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I have convinced myself that in a narative where someone is reading from a menu, the dish name should be capitalised. I feel that this is correct because the order would use the definate article the.

So for example; "I'll have the Smoked Salmon Tagliatelle." Read from the menu.

I would expect that "I'll have a smoked salmon tagliatelle," using the indefinate article would not be capitalized.

Secondly, would it be acceptable to use capitals in the following example.

"Rugby Club parties are famously wild."

Now, what the speaker is actually saying is that Hull University Rugby Club parties are famously wild, but the narrative doesn't require the whole name as it is understood and would be stylistically pedantic, but the speaker is referring to specific club.

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1) I would only capitalize the name if the restaurant considers it the proper name of the dish.

So Denny's (a diner-type restaurant chain) at one point served an item called Moons Over My Hammy (hush, it was tasty), which would take capitals. So would their Grand Slam breakfast. But if you were getting two eggs, two sausage links, and home fries, or roast beef au jus, that's just descriptive. It's not a name.

You have to decide if the restaurant serves smoked salmon over several different kinds of pasta, or pasta with different choices of chicken/meat/fish, or if there's a specific dish known as Smoked Salmon Tagliatelle and the other entrées are Duck Confit with Scallion Crêpes, Braised Filet Mignon with Horseradish New Potatoes, Vegan Falafel Rounds on a Bed of Wild Greens with Raspberry Vinaigrette, and Scrapple with Ambrosia.

2) Your logic is exactly correct. If the group is called the Song of Ice and Fire Don't Get Attached Club, you would say "Don't Get Attached Club parties get pretty wild."

Conversely, if the university had six different clubs named after the families of Westeros, but no other clubs, you would just say "the club parties get pretty wild."

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I'm very satisfied with the answer. Thanks. – RoDaSm Mar 19 '14 at 10:49
@RoDaSm Thanks! If this answer is the "right" one for you, please click the check mark to accept it (that's how Stack Exchange works). – Lauren Ipsum Mar 19 '14 at 16:27

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