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Laura SS

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Cheese names and capitalization

by Laura SS » Wed Mar 07, 2007 6:09 pm

I'm involved in a debate about cheese names when put in print in a professional setting (restaurant menu). I'd love for folks to weigh in with their opinions!

Which is correct:

1. Monterey jack cheese
2. Monterey Jack cheese
3. monterey jack cheese
4. Some variation not present here

Again, which is correct:

1. Pepper jack cheese
2. Pepper Jack cheese
3. pepper jack cheese
4. pepperjack cheese
5. Pepperjack cheese
6. Some variation not present here
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Robin Garr

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Re: Cheese names and capitalization

by Robin Garr » Wed Mar 07, 2007 6:15 pm

Laura SS wrote:I'm involved in a debate about cheese names when put in print in a professional setting (restaurant menu). I'd love for folks to weigh in with their opinions!

Which is correct:

1. Monterey jack cheese
2. Monterey Jack cheese
3. monterey jack cheese
4. Some variation not present here

Again, which is correct:

1. Pepper jack cheese
2. Pepper Jack cheese
3. pepper jack cheese
4. pepperjack cheese
5. Pepperjack cheese
6. Some variation not present here


Laura, if I was editing these names in the body of a magazine, newspaper or Web article, I would capitalize only proper names and make all the rest lower case: Monterey jack cheese and pepper jack cheese.

If I was writing them on a menu, I'd go with the restaurateur's preference. Some people think it looks more formal to capitalize: Monterey Jack cheese, Pepper Jack cheese. Otherwise, I'd use the same rule as in the first comment.
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C. Devlin

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menu names

by C. Devlin » Wed Mar 07, 2007 6:39 pm

I'm more or less with Robin on this. For me, I'd prefer only proper nouns capitalized (speaking as a former English teacher). I was a little confused about the Monterey Jack issue, though, as I wasn't certain as to how to address the "jack" and what the etymology of the term is. So like any nerd worth her salt, I looked it up. Because it's apparently named after Monterey cheesemaker David Jacks, I'd be inclined to capitalize it.

http://www.answers.com/topic/jack-cheese

For most people, it won't matter. But I appreciate a restaurant who tries to get the details perfect even when it comes right down to the menu. I tend to assume they're probably as finicky and as particular then with the actual food. And for me that's a plus.


http://www.thevillagebakeryonline.com/
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Laura SS

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Re: menu names

by Laura SS » Wed Mar 07, 2007 9:57 pm

C. Devlin wrote:I was a little confused about the Monterey Jack issue, though, as I wasn't certain as to how to address the "jack" and what the etymology of the term is. So like any nerd worth her salt, I looked it up. Because it's apparently named after Monterey cheesemaker David Jacks, I'd be inclined to capitalize it.


I used to teach English as well, and I had the same look-it-up impulse as you. What's hampering me in the debate is the relative lack of common-usage consensus. I've seen it written all of the ways above, though I agree with you that some of the more authoritative sources seem inclined to go with Monterey Jack, due to its naming after a real person.

That also "looks right" to my eye. I think of "Monterey Jack" as the name of the cheese, so it seems weird to capitalize one word and not the other.

So I'm also inclined to go with Pepper Jack, since it's the same cheese, plus peppery flavor.

Anyone care to disagree, violently or otherwise? I'm looking for ammunition to win the debate or a good reason to concede the point, and I'm just as happy with either one!
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Sonja W

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Cheese names and capitalization

by Sonja W » Wed Mar 07, 2007 11:46 pm

Monterey Jack cheese - Capitalized because the first two words are proper nouns. "Monterey" for Monterey County, where the cheese originated. "Jack" because it was named after its inventor.

Pepper Jack cheese - Although "pepper" is not a proper noun, I would capitalize it by association with "Jack" and for parallel consistency on a menu.

I edit and proofread for a living, and one of the most common errors is the overuse of capitalization, because, as Robin mentioned, "some people think it looks more formal to capitalize."

To illustrate that point, here is a typical sentence from a business brochure (before editing). "Customers expect High Quality Service from our Distributors, and our new Training Initiative will ensure Desired Customer Satisfaction Outcomes."

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