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The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

Category: Capitalization

Capitalization of Seasons: Are Seasons Capitalized?

Posted on Friday, July 30, 2021, at 6:00 am

Winter might be coming, or you might have a spring in your step. The seasons tell us a lot about climate, mood, and even which fashions and foods are in style. But grammatically, they can sometimes summon a headache. For instance, do you know if you should capitalize the names of seasons when you’re writing …

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Capitalizing Titles

Posted on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, at 6:00 am

When and how to capitalize titles of works and titles of formal rank or professional status can remain a common question. We'll focus on that topic today for additional clarity. (Note that style for capitalizing titles can vary among stylebooks and in-house style guidelines. What we share here offers a baseline that you can follow; …

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Should Dog Breeds Be Capitalized?

Posted on Friday, June 18, 2021, at 6:00 am

Suppose you are writing about a type of dog – or even to your favorite dog – and need to mention a type or breed. Should the dog breed be capitalized? This is a common question in American English for a couple of reasons. First, because dogs are a big part of our lives, they …

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We the People, or…?

Posted on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, at 7:00 am

For much of the last two months, we have been analyzing why the subject pronouns I, he, she, we, they and the object pronouns me, him, her, us, them are chronically misused and confused. In this final installment, we'll deal with flawed sentences like Politicians should respect we the people and It's a happy outcome …

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A Study of Style: The U.S. Military

Posted on Tuesday, August 18, 2020, at 11:00 pm

Our exploration of American English strives to venture even further than the principles that guide writing with precision and eloquence. We are also interested in the language variances beyond what we accept as common for information exchange. For example, we know that United States can be abbreviated, often as either US or U.S. One might …

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Sabotage in Broad Daylight?

Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at 7:00 am

If you like being punched in the gut, type the word literally into Google, everyone's favorite internet search engine. Here is what you'll find: 1. in a literal manner or sense; exactly. "the driver took it literally when asked to go straight across the traffic circle" 2. INFORMAL used for emphasis or to express strong feeling while …

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Christmas ‘Log Review

Posted on Tuesday, December 10, 2019, at 11:00 pm

Every year, for six weeks or so, I get a taste of what it's like to be a superstar. From late October to early December, I am accosted daily by an aggressive mob of stalkers who know where I live. Their urgent need for my attention seems to be their only reason for being. No, …

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Declining or Just Changing?

Posted on Tuesday, May 7, 2019, at 11:00 pm

If you think you know your English, Ammon Shea’s Bad English: A History of Linguistic Aggravation might make you question your most cherished notions. The book has a lot to offer grammar sticklers with open minds, but it will challenge—and enrage—most traditionalists. People who care about language tend to deplore the slovenly habits of their …

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Year-End Quiz 2018

Posted on Tuesday, January 8, 2019, at 11:00 pm

Another year of grammatical exploration has concluded with linguistic miles behind us. What we’ve learned and discussed with you along the way has been illuminating, and we are grateful for the thought and insight it has inspired. We hope you gathered even more sharpened tools for communicating in concise and eloquent English. A year-end review …

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In the Zone: It’s About Time

Posted on Tuesday, August 7, 2018, at 11:00 pm

We’re all aware of how vital marked and measured time is to guiding and structuring our days. How then do we treat it in precise and careful writing? We offered some guidelines in our updated April 2017 article Writing Dates and Times. We’ll expand on those here by delving deeper into the most recent editions of …

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