Is Moon Capitalized?

by on July 18, 2005

As I started writing this week’s column, I realized that I did not know the capitalization rules for “moon.” After a brief search online, I learned both the rules and an argument for changing the rules. Here’s the scoop.

As proper nouns, the names of celestial bodies should be capitalized: Mars, Saturn, Venus. But do not capitalize earth, moon, sun unless used as proper nouns in context with other capitalized planets. So we have: “The Moon is closer to Earth than Mars is.” and ” Jupiter’s four largest moons are Ganymede, Io, Europa, and Callisto.”

But Sam Dinkin, a columnist for “The Space Review” argues “The way we think about the Moon and the amount of money we are willing to invest in the Moon are tied up in how it appears in writing and how we emphasize it when talking… Once the Moon is redefined as a place to enjoy and not just to explore, the money will follow with a capital M.”

What do you think?

Aoleon April 5, 2009 at 7:03 pm

Thanks! I wasn’t sure if Earth’s Moon should be capitalized or not. this was a big help. Thanks!

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