InTerCaPiTalIZaTion, Or “CaMel Caps,” Is AcTuAlLy A VeRy, VeRy Bad Thing On A NumBer Of LeVels. It Makes ReadIng HarDer, Not EaSiEr, Through An UnNeCesSaRy And AbSurd AlTerIng Of OrThoGraPhiCal StanDards That Have Been CenTuRies In The MaKing.
In Ter Cap I Tal I Za Tion Al So Tends To Re Sult In The Mean Ing Less, Awk Ward And Con Fus Ing Frag Men Ta Tion Of Words. I Have Been See Ing An In Crease Of This Re Cent Ly. The Hor Ror, The Hor Ror.
It’s actually very easy to distinguish syllables in hanyu pinyin.
All syllables begin with consonants, unless there is something else to indicate otherwise (the beginning of a word, or an apostrophe).
Thus, “Taiwan,” for example, is not in the least ambiguous. “TaiWan,” on the other hand, is both patronizing and absurd, as well as tending to lead to the problems I addressed above.
Some examples of words needing apostrophes – and it is worth noting that there are very few of these (less than 2 percent) – are Chang’an (Changan, on the other hand, would be chan + gan), Ren’ai (which would otherwise be re + nai), and Xi’an (otherwise the monosyllabic xian).
As for the new highway signs, at least most of them seem to be in “correct” tongyong. I’ve seen lots and lots of things that are supposed to be in tongyong but which are wrong.