The Far Right, Purple Heart & Ancient Greece

question When you have no idea when to capitalize or lowercase a word or phrase, consult The Chicago Manual of Style. It’s filled with more information than you could dream of reading in one day.


Do I need to capitalize ancient before the names of countries?

No. Lowercase the word ancient when it precedes a country.

  • ancient Greece
  • ancient Rome
  • ancient Egypt


Do I capitalize the Devil?

No. Lowercase it, but capitalize the name Satan.

  • the devil

But capitalize:

  • the Trinity
  • the Deity
  • the Holy Ghost


Do I lowercase military medals and awards?

Actually, you need to capitalize them.

  • Purple Heart
  • Silver Star
  • Medal of Honor
  • Congressional Medal of Honor


When do I capitalize the word earth?

Only when it is used as a proper name, especially in context with other planets. Be sure to omit the when capitalizing it.

  • Is the earth flat?
  • Where on earth have you been?
  • Does Mars, like Earth, have an atmosphere?
  • The astronauts never returned to Earth.


Do I lowercase or capitalize political groups?

It depends. Names for adherents of political groups or movements other than recognized parties are usually lowercased.

  • anarchists
  • independents
  • moderates


  • the Left
  • the Right
  • the Far Left
  • the Far Right
  • the radical Right


Clear as mud? If you have any questions about capitalization, let me know and I'll answer them.