I don't know anything about German language, but something in a book I'm reading now just makes me wonder if there is such a distinction between German and English.
So I'm reading about the Austrian-born mathematician Walter Rudin's autobiography The Way I Remember It, in which Rudin would always capitalise the word mathematics as a school subject. Examples abound:
He was a Chicago PhD and knew enormously more Mathematics than I.
When I wrote it (Principles of Mathrmatical Analysis) my purpose was to present a beautiful area of Mathematics in a well organized readable way...
Surely they are not proper nouns here. And therefore according to English language convention in neither cases should mathematics be capitalised as Rudin did. But why did he do it?
The only plausible explanation I could think about: Rudin was an Austrian-born whose mother tongue was German, not English. And perhaps, German language has a different convention from English, namely, it does capitalise school subjects even when they are not seen as proper nouns? But that's only my wild guess.
And of course, Google returned no useful results to me when I searched about this issue, which is why I'm seeking help from this powerful site. Thanks in advance!