Discovering the use of ‘capitol’ is capital strategy | Columns

George T. Taft

I am astonished at how normally the globe of grammar intersects the headlines. Because the assault on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, I have seen and listened to folks puzzled by each the spelling and the capitalization (critically, no pun supposed) of the word. Let’s dive in.

The terms “capital” and “capitol” have exclusive origins. In fact, “capital” comes from the Latin phrase “capitalis,” which signifies “head,” as nicely as “capitale,” which means “wealth.” Listed here we see why “capital” can signify “money” as effectively as “the condition seat of authorities.”

We also get the this means of “capital letters” from the Latin phrase indicating “head.” This would make feeling due to the fact capital letters stand at the “head” of a phrase.

When it will come to “capitol,” we get this phrase from the Temple of Jupiter Capitolium, or else identified as the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, situated on the Capitoline Hill in Rome.

This temple was a substantial heart of Roman religion and culture and was devoted in the 12 months 509 BC, the similar calendar year the Romans overthrew the Etruscan monarchy, establishing a new republican process of governing administration.

It is assumed that Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., was named immediately after the Capitoline Hill.

When must we capitalize the word “capitol”?

When referring to the building in D.C. exactly where the two bodies of our legislative branch meet, compose “Capitol.”

According to AP design and style, you ought to also refer to the buildings where condition governments satisfy: The pupils toured the Oklahoma Capitol for the duration of their class field journey. These are proper nouns, so they obtain the capital letter procedure.

So if the buildings, as properly as the head of our country’s authorities, are “capitols,” what is a “capital”? A state’s funds is the city wherever the condition conducts its government organization. The time period “capital” refers to the metropolis, even though “capitol” refers to the constructing where the govt satisfies.

Whatsoever you do, will not confuse this with the capitalized Washington Capitals, an NHL hockey staff centered in Washington, D.C. For a couple many years in the early 2000s, the Capitals even integrated the U.S. Capitol dome in their brand. I can not demonstrate it other than the team’s name is misspelled.

Whilst some stylebooks do not capitalize the “c” in state Capitols (the structures), the AP and New York Moments dictate that these significant buildings get the money Capitol procedure. If you are resisting the urge to do normally, most likely it’s time to capitulate.

Curtis Honeycutt, aka The Grammar Person, is a Noblesville-centered syndicated humor columnist. He is the author of “Good Grammar is the Existence of the Social gathering: Guidelines for a Wildly Effective Daily life.” Come across additional at

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