1 2 3
Hi,

Please tell me when you would capitalize the word "western" and when not. I think they are adjectives.

Western??

western??
Contributing Member1,969
BelieverHi,

Please tell me when you would capitalize the word "western" and when not. I think they are adjectives.

Western??

western??

When [western] is used as a proper name, i.e. Best Western (a hotel chain).

is located at the western part of the . No cap.
Senior Member3,816
Western is frequently capitalized when it refers to Western culture or politics:
He prefers Western clothes.

Cheers
CB
Veteran Member8,023
Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.Trusted Users: Trusted users are allowed to use additional capabilities of the site such as private messaging to all users and various other advanced features. You cannot join this role unless you are promoted by an administrator.
Cool BreezeWestern is frequently capitalized when it refers to Western culture or politics:
He prefers Western clothes.

Cheers
CB
I am not so sure!Emotion: wink eastern, southern, western or northern are all adjectives describing directions. Other than special cases, like "Northern Lights", no cap is needed.

Western Appliances - as it's the name of a store, Yes, capitalized.

western culture - needs no capitalization for western is just an adjective.

That's my understanding Cheers!
Goodman
Cool BreezeWestern is frequently capitalized when it refers to Western culture or politics:
He prefers Western clothes.

Cheers
CB
I am not so sure!Emotion: wink eastern, southern, western or northern are all adjectives describing directions. Other than special cases, like "Northern Lights", no cap is needed.

Western Appliances - as it's the name of a store, Yes, capitalized.

western culture - needs no capitalization for western is just an adjective.

That's my understanding Cheers!
Hi Goodman

I didn't say western needed to be capitalized, I said it frequently is. This is what Webster's Dictionary says about it:
1. lying toward or situated in the west: our company's western office.
2. directed or proceeding toward the west: a western migration.
3. coming or originating from the west, as a wind.
4. (often cap.) of, pertaining to, living in, or characteristic of the West, esp. the western U.S.: a Western ranch.
5. (usually cap.) Occidental: to adopt Western dress.
6. (usually cap.) of or pertaining to the non-Communist countries of Europe and the Americas: Western trade agreements.
7. (cap.) of or pertaining to the Western Church.
–n.
8. (often cap.) a story, movie, or radio or television play about the U.S. West of the 19th century.
9. See western sandwich.
10. a person or thing from a western region or country.

Thanks for the beer!

Cheers
CB
Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.Trusted Users: Trusted users are allowed to use additional capabilities of the site such as private messaging to all users and various other advanced features. You cannot join this role unless you are promoted by an administrator.
Anonymous:
Go to a style book, such as Chicago Manual of Style online -- not a grammar/punctuation handbook. In other words, whether to capitalize or not depends on which conventions, or patterns of usage, one is using as an authority. There is no fixed authoritative answer to the question, and writers do refer to 'the west' and also to 'the West, ' depending on factors, such as local convention and the conventions used by the publisher.

Chicago treats the matter from the point of view of someone who's never been required to write about matters in a global perspective. They are still giving directions on whether to refer to the western United States as 'the west' or 'the West.' They choose the latter, but want lower case for the adjective (as I just used it). Certainly some of the burden for what one means by referring to the west/West is carried by the context. If you say, "The Muslim world suspects the west," we know that America and European civilization, in general, are meant. On the other hand, in order to be absolutely clear at first mention, one should write 'the West', when referring to what is now a global term that takes in not only geography but also culture and attendant value systems. When capitalized (anywhere outside of America) 'the West' is clearly understood. Within the United States, it's possible for the word to mean: that portion of the United States west of the Mississippi River. Clearly the writer with a feel for context will take pains to avoid such ambiguities and provide whatever explanation is necessary, if the subject area of a written piece takes in both global perspectives and specifically American perspectives.

An American writing instructor living in Cairo
Anonymous:
What about Southern?

as in southern California? there are inconsistencies, so what is the norm?
Anonymous:
Do you capitalize Western Civilization in the following sentence: Latin provides the key to appreciating the richness of Western Civilization.

Mary Jane
AnonymousWhat about Southern?

as in southern California? there are inconsistencies, so what is the norm?

There is no norm about that: southern / Southern California. Emotion: smile

CB
Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.Trusted Users: Trusted users are allowed to use additional capabilities of the site such as private messaging to all users and various other advanced features. You cannot join this role unless you are promoted by an administrator.
Show more
Live chat
Registered users can join here