sense. All dogs are called dog, but that is not their name.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wulava View Post
    Pokemon's names are scientific names given to a specie.

    To put it simply, "John Smith" is a scientific name given to the specie "homo sapien", which belong to the order "primates", classed under "mammals" and belong to the animal kingdom.

    "Talonflame" is a scientific name given to the specie "peregrine falcon", which belong to the order "falcons", classed under "birds" and belong to the animal kingdom.
    "Vileplume" is a scientific name given to the specie "corpse flower", which belong to the order of "flowering plants", under the plant kingdom.

    Inanimate objects, on the others hand, are always considered common nouns.
    So a name given to a common noun is already a proper noun.

    Chandelure is a chandelier.
    Geodude, Graveler, Onix, Boldore, etc. are rocks/boulders/stone.
    Almost none of that is true from a scientific standpoint.

    John Smith is not a scientific name. That would imply all John Smith's having distinct features that set them apart as John Smiths.

    As for the Pokémon you listed, Talonflame and Vileplume may resemble what you claimed them to be, but they are not those things. The second an actual biologist discovered a fire-breathing peregrine falcon, it would instantly gain a new species name, which in this case would be "Talonflame."

    And the inanimate object thing isn't true because they aren't inanimate objects at all. "Inanimate" alone means "not alive." The creatures have characteristics of inanimate objects but are very much alive and would be classified by the scientific naming system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mega Altaria View Post
    My reasoning for this is that since Pokémon names haven't been in the English language for a really long time, or maybe the translators wanted it to sound more like names so it sounds more right.
    I guess the translation thing kind of makes sense in a way. But the time span in which the names have existed in English isn't much of an argument as several new animal and plant species are discovered constantly and their new species names aren't just magically considered to be proper nouns for no reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aduro View Post
    I think it should be that the pokemon species should be uncapitalised, but if you are referring to an individual pokemon it should be capitalised because that's its name, a proper noun. ie. This is Bulbasaur, my bulbasaur.
    This. I'm not saying it's right, but it makes the most sense to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Negrek View Post
    It's grammatically correct to write pokémon species names lower case if you take them to be treated the same as common animals in their own world. This wouldn't affect anything about how you'd write them outside of fanfiction, though, because in our world they're brand names, so if you're writing about the franchise itself, it's more correct to capitalize them. Reaching for the shift key is hard, though.
    I have no problem capitalizing. I always do anyways as it's the rule. But that doesn't mean I think it should be the rule.

    I don't get too worked up if people choose to capitalize pokémon species in fanfiction, but it's annoying when people start applying the logic of "it's capitalized in the games, therefore I need to capitalize it!" more broadly. For example, "Bike" is capitalized in the games, but it looks ridiculous if you have your character riding their Bike around in your fanfic--you end up with a real pileup of capitalized words, which is ugly as well as grammatically incorrect.
    Valid point. This was addressed earlier in my current annoyingly long list of responses, but I think most of the item names and Pokémon names have been capitalized as a video game staple for convenience. But if we use this logic, would that not possibly mean that Pokémon species names are capitalized exclusively for convenience and aren't meant to be outside of game text? I don't know. Just a thought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SlowPokeBroKing View Post
    Well, that's a bit different than what you described. If you were to say all white, brown haired, blue eyed, straight, Christian men were named Bob, fine. Then they would be a species. But just because it is a common name does not make it a species name. It is a given name. Technically, all species names are given names, but they have all undergone specific naming customs in their cultures.
    All Charizard are called Charizard, but they aren't all named Charizard. That wouldn't really make sense. All dogs are called dog, but that is not their name.
    It may not be the perfect example, but I personally feel its close enough to work. And yes, all Charizard are named Charizard. That's the convention of the Pokemon World.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SlowPokeBroKing View Post
    Looking "nice and clean" is not the same thing as being grammatically correct. It's correct in the sense that the rules set by the creator are being followed, but they are by no means official English rules.

    And the abstract argument doesn't really hold much weight. Just because something is made up or abstract doesn't lend itself to automatic proper noun status. Look at Harry Potter. You don't capitalize "thestral" or "hippogriff" or "mandrake" even though they are strange, abstract creatures that are very specific to one abstract world. This actually even helps the pro-capitalization argument because there are so many fictional environments full of fictional creatures in the vain of animals that aren't constantly capitalized like Pokémon are.
    I meant to say that it looks nice and clean because it is grammatically correct. Pokemon are not animals, they are characters as someone else said. And those characters have names. Surely there are more than just one of every Pokemon (species) in the Pokemon world, but when they decided to capitalize Pokemon names they probably first considered the fact that they're characters.

    Mandrakes and unicorns and whatnot are not fantasy, they are mythological creatures. That's most likely the reason why they aren't capitalized. (I know that sounds a little picky but grammar isn't always logical :P)
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    Valid point. This was addressed earlier in my current annoyingly long list of responses, but I think most of the item names and Pokémon names have been capitalized as a video game staple for convenience. But if we use this logic, would that not possibly mean that Pokémon species names are capitalized exclusively for convenience and aren't meant to be outside of game text? I don't know. Just a thought.
    I am 100% sure that's why they're capitalized in the game... I didn't realize anyone might think otherwise? Like, why else would they even do it? I mean, in Ye Olde Versions everything was in ALLCAPS, of course, which certainly made the names of pokémon, items, etc. stand out, but thankfully most people didn't decide that meant they ought to allcaps everything outside the context of the game itself. The later versions changed it so just the first letter of the word was capitalized, but that's still a traditional video game signal indicating that this thing being discussed is something that can be interacted with by the player, similar to the suspiciously different-colored rock, etc. Basically, if an NPC says, "If only I had a boat, I could sail away to the next island..." you know their text is just for color, whereas if they say "If only I had a Boat, I could sail away to the next island..." then you know that you're probably going to obtain a boat at some point in the story. Pokémon names, move names, item names, etc. are capitalized so they're easy to pick out when reading through the text.

    The only thing slightly tricky about this is that pokémon species are also capitalized when referred to outside of the game context because they're trademarked. You can't trademark a common noun. And in order to keep its trademarks, Nintendo has to use them in such a way that it's clear they are brand names and not generic, which means keeping them capitalized. So the reasons pokémon species are capitalized differs between in-game and out-of-game contexts, although I imagine official publications also capitalize item names etc. in order to keep things consistent with the games and match players' expectations at seeing those elements capitalized.

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    The species name of a Pokemon also serves as their actual name, that's why it's capitalized. That's also why a Pokemon's name changes upon evolution and why they can be given a nicknamed but not an actual name.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Negrek View Post
    I am 100% sure that's why they're capitalized in the game... I didn't realize anyone might think otherwise? Like, why else would they even do it? I mean, in Ye Olde Versions everything was in ALLCAPS, of course, which certainly made the names of pokémon, items, etc. stand out, but thankfully most people didn't decide that meant they ought to allcaps everything outside the context of the game itself. The later versions changed it so just the first letter of the word was capitalized, but that's still a traditional video game signal indicating that this thing being discussed is something that can be interacted with by the player, similar to the suspiciously different-colored rock, etc. Basically, if an NPC says, "If only I had a boat, I could sail away to the next island..." you know their text is just for color, whereas if they say "If only I had a Boat, I could sail away to the next island..." then you know that you're probably going to obtain a boat at some point in the story. Pokémon names, move names, item names, etc. are capitalized so they're easy to pick out when reading through the text.

    The only thing slightly tricky about this is that pokémon species are also capitalized when referred to outside of the game context because they're trademarked. You can't trademark a common noun. And in order to keep its trademarks, Nintendo has to use them in such a way that it's clear they are brand names and not generic, which means keeping them capitalized. So the reasons pokémon species are capitalized differs between in-game and out-of-game contexts, although I imagine official publications also capitalize item names etc. in order to keep things consistent with the games and match players' expectations at seeing those elements capitalized.
    This is the best response in the thread. Trademarks. I thought of trademarks before even reading this post so this poster did most of the typing for me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim62 View Post
    The species name of a Pokemon also serves as their actual name, that's why it's capitalized. That's also why a Pokemon's name changes upon evolution and why they can be given a nicknamed but not an actual name.
    This, and Negrek's responses are the best explanations, but one thing we need to recognize is their Japanese spelling. In Japanese, they are written in katakana:

    "In modern Japanese, katakana is most often used for transcription of words from foreign languages (other than words historically imported from Chinese), called gairaigo.[4] For example, "television" is written テレビ (terebi). Similarly, katakana is usually used for country names, foreign places, and foreign personal names. For example, the United States is usually referred to as アメリカ Amerika, rather than in its ateji kanji spelling of 亜米利加 Amerika.

    Katakana are also used for onomatopoeia,[4] words used to represent sounds – for example, ピンポン (pinpon), the "ding-dong" sound of a doorbell.

    Technical and scientific terms, such as the names of animal and plant species and minerals, are also commonly written in katakana.[5] Homo sapiens (ホモ・サピエンス Homo sapiensu?), as a species, is written ヒト (hito), rather than its kanji 人.

    Katakana are also often, but not always, used for transcription of Japanese company names. For example, Suzuki is written スズキ, and Toyota is written トヨタ. Katakana are also used for emphasis, especially on signs, advertisements, and hoardings (i.e., billboards). For example, it is common to see ココ koko ("here"), ゴミ gomi ("trash"), or メガネ megane ("glasses"). Words the writer wishes to emphasize in a sentence are also sometimes written in katakana, mirroring the European usage of italics.[4]
    "

    Ergo, Wulava's insight is also correct. These names, refer to both trademarked names(in real world, as Negrek suggests) and scientific taxonomy names(in-universe).

    This is, by the way, not unique to Pokémon, almost all fictional franchises work in a similar fashion(Agumon is capitalized the same was as Wingull, so are different species of gems in Steven Universe(different Rubies are not called "rubies"), and so on so forth).
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    This show is called Pokemon, not Pochaman.. although that sounds almost the same..

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