Question regarding capitalization of body parts.

I am currently writing a paper that requires referencing a number of muscles in the body. In some of the literature I am reading, the muscle names are capitalized (Rectus Abdominus) and in some it is not (transverse abdominus). Which is correct?

No answer, but I wanted to say that based on the thread title, I thought this would be about figuring the depreciation on donated organs.

This is purely a matter of style; there is no single “correct” answer. To decide, you would have to check the Style Guide preferred by the place your paper will appear. If it is just a paper for class, check with the instructor, or else just chose a style and be consistent about it throughout the paper. In general, modern usage tends to favor a “down” style with relatively little capitalization. In the absence of a Style Guide or recommendation from an instructor, I would suggest not capitalizing.

I was looking forward to a discussion of pros and cons of lease versus purchase.

A few body parts, such as the Eustachian tube, are named after a person and should be capitalized.

Even though you don’t capitalize “ceasar salad”?

I’d take a bet that the cases where you’re seeing them capitalized come from German sources. It’s the Practice in German to capitalize all Nouns.

I generally see it capitalized, e.g. Wiki. However, a c-section is usually a caesarian.

Capitalization of eponyms is not particularly consistent; e.g. platonic love vs. Platonic solid or Platonic ideal.

Other examples include the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas, the circle of Willis and Broca’s area in the brain, the Fallopian tubes of the uterus, and Henle’s loop in the kidney.

There seems to be a general principle that a name used as a noun descriptor (e.g., “circle of Willis”), including possessives (“Broca’s area”) are nearly always capitalized, while there is little or no consistency in adjectival forms (Fallopian or fallopian and Eustachian or eustachian tubes, etc.). While that doesn’t answer the question, it does give guidance regarding approximately half of such usages.

You mean, it’s the Practice in German all Nouns to capitalize. :wink:

Thank you, Dr. Stephen Tube.

What about in Soviet Russia?

As a follow up, I went with capitalizing the muscle, and capitalizing the first letter of a two word muscle (Rectus abdominus). I will let you know if I lose marks for this.

Trick question. In Soviet Russia, there is no Capitalism.

Not true! Just ask XAPПO MAPKC but don’t expect an answer.

I am a Primary School Teacher and I teach kids to capitalize People, Places and Things (Nouns). Would you class what you are writing about as Nouns?

Moderator Note

Maurice1974, that is completely incorrect (unless you are writing in German). In any case, the question asked by the OP appears to have been resolved seven years ago shortly after the thread was opened. Since we prefer that old threads in GQ only be opened to provide new information (preferably accurate), this is closed.

General Questions Moderator