Down With Capitalism

Capitalism can be a very ugly thing. I say this with all sincerity, though with no reference whatsoever to economic systems. (Trust me: As someone who had to learn economics using M&M’s, this is for the best.)

Why, oh why, do people insist on capitalizing things willy-nilly? Does it make them feel more important? Stop capitalizing random words. Stop capitalizing what the Associated Press calls “common noun elements of a name when they stand alone.” Just stop it.

In my opinion, the worst victims of capitalization are university, president and city. Especially city. Double-especially when referring to lesser cities such as San Francisco. The City? Really? Please.

Here are some examples to help you:
Penn State University has the best football team.
but
The university will celebrate a national championship this year.

President Obama lives in the White House.
but
The president looks old.
(Once and for all: Only capitalize titles when they immediately precede a proper name: Apple Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs is a genius. but Steve Jobs, chief executive officer of Apple, is a genius.)

New York City is the capital of the universe.
but
The city has the best pizza. (Let’s review: Even mention of a real city doesn’t get capped when it’s not the full proper name.)

Long live the lowercases!

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