Technical grammar question

WOllfen

Is a wondrous friend of modest Kruppe
#1
Hey all, I have been grinding away on editing and having my books edited for the last few weeks. It is why I have been so quiet, ten hour days are kicking my ass.
Anyway, I have a question that I know you can all answer, this is something that is simple and yet my foggy brain isn't working on anymore. I have a word in my books that I use, which is a descriptor used by the characters and the population of the fantasy realm that they live in. It is "outlands" which is obviously a made up word and it is used to describe the outer provinces of the Kingdom. Here is the thing, within that world, it is not an official term, simply a colloquialism used in conversation. Does it still need to be capitalized as such?
Let me know what you think, cheers.
 

wakarimasen

Journeyed there and back again
#2
I think this may be one of those things that can be a bit subjective.
For me, I would say if there is only one region of outlands (not an eastern outlands as opposed to the western etc.) I would capitalise it as it is a noun referring to a particular instance.
I daresay you can do either though - Your word. Your rules.
 

l3gacy

Dr. Awesomesauce
Staff member
#3
I'd think lowercase is fine, especially if it is a catchall (all lands outside of the kingdom). Typically directional descriptors ("the northeast" and "the south" for instance in the USA) are lowercase. If it's a formally named region, though, I'd say capitalize (Florida, New York).
 

atheling

A Poet of the Khaiem
#4
Tolkien somewhere uses the word "wilderlands" to describe a wild part of Middle Earth. Obviously a made-up word (but clever: some people don't catch it--he was crafty like that), and I think it was used uncapitalized because it was not a proper name, but I can't find it now. It's not in the LotR index (not interesting enough I guess). Might have been in The Hobbit. Anyway, that would be a precedent if I were right.
 

WOllfen

Is a wondrous friend of modest Kruppe
#7
Okay, thanks guys for the general consensus, I am not going to be using capitalizing of the word in my books. The word isn't used often, but hey, I want to get it right nonetheless, cheers and thanks!