I meant where you're directly addressing the recipient of the written communication, not in reporting dialogue in the context of a novel or news report, for example.
No.Yes, in theory. But the decision to change one set of arbitrary rules for another seems pointless. Is there much of an argument for retaining it at all? The Swiss gave it up years ago, and they're doing all right.
The rule I learnt was that it was capitalised in direct address -- so in letters and sundry contexts apart from birthday cards. Hence the confusion as to what to do on the internet.
The convention for using the capital D was (and for those who like capital Ds still is) that you capitalise it if you (first person) address a second person, you capitalise it. So be it in birthday cards or on the internet, you would usually "Ich wünsche Dir alles Gute zum Geburtstag. Ich hoffe, dass Du whatever..."Isn't "du" pretty much always used in direct address, that is, when you're addressing the second person in question? Or do you mean, by direct address, apostrophes like "O Du Etaoin, du bist eine wunderliche Frau"?
Now it would be funny if that was done, literally, and German turned from a language with lots of capital letters to one with none at all, not even in proper names or at the beginning of sentences.every idiot could have told you in a matter of seconds that the easiest way would have been to get rid of it altogether
You would love it ... I mean, imagine somebody told you on facebook "ich hab dich lieb" ... and then sombody told "Ich hab Dich lieb." with proper capitalisation and punctuation ... and even a capital D in the personal address! Wouldn't that be a lot nicer?Ah! That's a strange rule.
German spelling was unified/codified in 1902 ... prior to that, there were maybe some 50 years of dictionaries appear *suggesting* how something should be spelt ... and prior to that, there were no rules at all (as you can certainly remember from the Wendehels thing). There were few people who did not care to use capital letters at all ... even though the convention always seemed to be to capitalise nouns, at least at some point. I think English acted similarly, though ... at least I've seen a few earlier pieces in which nouns were capitalised.Now it would be funny if that was done, literally, and German turned from a language with lots of capital letters to one with none at all, not even in proper names or at the beginning of sentences.