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When to Capitalize Seasons

Whether you are an enterprising free lancer, amateur storyteller or simply an enthusiastic writer, there are times when you feel stuck in your writing, and one of the hardest things to learn about good writing is correct capitalization.

Seasons (as in summer, winter, autumn and spring) can be either small letter and capitalized, depending on your writing. Here are some examples when seasons should be capitalized:

· Beginning of a sentence

If the season comes at the start of your sentence, it should definitely be capitalized. For example:

Summer marks the start of bikinis, sunbathing and long walks down the beach at sunset.

Autumn Sale! Mark down Prices

· Proper Noun

Many people and establishments actually carry a season as their proper name. For girls, Summer or Autumn is actually a very popular name, and Winter and Spring is actually becoming fast popular as well.
Often, leisure-oriented places such as casinos, hotels and resorts are named after the seasons as well. Spring and Summer denotes a fun, casual time outdoors (which is why resorts use them as their name sometimes), while Autumn and Winter denotes a cozy snuggle and warmth by the fire (great for hotels).
Sometimes, pet owners also use the seasons to name their pets. Since they are used as a proper noun, the seasons should also be capitalized then.

· As Part of a Title

When you are using seasons as part of your title, you should also capitalize the seasons as per the rules of writing titles. For example:

Peter and Jane’s Summer Beach Fun

Sally’s Winter Wonderland

Writing is a very easy and enjoyable task if you are comfortable with doing so. You need to be able practice regularly to hone your skills in writing so that in due time, writing well and correctly would become second nature to you. You will know instinctively when you should capitalize seasons.

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  1. Confusion on whether to capitalise seasons’ names is widespread. The generally accepted rule on capitalising specifies, among other situations, proper nouns or instances where the word is what we call a specific person, persons or places, whether in addressing them (usually just people) or referring them (people or places).

    I live in St Louis.

    China is Earth’s most populous country.

    ‘Camelot’ or ‘Mordor’ are names of fictional places, but names of proper nouns (specific places or land features)

    The Sea of Tranquillity is on the Moon.

    Where in Hell have you been? What on Earth do you mean?

    Put your faith in God, but tether your camel.

    In the North, we don’t eat grits.

    While we Americans readily capitalise proper nouns as with names helping us separate days of the week, US minds slam shut on the matter of seasons’ names. Not done in all other English-speaking countries.

    Who knows why? The only explanation can be that someone in high authority violated common sense, said so, and it caught on. Being culturally insecure, we accept as God’s truth a senseless rule directly contradicting a far more sensible, encompassing rule.

    Some words are capitalised or not depending on use.

    “Who is Mr Smith? Mr Smith is my dad.” <first uses as proper noun; last as common noun.

    In dialogue or in letters uses can shift back and forth.

    "I love you, Dad. You were the best dad ever." <Just as we call our moon and sun, the Moon and the Sun, we call our dad, 'Dad'. Another example, "Look out, Dad, that limb is falling!"

    "Hey, Guy! You almost spilled kerosene on me!"

    "What do you think I am, Sir?!"

    "Hey, Mack, gotta a match?"

    “It is time to call it a day, Gentlemen.”

    “Good night, Mates!” But “Any of you blokes know the time?”

    Our American usage is too oft choked by school-marmish rules, whose discussion would fill needless chapters.

    Advice. If your teacher says not to capitalise seasons’ names, despite the capitalisation rule pointing in the exact, opposite direction, play along. Same if your boss worships the rule against capitalising only seasons’ names and other mindless chicken-shit rules. Not all rules are mindless. Just some.


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