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Chapter 17. Capitalization and Abbreviat... > Capitalization: A Capital Idea - Pg. 173

Capitalization and Abbreviations: Go to the Head of the Class 173 · · · · · The greeting of a letter: Dear Ms. Ramirez: · The first word in the complimentary close of a letter: Sincerely yours, Yours very truly, Capitalize the first word of each item in an outline: I. Introduction A. Topic sentence B. First major point C. Second major point Capitalize the titles of books, plays, newspapers, and magazines: · A book title: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Grammar and Style , Second Edition · A play: If Pigs Could Fly · A newspaper: The New York Times · A magazine: The Atlantic Monthly Capitalize titles before a person's name: Dr. Frankenstein, Ms. Steinem Capitalize abbreviations that appear after a person's name: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Laurie Rozakis, Ph.D. Take My Word for It When should you capitalize compass points such as north, south, east, and west? Here's the scoop. Capitalize a compass point when it identifies a specific area of the country, as in this example: "We live in the South." Don't capitalize a compass point when it refers to direction: "The breeze comes from the east." · Capitalize titles used in direct address: Doctor, I have a pain in my side. · Capitalize titles of parents and relatives not preceded by a possessive word: We saw Mother kissing Santa Claus. I saw my father with my mother. · Capitalize geographical places and sections of the country: Europe, Asia, United States of America, Lake Erie, Mars, the South · Capitalize the names of specific historical events, eras, and documents: The Civil War, the Renaissance, the Magna Carta Strictly Speaking Should you always capitalize the names of countries and languages? Should it be french fries or French fries? spanish omelet or Spanish omelet? Dictionaries vary; no one's in agreement. Here's your rule of thumb: Pick one style and stick with it. · Capitalize the names of languages, nationalities, countries, and races: Languages: French, German, Russian Nationalities: American, Japanese Countries: America, England Races: African American, Asian