Saturday, August 21, 2010

Capital vs. Capitol: It's All About the "O"



Do you have a homophone that is your nemesis? I thanked @polomex on Twitter for tipping me off yesterday to the BBC tutorial on how to remember the difference between stationary and stationery. He replied by saying:
"Funnily enough, those homophones don't confuse me. Capitol/capital always trips me up though."
Capital vs. capitol is a common spelling mix-up.


Definitions:
  • capital (adj.) - a town or seat that is the seat of state government; upper case (as in a capital "C"); punishable by death; chief in importance; wealth in the form of money or property; and a whole lot of other definitions.
  • capitol (n.) - a building in which a state legislative body meets; the building in which the United States Congress meets in Washington.

Nifty Mnemonics:
  • You almost always use capital with an "a"  because capital can have many meanings but capitol has only one.
  • Think "o" for capitol. It refers to a building with a roof, usually where the governor works. Most capitols have a dome.
  • Use a capital "C" when referring to the building where Congress meets.

    15 comments:

    1. Not only is this very helpful, but the tone is easier to read than standard Grammar Nazi.

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    2. I am a Grammar Nazi...

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    3. How dare you throw around a term like that? It is not a word to be used lightly. It is a word that speaks of horrors committed to millions of innocent people.

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      1. No, it's a word that relates to the best known fascist party of history. 'Grammar Nazi' is a common expression. People aren't going to stop using it to sate do gooding weirdos like you.

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      2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    4. It’s amazing to visit again n again coming to your blogs the superb effort is here.Grammarly reviews

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    5. Well. FINALLY. An answer to this question. I think it is one of the most confusing homophones in the language. Phew.

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    6. This is quite amazing blog because i don't know much about english grammar so i will ask you to reword my sentence as possible as soon.

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    7. There are even the better possible facts and the ideas have been placed on with effective guides and favorably help the students to achieve their desired means.

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    8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    9. thanks dawg for the help

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    10. English language is really not among the easiest languages in the world, even for native speakers. That's why there is a demand and ask for English grammar check software, a technology that has evenhandedly new and getting more sophisticated day in and day out. See more sentence structure check

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    11. Relative to Bart's statement: do linguists ever pipe up here? How do those who warn against double etc negatives explain the pairs of negatives required in the French language? For example:
      Il n'ont pas des bals. Or
      Je n'en ai rien.

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