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Capitalizing "city"?

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  • Capitalizing "city"?

    I should probably know this, but I keep going back and forth. This is a workers' comp transcript where the claimant is suing the City of Oak Park, which was his employer. The attorney consistently calls it "the city," as in, "I think you started with the city in 2005" or "Doctor's Care is where the city sends you." Would these be capitalized? I know he's referring to the City of Oak Park, but he's only saying "the city." TIA!

  • #2
    Morson's says no cap in those instances.
    "We could learn a lot from CRAYONS; some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, while others bright, some have weird names, but they all have learned to live together in the same box."


    • #3
      Thank you so much, Gini!


      • #4
        I agree with Gini. If you'd like, I could find the rule.

        Years ago my mother used to say to me -- she'd say, "In this world, Elwood, you must be" -- she always called me Elwood. "In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me. [From the movie Harvey.]
        Left the CS CRF with 21364 posts.


        • #5
          I capitalize the word City when it is in an administrative sense and is standing alone. The City hired me in 2003. If it is followed by a noun, I don't cap it. The city workers were on strike. It's on page 312 of Margie Wakeman Wells's book.


          • #6
            I follow the Morson's Rules 221 and 222 and don't cap that (at least that's my plan). I like the logic that it would be no different than using the word "company" when referring to it as an entity. So when using it before the name of the city when describing a place, it's lowercase. When it's used in front of the city name referring to it as an entity, it's capped. When used by itself as an entity, lowercase.

            I was hired by ABC Manufacturing to do the job.
            I was hired by the company to do the job.
            I was hired by the City of Elmdale to cut the grass.
            I was hired by the city to cut the grass.
            I live in the city of Elmdale.


            • #7
              But I distinguish it between the area of the ground of the city limits to the City as an administration. So they are two different definitions for the word. If it's ABC Company, when referring to the company, it's still the same definition. It's similar to using Court, capped, to indicate the judge versus the court as the room with individuals in it.


              • #8
                Wow, I go by Morson's, too, for the most part, and I'm kind of surprised to see that Morson's doesn't agree with Loopy here because I agree with Loopy and I totally expected Morson's to back up that logic.

                Hm. Learn something new every day. Thanks for looking that up, Jules!


                • #9
                  Well, I capitalize it when it's being used in a corporate or administrative sense. If someone is speaking of a city, state, or county as a sort of corporate entity with the power to hire, fire, etc., rather than just a geographic locale, then I do cap it.

                  Examples with caps:

                  He is suing the City of San Jose because the City created a dangerous situation when it allowed a known child molester to work with children.

                  He was hired by the County in 2017.

                  He got his disability checks from the State of California. The State sent them to him every other Friday.

                  Examples with no caps:

                  I drove through the state of California and then on to Oregon and Washington. The most beautiful state was California.

                  Here are some examples with caps and no caps:

                  I was living in the state of California when I was contacted by a State employee.

                  I work in the city but am not employed by the City.

                  I find Morson's to be very helpful in most instances, but there are a few of the rules that I don't follow.

                  Last edited by Moellaella; 03-15-2018, 11:32 AM.


                  • #10
                    Okay. That's exactly how I do it. Glad somebody agrees with me Happy.


                    • #11
                      Sorry, I didn't get back on here to thank everyone for your responses. As with many situations, seems to be a bit of a divide on the responses, but I do appreciate it. I always feel that as long as I can back up my reasoning for doing something a particular way (which y'all have helped me to be able to do), I feel good about it :-)