Write This Down: capital letters

Write This Down: capital letters

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This week in Write This Down: capital letters – Alanna Miller, senior associate, Russell Tobin & Associates

Fun fact! In German, all nouns are capitalized. The following sentence would be written as: Last Night I dressed my Dog in his favorite Sweater and we went to the Grocery Store to buy Potatoes, Sausage and Beer. Thankfully, English does not require us to do this. So when do we capitalize?

Capitalization is reserved for proper nouns: specific names, titles and places. One common example of incorrect capitalization is in job titles:

Correct: Marketing Associate Jennifer Smith has been with Super Scooter Co. for three years.
Incorrect: Jennifer Smith has been a Marketing Associate with Super Scooter Co. for three years.

Why? Because the title follows the name, and is simply acting as a description. Before capitalizing, ask yourself: is this someone, something or someplace specific? If not, it should be lowercase.

Do not capitalize:

  • Names of departments, unless it is an official name (John works in the marketing department– “marketing” should be lowercase.)
  • Titles as a description following a person’s name (Susan is a vice president at Super Scooter Co.– “vice president” should be lowercase.)
  • Names of seasons (Jennifer’s spring allergies are brutal– “spring” should be lowercase.)

Always capitalize:

  • Name brands and trademarks
  • Nationalities, languages and religions
  • Every letter of an acronym