Capitalization: Directions

June 1, 2005: Issue 92

Capitalize directions when:

• They are part of a proper name (North Carolina).
• They designate a specific region or a region widely known among your audience (Eastern Seaboard, South of France).
• They refer to residents of a specific region (Southerners).

Lowercase directions when:

• They designate compass points (heading south).
• They describe a section of a state or city (central Iowa). This rule has exceptions, such as Southern California. See Directions and Regions for more information.

When in doubt, use lowercase.

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