Capping the Words for the Directions

Margie Wakeman Wells Uncategorized 4 Comments

The words for the directions — north, south, east, west — and any “combined” forms of those are capped when they represent a “recognized” geographical area. There are those we would all recognize.

…lived in South America for a while…
…visited the North Pole…
…vacationed in the South of France…
…moved to Northern California…

These words are not capped when they refer to a direction.

…driving northbound on the freeway…
…lives just south of the capital…
…happened west of the city…

Our “recognition” of an area might depend upon how familiar we are with an region. I live in Los Angeles. I know there is a West Los Angeles and an East Los Angeles. These are capped.

If I were to hear “north Los Angeles,” I would have no clue. That is not a “recognized” area of Los Angeles. The word north in “north Los Angeles” is not capped. It is not a recognized area; it is just a direction. I am sure you know things like that about where you live — which fact makes it difficult for the reporter to always know what should be capped.

Happy punctuating!


Comments 4

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      Not sure what your question is, Richard.

      If it is punctuation, I would not put a comma after “last week.”

      Hope you are well. Fun to see your name pop up.


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