I would prefer to see a post around capitalization, such as as soon as is it suitable to capitalize people’s titles, and when would certainly you capitalize the surname of a team (i.e. Board of Directors) – is “Board” constantly capitalized as soon as you room referring come the group?

A person’s title is capitalized when it precedes the name and also is thus seen as component of the name:

President LincolnBishop Sheen

Once the location occurs, further references come the human being holding the title show up in lowercase:

the presidentthe bishop

The surname of a team is capitalized once it is the full name:

the department of compare Literaturethe board of director of Acme industries

Further recommendations will be created in lowercase:

the departmentthe board

Promotional materials frequently capitalize words like University and also Board every time castle occur.

Generally speaking, the usage of capitals should be reduced as lot as possible. In the lack of a agency style guide, the finest practice is to choose a layout guide for yourself. I describe several, including the AP Stylebook and also the Chicago hand-operated of Style.

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11 Responses to “Capitalizing title of People and Groups”

kircon September 01, 2010 1:51 am

Another an excellent topic covered, Maeve! great job!

How around when we’re taking care of college courses? perform we always capitalize the name of the course? because that instance, Bachelor of scientific research in company Administration significant in Marketing

Eleanor K. Sommeron September 01, 2010 9:12 am

You forgot to cite my pet peeve together an editor! human being capitalizing experienced positions or title after a name, e.g., jane Smith, president of abc company; or Joe Brown, Secretary. These title should be lower case.

And I have actually a associated question: World broad Web is a proper noun, and as together I have actually for years as an editor honored that along with many of mine colleagues, correcting internet to Web, and also maintaining “site” different from “Web,”i.e., “Web site.”

However, I currently perceive this is a losing battle and also I am about ready come succumb and let my client (many that them college professors) use “web” and also “website.” One in reality insists i make this change in her work.

Any think on this?

Precise Editon September 08, 2010 12:28 pm

Great reminders, Maeve. This echoes the principle that words supplied as appropriate names, or components of proper names, room capitalized. This is why we write “President Obama speak clearly” and also “the president speaks clearly.”

This likewise applies to “mom,” “dad,” and also other names because that relations, as debated in “Capitalizing Mom and also Dad”. Capitalization rules are consistent, so we create “I gave Mom a flower” and “My mother loves flowers.” To confirm this, we deserve to substitute a person’s surname for “mom” to view if “mom” is being used as a ideal name.

EleanorWe usage “website” (one word, lowercase) and also “the Web” or “the World vast Web” (capitalized as a proper noun). We additionally use “Internet” or “Interweb” (both capitalized) together the appropriate name because that the electronic data infection network. Mine pet peeve is “internet” (lowercase). The dispute on this continues….

Kirk: I would capitalize the surname of a course, together in “I am to teach ‘The Essentials of composing Mechanics’ on Thursday.” top top the various other hand, I would certainly not capitalize the name for a subject, topic, or ar of study, together in “I am teaching a course on writing.” However, if the topic name is a ideal name, I would certainly capitalize it, together in “I am to teach English courses for the university,” however I wouldn’t capitalize “physics” in “I am teaching physics courses for the university.”

This is a timely topic! ideal now, I’m pointing out with a customer the capitalization of “Union” and also “Confederate” together they describe the opposing sides in the polite War. Because that example, the customer prefers “the Union soldiers” and “the confederate army.”

Big Steveon September 08, 2010 2:33 pm

I choose your site, but your explanation is a tiny unclear. You to speak “President Obama” have to be capped, and also you speak “further references” have to not. What does that mean? Your instances are not enough. Go “further references” only refer to her example, “the president?” Or does it refer to all situations, even “President Obama?” How about if the first instance is “the president?” have to that it is in capped? How around if the second instance is the same to the first? must both be capped — or neither — or simply the very first one?

Joanneon September 11, 2011 8:19 pm

Anyone desire to weigh in top top this:

In my occupational of fiction, I have a father and also son. I want to usage “senior” to describe day, however all references to exactly how to capitalize this are more along the lines of the correct way to write the surname on a document, letter, etc. I want to know how to capitalize/punctuate the “senrio” in sentences. Because that example,

“Surely George, Sr. Had actually stashed a flashlight or a couple of candles…”


“Surely George an elderly had stashes a flashlight or a few candles…”

Any opinions? I’m leaning toward “a”. My just discomfort with that is even if it is it will cause the leader to stumble.

Joanneon September 11, 2011 8:20 pm

Er, to refer to the DAD (not day). A pox ~ above me.

Joanneon September 11, 2011 8:21 pm

And “senior” (not “senrio”). I m really sorry – there is miscellaneous happening down the hall that is totally distracting me.

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marianneon august 19, 2013 2:02 pm

I am running throughout a government firm that refers to civilization in positions, and also I don’t recognize whether come capitalize their positions. Because that example, “As Director, you…” ns don’t capitalize it when it is supplied as follows: “As a director, you…”

Are these examples the correct way to capitalize the position held?

michelleon January 24, 2014 4:36 pm

I know you space not an alleged to capitalize titles as soon as they monitor a name, however is this quiet true as soon as you room listing points out? that looks strange.

Here’s an example:John Smith, president, alphabet InternationalJane Smith, an elderly director, DEF Corporation


Mary jane Cummingson April 14, 2015 6:23 pm

I disagree with “Precise Edit” around initialing capitalization. Concerning “President” matches “the president”. Once referring come a details president, it would be, because that example, president Obama or the chairman or our President. As soon as referring to a president whose surname you don’t know, it’s lowercase. Basically, the decision is whether it’s a basic president or a details named separation, personal, instance . The very same rule applies to “state” matches “state”. You capitalize “State” as soon as you are referring to a details state as in State the California even when the doesn’t to speak California–everywhere you describe the State that California, you at first capitalize “State”. This differentiates it from some various other state. However, once referring to the federal government, there is only one, therefore “federal” is lowercase. Example: California has actually a law against child abuse. The State pass this law long after the passed a law versus animal abuse, and federal federal government laws have been enacted as well. A lot of civilization don’t recognize this principle and write “State and also Federal Government” together. Remember, the English language and also its rules adjust all the time. Ns think we must do away through apostrophes due to the fact that most human being don’t obtain when to usage them. Happy writing!

Jody GIbsonon September 11, 2015 1:08 pm

Second references, when still introduce to a singular human such together President Obama, needs the usage of chairman and/or chairman Obama with following references. Much of this counts upon who your audience is, because that example, if you’re composing for publication by the media, acquire an AP format handbook and also follow your title and also punctuation, etc. Guidelines. Businesses may lean more toward Chicago’s hand-operated of Style.

For the many part, less is more. Less capitalization, punctuation, etc. Once writing because that the media. Most “titles” room really simply the surname of the person’s job. Just actual titles prefer Governor So-and-so or Reverend Marshall are capped; “job” space not — farmer Joh Brown. If the reference to one’s position comes after the name, it is hardly ever if ever capitalized in AP Style, however your company might have actually a layout guide on how titles must be written and when they are capitalized. It’s challenging when you edit for a multitude that departments, together the communications department likely complies with AP format while the events staff and also company foundation if you have actually one probably follow Chicago MOS. Again, think about your audience and also then pick what functions best. I google frequently to decision what word to use, or when to capitalize, or how to punctuate miscellaneous I’m unsure about, and also there room a few great website for referral online the I generally agree with, but the style manuals are invaluable guides.