Directions and Regions

The Chicago Style Guide uses the traditional rule of lowercasing compass directions and capitalizing regions. For instance,

  • The front of our house faces east.
  • Turn south after the four-way stop.
  • After living on the East Coast my entire life, the West sure is different.
  • The North was victorious in the Civil War.

The Chicago Style Manual generally does not capitalize the words that are derived from regional terms. For example,

  • I am from the Midwest.
  • I am from a midwestern state.
  • I am a midwesterner.

This is slightly different than what AP Style calls for. AP Style generally does not capitalize the adjectives and nouns derived from regions, but they do capitalize the terms “Midwesterner,” “Northerner,” “Southerner,” etc. Chicago Style does not capitalize these terms with the exception of “Northerner” and “Southerner” during contexts involving the American Civil War.

For more information on capitalizing directions check out our full post on the subject.

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