I’ve been mulling over a writing style change to the D&D section of the blog that I’ve decided to implement.
The capitalization of different races in D&D is a little strange. Normally you wouldn’t capitalize a word like “elf,” but what do elves speak in D&D? They speak Elvish and the current convention in English is to capitalize the names of languages. In English, languages are associated with racial identities or nationalities and thus one would also capitalize the nationality. So, “a Spaniard speaks Spanish,” is correct and, “a spaniard speaks spanish,” is incorrect. That puts me in a weird position where “elf” is not normally capitalized, but seems like it should be. After all, if Elvish is capitalized as a language then “elf” should also be capitalized as a national/racial identity.
That’s how I wrote the blog for a couple years, but the style is now starting to irritate me. It has internal consistency, but no matter how I look at it, the style looks wrong. I’ve decided to change it. Going forward, I’ll be only capitalizing fantasy races when referring to languages they speak or some sort of official group identity. For example, “the dwarves live in the Dwarven Kingdom,” or something like that.
I’ve also changed all my previous posts and pages to align with this standard. Everything should be fairly consistent across the blog now.