Ships and boats hold a special place in the human experience. Our ancestors marked this importance by giving thoughtful names to their watercraft just as we do today.1 In fact, we even have guidelines for how to write the names of ships and boats to set them apart from less adventurous modes of travel, like minivans. We’ll begin by looking at the guidelines for writing ship … [Read more...] about How to Write the Names of Ships and Boats
The cardinal directions (north, south, east, and west) and the intercardinal directions (northeast, northwest, southeast, and southwest) are commonly referred to as compass points. Today’s post outlines how to write compass points in sentences. First, we’ll look at the guidelines for capitalizing them and then we’ll explore the guidelines for abbreviating them in addresses in … [Read more...] about How to Write Compass Points in Sentences
The warm weather has finally arrived here in Chicagoland, so that can only mean two things: construction and ghastly traffic joy rides and road trips! So, in honor of these annual summertime traditions, today’s post explains how to write names of highways, streets, and other roadways in sentences. 1. Capitalize Road-Related Terms in Formal Names Capitalize road-related terms … [Read more...] about How to Write Names of Highways, Streets, and Other Roadways
Is Colorado in the west or the West? Did the Allman Brothers Band play southern rock or Southern rock? Am I a midwesterner or a Midwesterner? Today’s post explains when to capitalize geographic regions in the United States. It also looks at when to capitalize those regions when they are used as adjectives and to describe U.S. geographic populations. U.S. Geographic … [Read more...] about When Should You Capitalize Geographic Regions in the United States?
Is Colorado home to the Rocky Mountains or the Rocky mountains? Is the United States flanked by the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans or the Atlantic and Pacific oceans? Besides inducing an urge to go hiking, this post explains when you should capitalize oceans, mountains, lakes, and other geographic features such as rivers, deserts, and dunes. Capitalize General Nouns in Proper … [Read more...] about When Should You Capitalize Oceans, Mountains, Lakes, and Other Geographic Features?
Here are three guidelines that will help you determine when to capitalize historical time periods. Capitalization guidelines for historical time periods are influenced by tradition and whether they are named after a proper noun. As with all things influenced by tradition, these guidelines can change according to where you live—or in this case, which style guide or dictionary … [Read more...] about When Should You Capitalize Historical Time Periods?
Are centuries spelled out or written as numerals? Are centuries hyphenated when used as adjectives? Writers and editors have been asking these questions for at least a hundred years. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself!) So, this post is going to explore present-day recommendations for how to write centuries as words and numerals. Are Centuries Spelled Out or Written as … [Read more...] about How to Write Centuries as Words and Numerals
The baby boomers are retiring! The millennials rule the world! The Generation Xers are ignored and neglected! Have you noticed all the headlines about the different generations lately? (Okay, maybe not about Generation X.) Despite all this media attention, we don’t have consistent guidelines for when to capitalize baby boomer, Generation Xer, and millennial. Here are two … [Read more...] about Should You Capitalize Baby Boomer, Generation Xer, and Millennial?
My previous post titled “How to Use Colons” explains how colons can be used to preface run-in and vertical lists, introduce quotations, conclude salutations, and link titles with subtitles. Colons can also connect tightly coupled sentences, such as those with a cause-and-effect or problem–solution relationship. Today’s post tackles the question of whether you should capitalize … [Read more...] about Should You Capitalize the First Word of a Sentence After a Colon?
Nearly every business wants to promote its products with bold, exciting copywriting. And that’s a good thing! However, that exuberance sometimes leads to inconsistent or unnecessary capitalization of general product nouns. (“Our new Sandwich is the best!”) Here are four tips to help you decide when to capitalize product names in your own copywriting. (Please note that these … [Read more...] about When to Capitalize Product Names