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A (uppercase) and a ( lowercase ) in different fonts

The upper case ( plural majuscules of Latin māiusculus , slightly larger ') is in the typography a technical term for the capital letters of the alphabet as well as for an existing solely of capital letters font ( majuscule ). Minuscule is the corresponding name for a lowercase letter or a font consisting of lowercase letters. Outwardly, both differ not primarily in size, but in topology.

Capital letters are as capital letters denotes derived from latin versus ( "row", "v"). Originally it meant the large, often decorated initial letters of paragraphs or lines of verse in old manuscripts and early prints.

Capital letter


There are capital letters in the following alphabets, among others:

In the Cherokee syllabary , a distinction has been made between uppercase and lowercase letters since 2014.


When used in combination with lowercase letters, uppercase letters are used in particular to emphasize the beginning of sentences and names , especially in German also to emphasize nouns . For this purpose, only the first letter of the word or name in question is capitalized.

Individual capital letters in the middle of the word (so-called inner major or inner upper case letters ) do not correspond to the rules of spelling, but are used by feminist linguistics, for example in the form of the inner is, as a marker of the claim to address both genders ( e.g. pupils , students , employees ), as well as frequently used in any form in product names (examples: PowerPoint , AdSense ).

Occasionally, entire words or texts are capitalized to make them stand out. If entire sentences or texts are capitalized, however, the informative function of differentiated capitalization is lost; therefore primarily other means to be here writing award used, especially fat and italic typefaces . Individual words, on the other hand, can be clearly highlighted using pure capitalization. For example, in Germany, degrees of secrecy are always written in capital letters.


In palaeography , those fonts are called uppercase fonts (or short: uppercase fonts) that are mainly limited to a two-line scheme (e.g. Capitalis , Unziale ). In printer language, the terms "uppercase" and "capital" are also used.

The Roman monumental script Capitalis monumentalis , which dates back to around 100 BC. BC, served as the basis for the development of today's capital letters in Latin alphabets.

An example of a Greek capital font is the late antique Bible capital letters .

See also

Web links

Commons : Capital letters  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: capital letter  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Capitals  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. māiusculus at
  2. ^ Federal Office for Information Security - BSI: General administrative regulation of the Federal Ministry of the Interior for the material and organizational protection of classified information (VSA). Retrieved on August 27, 2019 : "The degree of secrecy must be clearly visible and unabbreviated in capital letters [...]."