CAPITALIZE THIS! . . . a guide to the proper care and feeding of capital letters
Capitalize the first word of every sentence — unless that sentence is in parentheses incorporated within another sentence. Capitalize the personal pronoun I . Glacial till or debris ( s ome geologists call this material “garbage”) is often deposited in formations called morains .
Capitalize the names of family relations when they are used as substitutes for names: I went to visit my U ncle Ted and A unt Margaret. but . . . . I went with my m om and d ad to visit my a unt and u ncle. G randma and G randpa live with D ad and M om now. Notice the role of the modifying pronoun here.
In titles , capitalize the first , last , and all important words . Usually, we don’t capitalize articles, prepositions, and coordinating conjunctions. I n the L ake of the W oods W ar and P eace I K now T his M uch I s T rue
Capitalize names of specific persons, places, and geographical locations. Don’t capitalize directions. My brother C harlie, who used to live in the M iddle E ast and write books about the O ld W est, now lives in H artford, C onnecticut. and proper nouns . . . . They moved up n orth, to the s outhern shore of Lake Erie. but
Capitalize names of days of the week, months, and holidays. Don’t capitalize the names of seasons. V alentines D ay, which is always on F ebruary 14, falls on T uesday this year. more on proper nouns . . . . Next f all, before the w inter storms begin, we’re heading south. but
Capitalize the names of historical events. Capitalize the names of religions and religious terms. The B attle of the B ulge was an important event in W orld W ar II . still more on proper nouns . . . . G od, C hrist, A llah, B uddha, C hristianity, C hristians, J udaism, J ews, I slam, M uslims and The R eformation took place in the s ixteenth c entury.
Capitalize the names of nations, nationalities, languages, and words based on such words. We usually don’t capitalize “white” and “black.” S omalia, S wedish, E nglish muffin, I rish stew, J apanese maple, J ew’s harp, F rench horn still more on proper nouns . . . . There are very few b lacks in this predominantly w hite community. but
Capitalize the names of academic courses when they’re used as titles . B rand names . . . . He took C arpentry 101, but he did much better in his e conomics and English l iterature courses. even more on proper nouns . . . . F ord, K leenex, L evi’s (not j eans), x erox on a X erox copier, A dvil (but a spirin) and
Capitalize titles when they precede names. . . . usually not after a name . . . . D ean Arrington introduced P resident Carter to S ecretary Bogglesworth. The titles of people and offices . . . . Joe Chuckles, who was c hairman of the b oard of d irectors in 1995, has since retired. but
You can capitalize the names of political entities in in-house publications to avoid confusion. You would not capitalize those names in a newspaper report, say. The C ounty and C ity have agreed to reimburse the f ederal g overnment for sewer expenses. The titles of people and offices (2) At the last c ouncil meeting, the c ounty agreed to reimburse the f ederal g overnment. but
Consult a good dictionary! . . . like the online Merriam-Webster’s: The best advice on capitalization:
This PowerPoint presentation was created by Charles Darling, PhD Professor of English and Webmaster Capital Community College Hartford, Connecticut copyright November 1999