And you call yourself a writer? Ugghhh …

brusslesI have no business writing this right now. I’m on an absurd deadline for the writing gig that pays me—a deadline, mind you, that came and went hours ago and yet here I am, playing hooky from reality. But when I read the word “center”(see below) … I just had to throw my two cents into the pot here at The Daily Prompt (bear in mind I thought it said central).

Just last week, while in the middle of editing a magazine due to drop mid-March, I ran into this: central Indiana … and Central Ohio … referenced this way and that way, in the SAME ARTICLE! EGADS!! The gist of the article I was editing is irrelevant, but the writer capitalized the word “Central” in some cases but not in others. And worse, the copywriter changed all references to Central Ohio—capitalized! Again, EGADS!!!!

Once and for all, it works like this … you only capitalize areas that are LARGLY recognized as specific geographic regions or districts (and sometimes political polling areas, but that’s a tad off topic). In other words, while the people who live in central Ohio might be proud of the region, it doesn’t deserve a capital. It isn’t documented on a map as so, therefore, it remains lowercase. For example, East L.A. is capitalized, but west L.A. is not. The Midwest is capitalized, but the western United States is not. The South is capitalized but the south side of Memphis is not. Just as central Illinois is not, central Chicago is not, the list goes on.

Ohhh … don’t get me started on brussels sprouts vs. Brussels sprouts.

That’ll be all for today :) 

And no, I don’t make this stuff up … there’re rules to follow when you write for a publication that follows the Associated Press. It’s simple. Today’s post sponsored by the grammar gods, and of course, the Daily One-word Prompt: Center. Oh, the photo, BTW, that’s Brussels, Belgium … which—just to be clear—is capitalized in all instances. You’re welcome ;)



  1. Actually, I have had this doubt for a while now. I am from the south of India. So, do I call myself a “South Indian” or a “south Indian”? I have always thought it is the latter, but everywhere I read, the S is capitalized.
    Can you please clarify?

  2. Oh how the gods of grammar bedevil me! Embrace the chaos, I say! Where would ee cummings have been if he’d followed the rules? And what about those poor German speakers (German Speakers, german Speakers, GerMan speAkers?) who are confused about whether or not to capitalize (capitolise? cappy-talize?) nouns in another language. Yes, of course, rules are meant to be followed. But they are oh, so much more fun to break. Just saying.

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