HomeQ&AHow come the months and days of the week are not capitalized when writing in Spanish?

How come the months and days of the week are not capitalized when writing in Spanish?

2
votes

Why aren't the months and days of the week capitalized in Spanish? For example, enero, which is January in Spanish. Why wouldn't you capitalize the "e"?

38485 views
updated SEP 3, 2009
edited by bluedog2
posted by bluedog2
very clear post, welcome to the forum, bluedog. - 00494d19, SEP 1, 2009

6 Answers

1
vote

I guess you could ask the same with English. Why do we capitalize our months, days, names of languages? How would you respond to that question? Because it's the rule, that's why!

Welcome to the forum, Bluedog.

updated SEP 3, 2009
posted by --Mariana--
Thanks, I've never thought of it that way. - bluedog2, SEP 1, 2009
3
votes

I guess you could ask the same with English. Why do we capitalize our months, days, names of languages? How would you respond to that question? Because it's the rule, that's why!

Actually, we capitalize them because half of them are derived from proper names, either of roman deities or emperors; same goes for the days of the week.

As for why they are capitalized in English it is probably because English follows more after its German heritage of capitalization; whereas, Latin derived languages such as French and Spanish follow the Latin tradition (see link below)

Comparison of Latin, German and English Days of the Week

updated SEP 3, 2009
edited by Izanoni1
posted by Izanoni1
2
votes

In Spanish I am not sure what the names of the week are derived from, except that

lunes = named after the moon

Sábado = the sabbath

  • martes - Martis dies (day of Mars)
  • miércoles - Mercuri dies (day or Mercury)
  • jueves - Iovis dies (day of Jupiter)
  • viernes - Veneris dies (day of Venus)
  • domingo - Dominucus day (day of the Lord)

Actually, we capitalize them because half of them are derived from proper names, either of Roman deities or emperors, and apparently English convention felt it made more sense to capitalize all of the months than to only capitalize half of them.

No language is entirely logical in this sense; it is a matter of convention: a caesarean section is not always written with capital C, even though it comes from Julius Caesar. The word "academy" comes from Akademos, a person's name too.

updated SEP 3, 2009
edited by lazarus1907
posted by lazarus1907
Thank you for that Lazarus...although I edited this out of my original post because I thought that I was being a bit too wordy - Izanoni1, SEP 1, 2009
2
votes

Actually, we do capitalize the names of the week... when they are proper names, and unique (but not when you refer to any Monday, Tuesday,... of the year):

Jueves Santo

updated SEP 3, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
Interesting. - --Mariana--, SEP 1, 2009
Interesting that in French, it is the same - we do not capitalize the days of the week. - Lise-Laroche, SEP 1, 2009
Neither in Hungarian. Is English the odd one? - Zoltán, SEP 1, 2009
That would make more sense as French and Spanish are more closely related to each other as romance languages; while, English is derived from German - Izanoni1, SEP 1, 2009
In German these are capitalized as well - Izanoni1, SEP 1, 2009
1
vote

No language is entirely logical in this sense; it is a matter of convention: a caesarean section is not always written with capital C, even though it comes from Julius Caesar.

Yet a Caesar salad is. grin

The word "academy" comes from Akademos, a person's name too.

I hadn't heard that one. I always thought that the word was handed down to us in the tradition of Plato's academe

updated SEP 3, 2009
edited by Izanoni1
posted by Izanoni1
0
votes

Thanks everyone for helping. grin

updated SEP 3, 2009
posted by bluedog2
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