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Would that be permissible? It just sounds awkward.

Use Cases:

In winter 2010, two penguins, named Jony and Rony, were born.

In winter 2010, five ice-skaters , each in the 130 lb category, won a gold medal for their countries.

If the 2nd part of the sentence is even longer, it makes it harder to switch around the parts of the sentence.

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Should "winter" be capitalised? –  Peter Mortensen Sep 10 '11 at 8:12
    
No, it shouldn't. –  Sum Sep 10 '11 at 18:08
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Capitalizing "winter" in "winter 2010" is optional. See Wikipedia on specific designators. I don't think this case is any different from "Floor 3", where both capital and lowercase are fine. –  Peter Shor Sep 10 '11 at 18:30
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1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

It seems more or less OK to me, unless you prefer to expand the phrase to:

  • In the Winter of 2010, two penguins named Jony and Rony were born.
  • In the Winter of 2010, five ice skaters, each in the 130 lb category, won a gold medal for their country.

There are some subtle changes in the sentences. The obvious one is the use of 'In the Winter of 2010', which is perhaps a more complete phrase than just 'In Winter 2010'. The capitalization of 'Winter' is open to debate in this longer form, too.

The less obvious change in the first sentence is the removal of the commas. With the commas present, the sentence implies that only two penguins were born anywhere during the winter of 2010, and their names happen to be Jony and Rony. With the commas absent, there were two penguins that go by the names Jony and Rony who were born (and there were probably a lot of other penguins born elsewhere).

And the less obvious change in the second sentence is also more debatable, but since each skater won a gold medal for their own (singular) country, that's what I wrote. However, maybe that strictly implies that the five skaters all belong to the same country, and the original (countries) is better.

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Per my answer on this question, I don't think the choice of country/countries necessarily implies anything about whether the skaters are all compatriots. I'm not really convinced by your idea that the first sentence has different meanings depending on whether those extra commas are present. I just think they are stylistically ugly in such a short sentence. –  FumbleFingers Sep 10 '11 at 14:49
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