Driving back up I-65 from beautiful Gulf Shores on Monday, I spotted a billboard that read simply, "85 Years of Bringing Capital to the Capitol." We passed by so quickly I didn't see whose ad it was, but it makes a great usage point. CAPITAL is money poured into an investment. CAPITOL is the building where a legislature meets–NOT the city that is the seat of government. (A spell checker will not catch it if you confuse these two.)
Here is an easy way to remember the difference and never confuse these two words again:
Everything else is CAPITAL (with an A):
- money poured into an investment
- an upper case letter (A or B as opposed to a or b)
- calling for the death penalty (capital crime, capital punishment)
- a town or city that is the official location of government for a state or a nation
- excellent or first-rate, usually British (a capital fellow, a capital good time)
If you simply remember that CAPITOL has only one meaning, you will never confuse these two again!
NOTE: The next post will offer an easy tip for choosing PRINCIPLE or PRINCIPAL correctly.
Tags: word usage