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Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

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Capitalizing Directions

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

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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.

automator Nov-06-2006

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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 Nov-06-2006

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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 Nov-06-2006

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

mapiedra May-08-2007

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

Dveenpick Aug-17-2007

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Southwest and West

anonymous4 Sep-26-2007

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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 Mar-19-2009

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

crbrimer89 Mar-19-2009

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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 Apr-27-2009

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

Manda Sep-26-2012

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@Manda - overall, no. See http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/westward

Giv us the sentence and then we can tell.

AnWulf Sep-27-2012

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I love skiing out west. Would west be capitalized? Out?

Marilyn Dec-07-2016

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@Marilyn If "west" here simply means to the west of the city, then no. However if you mean a specific region of the country such as the Rockies, then you could imply this by capitalizing given the right context. See :
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/west

jayles the meek Dec-08-2016

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Which is correct:

"Under the stairs by south hall. South hall was make-out central."
OR
"Under the stairs by South Hall. South Hall was make-out central."

South hall being a specific hall on a school campus. There is no reference in the text regarding signage or official title.

rm Nov-18-2017

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