Capitalization Exercise (708)

In each of the following sentences, correct one or more words that should begin with uppercase or lowercase letters.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: The Africanized Honeybee is a hybrid of the European bee and the African bee, originally brought west to Brazil to improve honey production.
Correct : The Africanized honeybee is a hybrid of the European bee and the African bee, originally brought west to Brazil to improve honey production.

Words that are part of a species name are capitalized only when a word is a proper noun. In this case, "Africanized" refers directly to the continent of Africa and is therefore capitalized, but "honeybee," just like "bee," is generic.

2.
Original: Deadly floodwaters that tore through a Boy Scout troop’s New Mexico campsite as they slept turned their tents into wet cages that clung to their bodies like saran wrap.
Correct : Deadly floodwaters that tore through a Boy Scout troop’s New Mexico campsite as they slept turned their tents into wet cages that clung to their bodies like Saran Wrap.

Saran Wrap is a brand name, so the reference should be capitalized. Better yet, treat the analogy generically: "Deadly floodwaters that tore through a Boy Scout troop’s New Mexico campsite as they slept turned their tents into wet cages that clung to their bodies like shrink-wrap cellophane."

3.
Original: "We finally found a great storefront in the heart of downtown that really excites us," said company President and co-owner John Smith.
Correct : "We finally found a great storefront in the heart of downtown that really excites us," said company president and co-owner John Smith.

Because "president" does not immediately precede "John Smith" and is part of a description and not a title, it is not capitalized.

4.
Original: The Verrazano-Narrows bridge is a double-decked suspension bridge in New York City.
Correct : The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is a double-decked suspension bridge in New York City.

The word or words for a type of structure is capitalized if it is part of the official name of the structure.

5.
Original: "Of Mice And Men" has been a frequent target of censors for vulgarity and what some consider offensive and racist language.
Correct : "Of Mice and Men" has been a frequent target of censors for vulgarity and what some consider offensive and racist language.

Conjunctions such as "and," as well as articles and most prepositions, are not capitalized in the midst of the title of a movie, book, or similar creative work.

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