The Beautiful Couple in capital letters

Kimaunz

Senior Member
Korean - South Korea
Hi,

I saw the phrase "The Beautiful Couple in capital letters" as in the following in a novel, and I guess the meaning vaguely. What's the meaning exactly? Is the phrase like that commonly used?:

Laura had always thought that Robin and Karen were ideally suited, two intellectuals at heart, sharing a love of the theatre, music and art. In her mind they had always been The Beautiful Couple in capital letters, both blond, blue-eyed and good-looking.


Source: In Chapter 16 of A Sudden Change of Heart by Barbara Taylor Bradford
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    It is a figurative way to say that Robin and Karen are an ideal couple. They represent Laura's idea of what a beautiful couple should look like.
    Is the phrase like that commonly used?:
    I am not sure that it is common, but I have seen the phrase in capital letters used this way before.
     

    Kimaunz

    Senior Member
    Korean - South Korea
    Thank you, owlman5. Could you please take a similar example in which "in capital letters" is used?
     

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    The capitalization, as well as the (redundant) words "In capital letters," is meant to highlight the idea that being "the Beautiful Couple" is an established concept, a "thing" as we might say today. They're not simply a generic "beautiful couple"; they're the prototype of what designation of "the Beautiful Couple" would mean.

    A somewhat similar case would be "Literature with a capital L," which emphasizes the idea that "Literature" is something profound that is different from mere "writing" or "fiction."
     

    Kimaunz

    Senior Member
    Korean - South Korea
    The capitalization, as well as the (redundant) words "In capital letters," is meant to highlight the idea that being "the Beautiful Couple" is an established concept, a "thing" as we might say today. They're not simply a generic "beautiful couple"; they're the prototype of what designation of "the Beautiful Couple" would mean.

    A somewhat similar case would be "Literature with a capital L," which emphasizes the idea that "Literature" is something profound that is different from mere "writing" or "fiction."
    Sometimes I encounter a word or phrase with all the letters capitalized in the middle of a sentence, and I assumed it was written to stress the particular word or phrase. Thank you, The Newt. :thank you:
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Bradford (no relation) was hammering her point home. Given that this is in print, we can see the capitals, and "In her mind they had always been The Beautiful Couple in capital letters, both blond, blue-eyed and good-looking" would have sufficed.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    Personally, I think the point needs to be hammered home, and that it is this hammering home that makes it understandable to readers.

    They're not simply a generic "beautiful couple"; they're the prototype of what designation of "the Beautiful Couple" would mean.
    :thumbsup:

    I'd have said they were the epitome of a beautiful couple, myself, but we are clearly saying the same thing. I also agree that this only works if "beautiful couple" is already a concept. This does not necessarily mean that it is a universal concept, understood by everyone (it is not a concept I have come across before), but "in her mind they had always been The Beautiful Couple in capital letters" tells readers that for Laura, "the beautiful couple" was a concept, and that Robin and Karen were the perfect embodiment of it. Quite likely the sentence is there to tell readers more about Laura than it is to tell them about Robin and Karen.

    I like the way "The" is capitalised as well.
     

    Kimaunz

    Senior Member
    Korean - South Korea
    Now I think I understand clearly. I guess the author wrote "In her mind they had always been The Beautiful Couple in capital letters, both blond, blue-eyed and good-looking." as if she read it to her readers.
     
    Top