What weighty words, these two!  With definitions concerning money, government, and matters of life and death, capital and capitol are two words everyone should strive to use correctly. 


Thankfully, only one of these words has multiple definitions.


According to Merriam-Webster online dictionary, capitol only refers to.. “a group of buildings in which the functions of state government are carried out” or “a building in which a state legislative body meets”


Capital covers everything else—capital cities, capital letters, financial capital, capital punishment…and the list goes on.  Unless you are writing about the White House (or another government building), capital should probably be your pick.   Stick with the al ending when discussing capitalism, or describing something as capitalistic, too. 


Remember, where capitol and capital are concerned, capital is almost always correct.  When in doubt, consult your favorite dictionary, but if you’re the wagering kind, capital is your safest bet.