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June 12, 2009


Loren Santow

Dear Wordwise editor,
I have a suggestion for a blog topic. It comes up a lot in the textbooks and academic books I currently spend a lot of time reading. Do you have any thoughts on the capitalization of the word "white" as it pertains to race? I go ballistic when I see "White" but I can't articulate exactly why. I don't care for "Black" either but it doesn't chafe as badly. Can you explain why "White" ain't right?
By the way, I'm your brother.

Dan Santo

Racial designations (such as white, black, etc.) are not capitalized, according to AP Style, The New York Times Manual of Style & Usage, and the Chicago Manual of Style. Caucasian and Negro, however, should you have a reason to use either of these words, are uppercased.

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