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Capitalizing Directions

When do you capitalize directions? ie) Uncle Henry flew south for the winter.

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Northern Alaska's climate is wetter than southern Alaska's climate. is the capitalizing correct????????

mapiedra May 8, 2007, 7:43pm

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Compass directions are capitalized only if referring to a proper place, known by its compass direction. For example, South Bronx, South Central Los Angles, etc. Also, if you were vacationing in "The South" you would capitalize. Same logic applies to the West Wing of the white house.

Saying what direction to travel wouldn't justify capitalization.

jeffrey November 6, 2006, 12:50pm

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Capitalize directions when you are referring to a region as a title for the region and not the direction:

1. I am going south for winter.

2. The South lost the war.

3. The weather is beautiful in southern France.

crbrimer89 March 19, 2009, 2:35pm

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On the other hand, what about the 4 seasons, don't they have to be cap?, i.e.: Uncle Henry flew south for the Winter.
Last Summer, he couldn't wait until it's Fall, adding his anxiety.

Jim Van November 6, 2006, 1:04pm

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Actually, seasons are not generally capitalized. They would only be capitalized if they were used in a title, e.g., Winter Olympics. Names of months and days of the week are capitalized.

porsche November 6, 2006, 2:26pm

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I believe compass directions are capitalized when abbreviated. For example, north northeast would become NNE, correct?

Dveenpick August 17, 2007, 3:27pm

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Yes, Miranda, your capitalization is, lol. Northern begins the sentence and southern doesn't.

crbrimer89 March 19, 2009, 2:38pm

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Southwest and West

Anonymous September 26, 2007, 11:33am

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I know you do not capitalize directions, but I am confused with the surveyor test question below.

Would you capitalize true north in the following sentence?

Sometimes we miscalculate true north when trying to figure declination.

Thanks for your help. Maureen

suntantoes April 27, 2009, 2:10am

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Would you capitalize Westward? it's on my English homework, and I'm kinda confused

Manda September 26, 2012, 3:24pm

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@Manda - overall, no. See

Giv us the sentence and then we can tell.

AnWulf September 27, 2012, 6:14am

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Yes     No