Words for Directions

Remember that the words that represent directions -- north, south, east, west -- in any form are capitalized when they represent a recognized geographical area. This presumes that you might have to have some information about a region to know whether it is "recognized." Here in Los Angeles, for example, people would recognize "West L.A." and "East L.A.," but we don't have a "north L.A." I would not say, "I live in north L.A." as it would not mean anything to anyone. ...vacationing in the Northwest... ...going to South America... When the word represents a direction, it is not capped. ...driving south for several hours... ...moving north of the city... This rule does not work when you have a word that might represent a direction but that does not contain one of these four directions. Happy punctuating! Margie