Capitalization Exercise (620)

In each of the following sentences, determine whether one or more words should be corrected to begin with uppercase or lowercase letters; some usage may be correct.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: My Uncle John claims that his new house is haunted.
Correct : My uncle John claims that his new house is haunted.

Terms of relationship such as "uncle," when used before a name and preceded by a possessive pronoun or a noun, are considered descriptions, not titles, so such words are not capitalized. However, when the term is used without a preceding possessive pronoun or a noun, it is considered a title: "We took a tour of Uncle John’s new house, which he claims is haunted."

2.
Original: The Foundation announced that it will award grants to several local service organizations.
Correct : The foundation announced that it will award grants to several local service organizations.

Organizations often capitalize generic descriptive words when referring to themselves ("the Society," "the Company"), but such words should be capitalized only as part of the organization’s full official name ("the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation").

3.
Original: The fall semester begins on Thursday, August 27.
Correct : The fall semester begins on Thursday, August 27.

This sentence is correct as is; names of seasons are not capitalized.

4.
Original: The Supreme Court will issue a ruling that could affect as many as one-third of Congressional districts.
Correct : The Supreme Court will issue a ruling that could affect as many as one-third of congressional districts.

"Congressional" is capitalized only as part of a proper name (for example, "the Congressional Research Service").

5.
Original: They yearned, perhaps, for a new Age of Enlightenment.
Correct : They yearned, perhaps, for a new Age of Enlightenment.

This sentence is correct as is. The reference is to a specific historical era, so the term should be capitalized.

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