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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

When To Capitalize Titles (at work)

A simple guideline is this: when you wish to add importance to a noun, capitalize it: the title (chair, president, director, manager, editor...) that precedes a name (Chair Anderson, Senior Editor Johnson). When the title follows the name or is used without a name, no caps!

My own preference is to always capitalize “President” when referring to the President of the United States. Use capital letters for letter abbreviations (CEO, IBM, PBS), and for your company and/or boss. Because the capital letter indicates importance, use it when referring to the ones you wish to impress (or are required to pay tribute).

If you work for a government, you have my sympathies. You may choose (or be required) to capitalize the outfit: federal/Federal, city/City, state/State, army/Army.  
Check your group’s style manual carefully.

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