Capitol or Capital?

With all the recent and upcoming activity in our nation’s capital, it’s important that if you’re commenting on it, it is spelled correctly. Here is the breakdown:

According to The Gregg Reference Manual, the word “capital” used as an adjective can mean “chief” or “foremost” or “punishable by death” (as in a capital crime). As a noun, it can mean “a principal sum of money” or can designate between large and lowercase letters (as capital A and lowercase a). Capital also means “the city that serves as the seat of a country’s government” (Washington, D.C. is this nation’s capital).

The word “capitol” refers to the building in which a state legislative body meets and the capitalized word “Capitol” refers to the building in which the United States Congress meets.

Capitol Hill is an imaginative name for the legislative branch of the U.S. government (Congress) and refers to the site of the Capitol.

An easy way to remember it might be that capitOl refers to a building (think of the Capitol building and its circular dOme so the “o” looks like the dome) where legislative bodies meet and you capitalize it where United States Congress meets.

CapitAl means All the other uses of “capital.”

Photo by Andy Feliciotti on Unsplash


Grammar Giggles – Plenty of Perjury

I saw this one making the rounds on Twitter. I’m pretty sure he meant “penalty,” but someone typed “plenty” and spell check didn’t catch it, so it made it through. Obviously, it is important to proofread every part of a document or letter–the caption, the introduction, the “re:” line, the signature line, any language after that, and the service list. If someone had actually read that paragraph, they should have caught that.

Grammar Giggles – How Many Days Does January Have?

I received this in response to an email I sent out. I realize that 2020 messed with our heads, but there are still only 31 days in January in 2021. It is important to review your out of office email after you type it to make sure it reads the way you want it to.

Grammar Giggles – It’s or Its?

This was on my television as I was checking out the available entertainment this weekend. “It’s” is not the possessive form of “it,” it is a contraction for “it is.” It is confusing because to make other words possessive, you add apostrophe “s,” but with the word “it,” the apostrophe “s” is only added to make it a contraction. Otherwise, “its” is the possessive form of “it.”

Grammar Giggle – Eat Outdoors Every Day–Just Not At This Restaurant

I saw this recently at a restaurant. “Outdoor” is defined as “done, situated, or used out of doors.” It should be one word. “Everyday” is an adjective (a word that modifies a noun) defined as “happening or used every day” as in “Her everyday chore is doing the dishes.” “Every day” is an adverb (a word that modifies or qualifies an adjective, verb, or other adverb or a word group, expressing a relation of place, time, circumstance, manner, cause, degree–in this case relation of time to offering outdoor dining and take out). In this instance, “everyday” should be two words. See a tip for figuring out when to use “every day” here.

Grammar Giggle – Voting Wardrobe Matters!

As you prepare for Tuesday’s election, I thought this was appropriate. A friend sent this to me and I’ve seen it around on the internet since, but sometimes it isn’t misspellings that make things confusing, but sometimes it is word order. While I get what they meant to say, if they had changed the order of “clothing” and “materials,” it would have the meaning they intended. Instead, it could be read that clothing is not allowed in the polling place. That makes me kind of glad I mailed in my ballot.

Grammar Giggles – It’s All About The Timing

I saw this in a recent email about a local court training session. There are several reasons I know this is incorrect and not just military time. First, the time of the second session is 12:15. Second, the second time is not in military time. And third, it would be 9:15 p.m., which is long after 1:15 p.m.