Re: [rtcweb] Uppercase question for RFC2119 words

Stephan Wenger <> Wed, 30 March 2016 18:47 UTC

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From: Stephan Wenger <>
To: Barry Leiba <>, Dave Cridland <>
Subject: Re: [rtcweb] Uppercase question for RFC2119 words
Thread-Topic: [rtcweb] Uppercase question for RFC2119 words
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Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2016 18:47:18 +0000
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Cc: Dave Crocker <>, "Heather Flanagan (RFC Series Editor)" <>, "" <>, IETF discussion list <>, IESG <>
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Hi Barry,


On 3/30/16, 10:59, "ietf on behalf of Barry Leiba" < on behalf of> wrote:

>As a complete side thing, I wonder how this all seems to
>German-speakers, as German uses initial caps for all nouns.  I wonder
>if anyone even notices if someone fails to do that.  I wonder if it
>becomes puzzling, perhaps in some instances.

German native speaker here.

Indeed, in German the first letter of a noun is capitalized, and indeed there are a very few examples where a noun and a (non-capitalized but otherwise spelled identically) non-noun have meanings that are not intuitively distinguishable.  One example is the plural noun “Spinnen” (spiders), and the verb “spinnen” (to spin/yarn and also to be bonkers :-)

There may even be a handful of cases (in all books of a sizable library) where that situation could lead to confusion when considering the context.  That would typically be slang language.  However, the amount of confusion is probably less than it would be in English, given the examples some folks provided here.

Except for acronyms, all-caps is a no-no in German, even for things like last names.