Sometimes it seems obvious; other times it's not. Please post cap/no-cap questions here.

I'll start ...

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So how would one cap this:

The full name is Menlo-Atherton High School, but the witness says, "Menlo high school."

I have a tendency to only fully cap such things if the person says the complete name, so in this case, I have it as "Menlo high school."

It probably seems minor, but I'm a perfectionist. How would you do it?

I'd cap it. I went to Rex Putnam High School but it is more often referred to as Putnam and Putnam High. Still a proper name. I think we get so caught up in things like this that we're not looking at the big picture, as in intent. This is clearly the name of a high school, and it will look like an error on the reporter's part to not cap it.
That's a harder one to decide on, but out of curiousity, I googled it and nothing came up as "Menlo High School" so I would not cap it either. I think if it were commonly referred to as such, I would cap it, but otherwise, no. So that's my two cents and it's probably worth about half that.
i would cap it because the high school is actually Menlo High... not a high school that's in the city of menlo, e.g. (and i'm not e.e. cummings) hehe

unless, of course, "HIgh School" is not actually part of the name of the institution... e.g., Exeter Prep is a high school and preparatory school but doesn't have "high school" as part of its name
If it's commonly referred to that way, I cap it for high schools.

I have this same problem with hospitals. The correct name of our hospital is Mercy Medical Center, but half the time people call it Mercy Hospital. Capped or not capped?
LeAnne, I cap it because of the same reason -- intent.

Up here, we have streets and avenues; numbered thoroughfares are always avenues, but they are 99% of the time called street -- 32nd Street. I always cap that. It would look wrong to not have it capped, and the intent is the road called 32nd, not the 32nd street in succession or from the accident or whatever.
Put this way, it makes perfect sense. Thanks, Brenda!
i agree with brenda... definitely cap it. maybe it will end up in the lexicon of Mercy Med Ctr as "Mercy Hospital" hehe
I would cap it. I agree with Brenda -- leaving it uncapped would look like a reporter error.
Yeah! I vacillate between cap/no cap of hospitals, too, for the exact example you give, LeAnne. But I'll go with the majority and cap my high school.

Thanks, guys!
who's gotten reprimanded, as it were, for overuse of the ellipses??

I often use the ellipsis when speakers trail off. Haven't been reprimanded YET.  Who reprimanded you? The CR firm?  The attorney(s)? Or the witness?


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