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Pokémon grammar


Winning Smile
Staff member
Super Mod
HI all! I wish to do some Research on how fellow writers deal with Pokemon names and terms and whatnot. Let's open the floor on how you do it, or any opinions you have on the following:

- To capitalise, or not to capitalise? I.e. do you say Eevee or eevee? What about items (Potion/potion, etc.)?
- Grass-type, or Grass type?
- Do you pay attention to more niche things, such as form/formes?
- Do you put in the effort to have that accented é in Pokémon? Or is it too much of a bother?

Feel free to add more!


A Dense Irritating Miniature Beast of Burden
-Either one is fine for me. It makes more sense to not capitalise them, as you don't usually capitalise species names, but I think it's pedantic to worry too much about them. Of course, some authors like Farla love harping on about it, but whatever. Ill just do me.
-Again, minor.
-I just go with what's considered grammatically correct in my region.
-Too much work. Again, it's a bit pedantic to worry about that detail when I just want to focus on the story and characters.


sometimes i get a deadache, yeah
- I use no capitalizations for pokémon with the argument that the word "dog" isn't capitalized in normal English - unless there's only one of said pokémon, like Arceus. I haven't featured a lot of canon items in my fics, but when I do, I also write them in lowercase (ultra ball, sleep seed) unless it's some kind of special one-of-a-kind item like the Draco Plate. As for how others do it, I don't mind either way when reading someone else's works. Capitalization is how they do it in the canon, which is an argument I can understand. Only thing I wouldn't be able to understand would be inconsistency.

- I'm actually not 100% sure how I spell this in my TPP works, but I do know I've used "fire type" in Pletora's Story. In that I also used "fight-type" which I justify as being shorthand for "fighting type" and, to me, "fight type" just kind of looked weird. I wouldn't be strongly opposed to switch one way or the other if I received a good enough argument. Right now I'm mostly just checking back to make sure it's consistent.

- I don't even know currently what the difference is between the two. I haven't written anything to do with form/e changes yet, so I think I'll figure it out once (and if) I come to that.

- I do. I know it doesn't make sense with the naturalist arguments I like to use for some of my spellings and speech, but somehow I just feel really... naked leaving that ´ out, lol. It's probably my OCPD's doing. This isn't something I have to think about a lot though, luckily, as I almost always use "mon". But even then, I'm lucky to have a Scandinavian keyboard well equipped for additions such as these. And you bet I always add the umlauts when using German loanwords. A and Ä just are completely different sounds! But back to the point: I won't bite anyone's head off for settling for a normal e. Not everyone knows how to make that fancy é happen and not everyone has the time and patience for it. And in English, there's no set pronunciation for an e anyway. Sheep, best, eye, mare.

Let's open yet another can of worms - plurals. As far as I know, the official media consider all species to have their plurals match the singular ones (as in one pikachu, two pikachu), but some people do still like to add an (e)s at the end. I don't, but do some of you? Do you care either way?


- I get the argument over not capitalizing them, but I mostly capitalized the Pokemon names because it's what I've been doing for a while. Lately I've been nicknaming a large chunk of the Pokemon in Foul Play and later works, so I don't refer the Pokemon by their species all that much. As for items it depends. I think for common items like pokeballs and potions I don't capitalize them, but something like specific evolution stones, mega stones, and z-crystals I would capitalize to show their importance.

-I tend to use dark type, water type, etc. without the hypen. For some reason though in like my author notes I do use the hyphen, and from what I can tell it's more grammatically corect.

-On form, formes, not really.

-Back when I was using word on my old laptop the accent e is automatic for Pokemon, so I didn't need to worry much about that. I then got a new laptop without Word and so I would have to do the accent myself. That reminds me, I wrote Chapter Seven of Foul Play on google docs and I forgot to fix that oops. (slaps head).
- I always capitalize Pokemon names. That's how I see it used in the games so I've just followed that. I don't see any issue with not capitalizing them though as long as it's consistent! I think I would say "potions and vitamins" but would then say "Full Restores and Zincs" with the same argument above, but I haven't really used it recently.

- Depends on how it's used imo. Mudkip is Water type, but it is a Water-type Pokemon.

- I'm inclined to use Forme, but again it hasn't really come up. I'm also of two minds about where to place it—in competitive it's "Giratina (Altered Forme)", but doesn't "Altered Forme Giratina" look better? But "Landorus (Incarnate Forme)" sounds better than Incarnate Forme Landorus hahaha idek

- Like Bay, depends on what device or platform I'm using. It's easier to put the accent mark when I'm typing it with Word (which is half the time), but regardless I just make sure it's consistent.

- And I don't put the -s or -es for plural Pokemon names, partly because that's the usage in-game and partly because I'd just be confused trying to figure out the correct plural for things like Mareep or Zangoose hahaha

Kutie Pie

"It is my destiny."
- I capitalize simply because it's habit, but also because apparently it's canon or something for them to be capitalized no matter what. No one from Game Freak or Nintendo has said otherwise, so that's what I do. As for the items, I haven't exactly written anything involving the items, so hard to say.

- I use the hyphen if I remember to, but apparently I go back-and-forth because I can never remember which I've used (first/more)?

- It would depend on the story, honestly. Do you mean on how to write it? Pretty sure "forme" is the canon term if it involves one Pokémon changing appearances back-and-forth. Like I think "Mega Evolution" is the same way.

- Oh totally. Once I learned how to do it maaaaany years ago, I've made it a habit and now it just feels so weird for me to not use the accented-e. Although it's official, I don't fault anyone for not using it.

Let's open yet another can of worms - plurals. As far as I know, the official media consider all species to have their plurals match the singular ones (as in one pikachu, two pikachu), but some people do still like to add an (e)s at the end. I don't, but do some of you? Do you care either way?

Hahahaha oh man, this question. Yeah, I believe officially it's basically interchangeable with plural and singular (like moose, sheep, deer, etc.) so I don't do it. I find it a little odd whenever I read a fic and they have that "s", but it's not super jarring that it takes me away from the story.

Adding another question or at least expanding on one: Do you capitalize the attacks? I personally do (and I mostly only mention it in narrative, so I'm not sure how to portray it in dialogue lmao) because that's just how it's written in the games, but I think unless it's a very specific signature move like "Doom Desire" or "Sacred Fire", it probably doesn't matter? Maybe?


you taste like fear
-I used to capitalize species and item names (and move/ability names as well), but haven't for... oh, god, going on a decade now, outside of using the species name as a proper noun. The "natural English" method is a lot more, well, natural to me these days. Doesn't bother me when I see other people doing it, though; I don't think there's a meaningful "right" or "wrong" way to do it, and good heavens is that not a hill worth dying on even if so. I will also occasionally capitalize things outside of fic if I'm referring to an element of the franchise, in which case respecting the "official" capitalization seems more reasonable. So my pikachu named Pikachu is a pokémon from the Pokémon series.

-Depends on how it's being used. When you're describing the type itself, no hyphen, so "The grass type is weak to the fire type"; when you're using it as a descriptor for something else I believe the hyphen is more grammatically correct ("This grass-type over here is weak to that fire-type over there", or "Bulbasaur is a grass- and poison-type").

-Can't think of any other examples of niche things, haha. As for form/forme itself... I don't think I've ever had occasion to use those in anything I've attempted to write, but my inclination is "form" in all cases, probably. "Forme" seems like a needless affectation to make legendary forms seem special; the only actual use of that spelling I can find with a quick search is a British English printing term, haha. Also, it's shorter. I'm all for avoiding the massive effort needed to type one whole entire extra letter. :p But again, I might if for some reason I need to specify that I'm talking about the franchise in some way or otherwise want things to look "official".

-I do, but mostly because it's just second nature at this point. I've got the key combination down to muscle memory on all the keyboards/OSes I use regularly, so there's really no reason not to.

-I stick with the canon singular-same-as-plural. Seems odd not to, but hardly impossible to read. (For the record, wouldn't the "normal" plural of "zangoose" just be "zangooses"? The plural of "mongoose" is "mongooses", not "mongeese" or something if that's what you were thinking, haha.)

Venia Silente

[](int x){return x;}
Paraphrasing from current exchanges somewhere else compared to what everyone else is doing:

- Capitalization: I capitalize mostly out of impulse. Wouldn't mind trying the noncapitals sometime, at least for the Pokémon species. For items and stuff I'd keep the capitals for stuff that feels more like it'd be in-universe brands (Pokéball vs potion).
- Hyphen if adjectival form, no-hyphen otherwise.
- Forme if the form itself is cool™ (Giratina, Shaymin), Form (or even form) otherwise.
- *inhales* As someone from Latam culture, accénts on vówels is párt of who we are and it only costs us one keystroke, moreover we live in the Era of Spellcheck for Free and even US English speakers get access to a standardized dead-accent keys layout (except when on phones) so there's no excuse not to éifiy your texts where available - of course, I'd offer my help on that, even!


Just me
- To capitalise, or not to capitalise? I.e. do you say Eevee or eevee? What about items (Potion/potion, etc.)?
I capitalize Pokémon, item and attack names. I will write something like "potions" as a collective noun referring to potions in general (which could be a collection of Potions, Super Potions and Hyper Potions, for instance).

- Grass-type, or Grass type?
Like others here, I'd say they mean different things: the Grass type is weak to Fire, but Bulbasaur is a Grass-type Pokémon.

- Do you pay attention to more niche things, such as form/formes?
Only if I'm referencing the actual full official name of the form. Using "forme" as a common noun would weird me out, unless the term were to be defined canonically in some meaningful way.

- Do you put in the effort to have that accented é in Pokémon? Or is it too much of a bother?
It doesn't take effort when you're Icelandic! é is a normal letter of our alphabet, like á, í, ó, ú and ý, and it's easily typed on an Icelandic keyboard.

Starlight Aurate

Just a fallen star
- I always capitalize Pokemon names
Dramatic Meloday said:
- Depends on how it's used imo. Mudkip is Water type, but it is a Water-type Pokemon.
Same here!
- I haven't come across this particular issue; I'd probs use Formes though
- Since I write on a laptop, I feel like the e with an accent is too much of a hassle (I grew up using a desktop and that was the only way I knew how to get the accent marks; I never learned how to do so on a laptop, so my fault lol)
- (When I remember) I always capitalize attack names too!

Sike Saner

Peace to the Mountain
Right, might as well throw in how I do things:

- Pokémon species = lowercase. The only exception would be if the pokémon's personal name and species name were the same. Items, attacks, types, and abilities are also lowercase.
- Yes to hyphens for types, without exception. Fire-type, fire/psychic-type, et cetera.
- I've used "form" over "forme" up to this point. I might switch at some point, though.
- That "é" pretty much comes naturally to me at this point, so yeah.
- The names of all pokémon species are their own plurals.


Paladin of the Snow Queen
A) Always capitalize. That's the game canon. The "But real animals aren't capitalized!" argument is invalid, since in-game has the names capitalized, that would be the official way, or they would've done away with it once they started not writing the names in all caps (and obviously this problem is limited to people who write with alphabets rather than logographic systems). Same goes for items, attacks, Abilities, and so on. There's a big difference between a gentle Pokémon and a Gentle Pokémon. It also makes reading a heck of a lot easier.

B) I always hyphenate (barring typos, of course). So, Grass-type, Dragon-type, etc., or I just don't bother saying "-type" afterward, like the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG recently stopped doing.

C) Niche things? I don't count anything as niche.

D) I try to remember as often as possible to put the accent on it. Not that I don't pronounce it "Poh-kee-mon" still, I just think it looks better with the accent.


Dragon Enthusiast
PMD writer here! Regarding capitalization, I have a clever workaround that makes sense in-universe: it's their legal first name! So "Charmander Owen" is his full name, and referring to someone as "the Charmander" is similar to referring to a clan name, which you also capitalize. For example, "We're the Smiths," when referring to yourselves has a similar grammatical context.

The "typing" is something I ended up going with capitalizing for the sake of context clues. In my canon work that has nothing to do with Pokemon, I actually capitalize certain nouns if they're associated with magic, for example, a camp fire versus Fire blasted from someone's hands. Typing is the same way here, and I capitalize it entirely, "Fire Type" or just "he's a Fire." etc. etc.

I have never bothered with "form" or "formes" at all, and usually find some other way to refer to it. Alola doesn't exist in Kilo, my PMD setting, and I replaced it with "southern," which I... hope readers catch the context of?

And regarding adding accent to "Pokemon," I do for all official postings because I configured Word to autocorrect in the accent. But in casual conversation where autocorrect isn't available, I don't bother.

But honestly, for all of these things, I don't care what someone does. They're so minor and trivial that I just chalk it up to an inconsequential stylistic choice. (I will admit, though, that it's weird for me to see the species names in lowercase)