Tag Archives: Southern California

To Capitalize or Not to Capitalize, That May Be Your Question

Here are two situations that confuse people about whether they should capitalize:

1) The seasons: Ordinarily, do not capitalize seasons. For instance, “It will be spring in a few days.” However, if you need to document which particular spring, do capitalize the season: “Your next evaluation will be in Spring 2015.”

2) Directions vs. geographical areas: The latter are capitalized. For example, the Near East, the South, Southern California, the Mid-Atlantic states. Directions, however, are not capitalized. “She got on the San Diego Freeway and crept south for over 50 miles.”

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Is It Raining Continuously or Continually?

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Finally, finally, we have had measurable rain in Southern California. Until this storm began last night, we had just a little over an inch of rain this entire season, which began last July. Normal rainfall for this period is 11 inches. We who live here want and need more—a lot more. But do we want it to rain continuously or continually?

It’s easy to get these two words confused. CONTINUOUSLY means without interruption, whereas CONTINUALLY means sporadically, intermittently. The former would be a problem, as the hillsides are so dry that a deep soaking all at once would lead to the landslides you read about here. On-and-off rain, continual rain, would allow the water to sink in without causing erosion. A way to remember the difference between these two words might be to notice that CONTINUOUS has an S, and that, unfortunately, stands for slides. Think continual rain for us here in this parched land.

Yes, the climate is changing rapidly, a cause of concern for all.

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