Geography: Names based on place names

January 23, 2003: Issue 48

SIM STYLE: Where in the world is … ?
Many of the terms that show up frequently in SIM are derived from or are similar to place names. But that doesn’t mean they’re always capitalized.
Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the most common.

CAPITALIZE 
• Adirondack chair
• Brussels sprouts
• Key lime
• Persian rug
• plaster of Paris
• Provençal
• Roman shade
• Shasta daisy

LOWERCASE
• bristol board
• japan (varnish, style)
• mecca (general usage)
• paisley
• portland cement
• saltillo (tile)
• spartan (general usae)
• venetian blinds (Note: Most other “Venetian” terms are capped—”Venetian glass,” “Venetian red.”)

There are plenty more. When in doubt, check the SIM Word List first, then Webster’s 11th. If Webster’s notes “often cap,” capitalize the term accordingly.

Note: Wine and cheese names, in particular, are commonly derived from place names. You can find lists of both with proper capitalization in the Food section of the SIM Stylebook.

For more information see Issue 18.

GRAMMAR: Should I use “toward” or “towards”?
“Toward” is preferred. The same is true for other “-ward” words: backward, forward, upward, downward, etc.

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