Decorative capitalization [033]


Decorative capitalization should be encoded with <hi>, with an optional type= attribute if categorization is useful.


The WWP encodes oversized or decorative initial capital letters using <hi type="dic">, regardless of their ornamentation or lack thereof. We do not record the size of the letter, the number of lines it indents, or any details of its decoration.

Indentation of subsequent lines which results from the size of the initial capital should be ignored; the lines should be encoded as if no indentation were present.

If the ornamentation is representational rather than abstract it should be encoded using <figure>, following the same criteria as for other figures. The <figure> element should precede the initial letter, which should also be transcribed separately. The letter should not be transcribed within <text> in <figure>, since it is already transcribed in the main text, but it should be described in the <figdesc>. See example 1.

Where letters following the dropped initial capital are also capitalized, they will be encoded using <hi rend="case(allcaps)">, following the WWP’s guidelines for transcribing words in capital letters.The content of this element should be entered in lower case, so that when printed without any highlighting the word is normally capitalized. See example 2.


Example 1: an ornate initial T on the word “The”, surrounded by small goats carrying a banner which reads “Amor vincit omnia”, would be encoded as:
<figure><figDesc>A large initial capital letter T, surrounded by goats carrying a banner reading <quote>Amor vincit omnia</quote>.</figDesc>
<text>Amor vincit omnia</text>
<hi type="dic">T</hi>he...

Example 2: an ornate initial O followed by an ordinary capital N: ONce upon a time...
<hi type="dic">O</hi><hi rend="case(allcaps)">n</hi>ce upon a time...

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