Capital idea/ Capitol building

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Capital or Capitol?   Why are these spelled differently? Answer from previous post: Capitol refers to a building. Capital refers to everything else.   Example: The capitol building is in the state capital.  If capitol refers to buildings, is it necessary to say building?  How about, the capitol is in the state capital.  Wow, sounds ridiculous but it’s just an example.  These should be correct, if I understand right. Sentences start with capital letters.  The capital ($) to build the capitol (building) is in the bank.  Let me know if I made a mistake, please.  

capital capitol asked Aug 31 '13 at 03:12 TERRY H. New member

2 answers


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As it so often does, this comes down to function.

 

If you are EVER using capital or capitol as an adjective for anything other than the U.S. Capitol (building [and, no, you don't have to say building]), or a state capitol (where legislation occurs) then you will use capital.

Use capital letters. (adjective)

He was a capital guy. (adjective)

I disagree with capital punishment. (adjective)

and so on.

link comment answered Aug 31 '13 at 14:54 Aaron Prejean Expert
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I was taught many years ago in school that capitol has an 'o' in it, and dome has an 'o' in it, and most capitols have domes.  That has helped me keep it straight for a lot of years.

link comment answered Aug 31 '13 at 19:55 Lewis Neidhardt Grammarly Fellow

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