Two simple mnemonics for capital vs. capitol

I came across a deep confession while browsing Facebook this morning.

I still don’t know the difference between Capitol and Capital. Dead serious, and I’m almost 29 years old and by all accounts, marginally intelligent.

Don’t worry, friend-of-a-friend–you’re not alone and there’s an easy fix.

Capital has many meanings as both a noun and an adjective. (See this post on Grammarist.) Capitol is much narrower. It’s about the buildings in capital cities. There’s the U.S. Capitol, which is capitalized, and there are state capitols, which are not.

So how do you keep straight which is which? Capitols almost all have domes. Alternatively, what do you say when looking at the Capitol in awe? Oooooo!

Here are some pictures of mine from vacations to see the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. and the old Illinois capitol in Springfield (where Lincoln was a lawmaker):

CapitolIL capitol


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