Monday’s total eclipse

Parts of the United States will experience a total solar eclipse on Monday. That means the moon will be between the sun and the Earth for a brief period. It’s a rare event that won’t be visible again in the U.S. until 2044.

Much less rare is inconsistent capitalization for the entities involved in this phenomenon. You often see “sun” and “moon” capitalized, even though they don’t need to be.

Don't capitalize "moon," even when referring to the Earth's moon: "The moon was visible behind the clouds." Lunar events such as blue moons are also not capitalized: "Tonight is the last chance to see a super blood moon until 2033." "Supermoon" is one word: "She stayed up to see the supermoon." Don't capitalize "sun," even when referring to the Earth's sun: "After three straight days of rain, they were excited to see the sun come out." Use one word for "sunray," "sunrise" and "sunset": "They stayed outside until sunset."

But what about Earth? That’s a different story.

Longtime subscribers might remember that we covered that one last year ahead of Earth Day. You should capitalize “Earth” when you’re referring to the planet, which is why you see us capitalizing it in references to the solar eclipse. But you don’t capitalize it in common phrases, such as, “Why on earth would I do that?”

Where on Earth do you plan to be for the solar eclipse? Hit reply and let us know.

💌 A tip a week

This post is adapted from Stylebot’s weekly writing tips newsletter. Subscribe here to get a writing tip in your inbox every Friday.

💬 Get reliable, ethical writing advice at your fingertips

Improving your writing means making better choices every day. Stylebot makes it easy with our Slack, Teams and Google Chrome extensions. Try Stylebot for free today.

📝 About Stylebot

Stylebot helps media professionals save time without sacrificing quality by answering editing questions on Slack, Microsoft Teams and Google Chrome. We’re on a mission to make editing faster, easier and more fun ✨ Learn more about Stylebot or follow us Instagram, X or LinkedIn.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.