Heyo, Red Coat here!
I've been in the process of putting together a crowdfunding campaign for a few months now, and have come to the thought: What does it mean to capitalize? Hell what does capital even mean?
Well why don't we step through it eh? Mind you this is my thought process so I could end up entirely off-base, but we're gonna forge ahead regardless!
So what is capital? Well it's not a capital or rather its not the city of a state or country that is most central to its governance. Rather it is the element most central to the concept of capitalism. I mean, it's in the name for crying out loud.
So then what is capitalism? As I understand it, capitalism is a system for the exchange of goods or services. Basically, when you give a good or service to someone in exchange for another good or service you have engaged in capitalism. (I've probably over simplified it greatly). So then, if capital is the most central concept of capitalism, which is the exchange of one good or service for another good or service, those goods and services must be what capital is.
In other words capital is an exchangeable good or service.
So in the service of defining the concept of capitalizing, how does defining what capital is help us?
Well we're going to use conjugation to derive capitalizing from capital. In my estimation when you add "ize" on to a noun, you do this to describe the act of granting some other thing the properties of that noun. For instance, to immunize is to grant something immunity. To moralize is to grant something moral standing. (Stay with me here, I'm going somewhere with this I swear)
If capital represents exchangeable goods or services then to capitalize must mean to grant a thing the properties of capital. Of the four words we've used to describe capital (exchangeable goods or services) the one that sounds most like a property and not just an object is the word "exchangeable". Exchangeable is the word for an item having the ability to be traded (as exchange is just another word for trade).
So then, to capitalize something must be to grant it the ability to be exchanged.
Okay, so what does it mean to make something exchangeable? Well hear me out, I'm gonna try and make a few logic leaps here. The concept of exchanging involves the idea of giving. In other words exchanging is a modified form of giving. Giving is the act of granting someone else possession or ownership of an item, concept or idea. Exchanging modifies giving by granting the giver something in return for what they have given. In other words the defining element of an exchange is that you get something in return for what you give.
So then, to capitalize an item is to make it possible for you to get something in return whenever you give someone that item. In other words, capitalizing is the act of enabling you to trade one item for another item
I should note, anything can be capitalized. Apples, oranges, plumbing services, the ability to sing, even real talk time (going to therapy or consultation) can be turned into capital (which we defined as an exchangeable good or service). All you have to do is make it possible for people to give you something for the object or item.
The most common form of this is the exchange of money for capital. This said one can also trade capital for capital. Hell, money is probably the most recognizable form of capital. That said, money is a very unique form of capital as it is a representation of raw capital value but that is a talk for another time. The important takeaway here is that, as stated at the start of the paragraph, anything can be capitalized.
Now, to put a nice bow on this whole thing:
Capital is an exchangeable good, service, or idea.
Capitalizing is the act of making a good, service, or idea exchangeable.
Anything can be capitalized.
Thanks for listening to me ramble with your eyes. I'll probably have more to say later about the concept of money and value exchange. But for now, I have things to do and so do you.
Go forth and conquer good sir. The world is waiting for you.
Ciao for now