Spelling question

OK, not so much spelling as capitalization.

Does moss grow on the north sides of trees, or on the North sides?

Is Alabama in the deep south or deep South?

Did cowboys live in the wild west or the wild West?

Do people speak Czech in eastern Europe or Eastern Europe?

I like this approach:

Capitalize north, south, east, and west when they are part of specific geographic regions or official names of organizations. Don’t capitalize general compass directions.
http://creativepubs.uoregon.edu/capitalization.html

Thus north, South, West, Eastern Europe (if you are referring to the region and not a general location in eastern Europe.

That makes sense. What of someone born in the South? Is he a Southerner?

Does moss grow on the north sides of trees, or on the North sides?
On the north side. Simple directional adjective.

Is Alabama in the deep south or deep South?
Did cowboys live in the wild west or the wild West?
In the deep South and the wild West (possibly Deep South and Wild West). Specific geographical/cultural areas deserving of proper nouns.

Do people speak Czech in eastern Europe or Eastern Europe?
Depends. Referring to which direction or side of Europe, it’s eastern. Referring to being within a specific geographical/cultural area, it’s Eastern.

Okay, language mavens - how’d I do?

Yes.

Whatever the true rule is, it presumably also works for the Wild South and the Deep West.

But the Midwest is neither Wild nor Deep.

or west for that matter.

:dubious: Clear as mud.

I think he was from Arkansas. Uhhmm hmmm.

Originally Posted by Chief Pedant:
Capitalize north, south, east, and west when they are part of specific geographic regions or official names of organizations. Don’t capitalize general compass directions.
Thus north, South, West, Eastern Europe (if you are referring to the region and not a general location in eastern Europe).

Here is the OP’s set of questions:

*"Does moss grow on the north sides of trees, or on the North sides?

Is Alabama in the deep south or deep South?

Did cowboys live in the wild west or the wild West?

Do people speak Czech in eastern Europe or Eastern Europe?"*

I made the assumption tdn knew how to line up the answers…