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the east/East of ?

 
 
Reply Fri 14 Aug, 2009 07:32 pm
I found these two sentences in the dictionary” They bought a villa in the South of France.””Her home is in the east of France.”Why “South”is initially capitalized but “east”not? And I also saw a sentence” The countryside is more mountainous in the north (of the country).” So, how to decide whether or not to capitalize the first letter of the direction?
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Type: Question • Score: 0 • Views: 759 • Replies: 5
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Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Aug, 2009 09:42 pm
@jinmin1988,
It appears to me that the 'S' in the "South of France" should not be capitalized.
contrex
 
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Reply Sat 15 Aug, 2009 02:54 am
@Reyn,
To English speakers, the phrase " the South of France" with a capital S is usually taken to mean a specific part of France - the Mediterranean coast, Provence, etc, whereas the "south of France" is merely that part of France lying to the south of the centre.

The capitalisation of the points of the compass, "North, South, East, West" was formerly standard but is now obsolete.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Aug, 2009 09:24 am
@contrex,
Quote:
The capitalisation of the points of the compass, "North, South, East, West" was formerly standard but is now obsolete.


Say it ain't so, please, Contrex. How will the language ever survive? I fear that this was the tipping point and language is now being inexorably stripped from us. The end is nigh.
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contrex
 
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Reply Sat 15 Aug, 2009 10:24 am
So, JTT, exactly what did your last remark "bring to the table"? Nothing very nutritious or appetising. I at least provided some information.

JTT
 
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Reply Sat 15 Aug, 2009 10:41 am
@contrex,
Quote:
So, JTT, exactly what did your last remark "bring to the table"? Nothing very nutritious or appetising. I at least provided some information.


Good historical information too, Contrex. I trust it's accurate.

It allowed me to point up, in a humorous fashion, the dismal arguments put forward by prescriptivists who offer nothing substantial on language issues. It's just lament after lament from them about the very thing that your info told of.

Have you ever read, anywhere, from any prescriptivist, the terrible loss the language has here suffered?

How did it escape you that that is precisely the type of "decline" they constantly whine about?
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