How do you start a sentence with “npm”?
Right on the npm website, the very first sentence starts with “npm”, and they do not capitalize it.
That’s a pretty good precedent for not capitalizing it. It certainly looks awkward though, which is why I asked the question to begin with. It doesn’t feel right to me to start a sentence that way, and I’m sure other some other people would look at it and see a mistake.
Straight from Raquel Vélez, an employee:
We don’t have to.
If you’re following the Chicago Manual of Style, they would say:
This makes life difficult, however, for those of us who cannot bear to begin a sentence with a lowercase letter. CMOS forbids so doing (except for names like eBay)—we advise you to rewrite. Some publications simply ignore the preference.
“Rewriting”, as in, find a way not to start the sentence with the preferred-lowercase initialism.
This advice holds true for other situations/companies as well:
avoid: He said that EBay is where he bought his IPod.
instead, use: He said that eBay is where he bought his iPod.
avoid: eBay is where he bought his iPod.
instead, use: He bought his iPod on eBay.