Bicapitalisation (bicaps) aka CamelCase/camel case (because the caps form a hump-like visual effect), intercaps, incaps, medial caps, midcaps and BumpyCase all refer to the increasingly common use of capital letters in places other than at the beginning of a word.
While the practice has long existed in surnames such as McCartney or McDonald, and from there to brands (McDonald's, HarpersCollins and the especially curious PricewaterhouseCoopers), with the advent of Internet and ICT in general, it has become very widespread indeed. Thus we have iPod, iPhone, eBay, AltaVista, PowerPoint and YouTube and many more.
But it was by no means uncommon before. CinemaScope and VistaVision go back to 1953 and 1954, respectively, and in their classic style guide, The King's English (1906), H. W. Fowler and F. G. Fowler suggested that medial capitals could be used in triple compound words where the use of hyphens would cause ambiguity—the examples they give are "KingMark-like" (as against "King Mark-like") and "Anglo-SouthAmerican" (as against "Anglo-South American"). However, they described the system as "too hopelessly contrary to usage at present."
References[edit | edit source]
- Crystal, D. Spell It Out: The Singular Story of English Spelling Profile Books (2012). ISBN 978-184668567 5
- Fowler, HW & Fowler, FG. The King's English The King’s English, 2nd ed. Oxford University Press (1922). Chapter IV. Punctuation: Hyphens At Google Books. Retrieved 29th September 2012.