Usage

Q. Hi. We are having a debate at work. We live in Madison, the capital city of Wisconsin. We recently moved into a new office space and named the main conference room the Capital Room. Many of us think it should be “Capitol” because it is named after the state capitol. Others think only the capitol building can be spelled with the “o.” Please advise us so we can get back to work. Thank you.

A. If the room is named for the state capital (city), it should be spelled with an a; if it’s named for the capitol building, it’s spelled with an o. I doubt that your state constitution restricts the use of the word “capitol” to the capitol building. In fact, I’d be surprised if it’s not being used by a pub or two.