I was poking around Google news today and I noticed an even split between reporters using ramen with and without capitalizing the first letter. I’ve been known to listen to Grammar Girl, and so I’d like to make a case against capitalization of the word ramen. The word ramen is a generic term that refers to instant ramen noodles and also to fresh noodles from ramen shops and stalls. There is no one brand that is called “Ramen” at the store. In this respect, ramen should be used like the word rice. You can capitalize “Bob’s Rice” if it is a product name, but you would not capitalize the word “rice”, so journalists, don’t capitalize the word ramen, and if your editor complains, refer them to this post.
Note: I’m sure I made at least 20 grammar mistakes in the above post, but hopefully I still made my point!