This paper deals with some general problems of orthographic codification and the particular problem of the use of capital characters in personal proper names, that is, the problem of their capitalization. The article discusses the notions of usage and norm and the distinction between orthographic norms and orthographic rules, as well as the difference between two types of orthographic lacunae associated with this distinction, namely, unspecified norms (including variation of norms) and lack of relevant rules. In addition, the paper discusses the problems of orthographic codification as well as the wording of orthographic rules. It substantiates the claim that rules of capitalization related to personal proper names should not be excessively strict. The paper provides a critical review of the rules given in the Complete Academic Guidebook of Rules of the Russian Orthography and Punctuation (edited by V. V. Lopatin). It pays special attention to the personal proper names of foreign origin starting with a particle that means ‘from’, ‘the’, ‘son of’, etc.