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Capitalization of Job Titles

With capitalization of job titles, there are rules and then there is the “rule.” The rules are based on some precedent while the “rule” is based on ego. Let’s go over the rules that have precedent first.

Rule: Capitalize job titles immediately preceding the name when used as part of the name.
Example: We asked Chairperson Leong to join us at the meeting.

Rule: Titles immediately following the name do not ordinarily require capitalization.
Examples:
Ms. Leong, chairperson, will join us at the meeting.
Ms. Leong, chair, will join us at the meeting.
Mr. Hanson, editorial adviser for The Independent Journal, helped draft the article.

Rule: When the appears in front of the job title, do not capitalize.
Examples:
Mr. Hanson, the editorial advisor, helped draft the article.
The chairperson, Sarah Leong, will join us at the meeting.
Mr. Cortez was the senior managing director of the Baskin Group.

Rule: Capitalize titles in signature lines.
Examples:
Sarah Leong, Chairperson
Craig Hanson, Editorial Advisor

Rule: Do not capitalize titles when used descriptively.
Example: Ms. Leong, who will chair the meeting, is always on time.

“Rule”: The “ego rule” is that you may have to ignore the above rules in real life. If someone in your office (as in your boss) wants his or her title capitalized in all situations, then do so. Generally, the higher in rank someone is in an organization, the more likely his or her title will be capitalized at all times.

 

Pop Quiz

Correct any errors in the following sentences.

1. Thank goodness for Finance Director, Sam Woo.
2. Sam Woo, our finance director, delivered our third-quarter projections.
3. Sam Woo, Finance Director, delivered our third-quarter projections.

 

Pop Quiz Answers

1. Thank goodness for Finance Director Sam Woo.
2. Sam Woo, our finance director, delivered our third-quarter projections. (CORRECT)
3. Sam Woo, finance director, delivered our third-quarter projections.

Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007, at 12:14 am


185 Comments

185 Responses to “Capitalization of Job Titles”

  1. Dan Howard says:

    Question – is the word “with” to be considered along with “and”, “it”, and “the” to be exempt from capitalization in a heading such as:
    “Guarantee Your Future with XYZ Banking”?

  2. Jane says:

    Dan, “with” is exempt from capitalization in “Guarantee Your Future with XYZ Banking.”

  3. Isabella Leone says:

    What is the right way:

    I should have done it or
    I should have did it

    I think the answer is
    I whould have done it.

    Am I correct?

  4. Jane says:

    I should have done it.

  5. Lindsay says:

    When dealing with titles the APA Publication Manual states, “Conjunctions, articles, and short prepositions are not considered major words; however, capitalize all words of four letters or more.”

    So “with” should then be capitalized, according to this source.

  6. Jane says:

    Lindsay, thank you for pointing out the APA recommendation. I’m on vacation so I will check to see what my Chicago Manual of Style has to say when I return.

  7. Lindsay says:

    I look forward to your reply. Maybe you can also shed some light on my confusion over country and state abbreviation rules.

    I want to know:

    Can you use U.S. or US to represent the United States, does it really matter (NY Times uses both)?

    Or, do you only use U.S. as an adjective (U.S. Army) and US when representing the country by itself?

    For state abbreviations, the AP Stylebook says to “only use postal abbreviations with full address, including zip code.” But, many publications use those abbreviations without the addresses, probably for style.

    NC vs N.C.
    WY vs Wyo.

    Your thoughts?

  8. Jane says:

    I think that the trend will be towards leaving out the periods and using the two letter form for states. I have a hunch that using US will not be far behind. This is more a function of text messaging and email informality plus the post office’s preference for no punctuation than to style rules as dictated by any manuals.

  9. Jane says:

    Lindsey, regarding the AP Style Manual’s rule about capitalizing any word in a title like “with” as long as it is four or more letters:
    The Chicago Manual of Style doesn’t agree but hedges by introducing the following section with this caveat: Chicago recommends the following rules, pragmatic rather than logically rigorous but generally accepted.
    1. Always capitalize the first and last words both in titles and in subtitles and all other major words (nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and some conjunctions–but see rule 4). 2. Lowercase the articles “the,” “a,” and “an.” 3. Lowercase prepositions, regardless of length, except when they are stressed (“through” in “A River Runs Through It”), are used adverbally or adjectivally (“up” in “Look Up,” “down” in “Turn Down,” “on” in “The On Button,” etc.), are used as conjunctions (“before” in “Look Before You Leap,” etc.), or are part of a Latin expression… 4. Lowercase the conjunctions “and,” “but,” “for,” “or,” “nor.” 5. Lowercase the words “to” and “as” in any grammatical function, for simplicity’s sake…

  10. Lynn Limon says:

    Capitalization:

    I am confused when to capitalize the following:

    “It says in the code.” Do I capitalize the word “code”?
    “The council adopted the measure.” Do I capitalize council?
    what is the rule regarding these areas of capitalization?

  11. Jane says:

    Don’t capitalize “code” or “council” unless you have named it previously and want to ensure that your reader(s) recognize that you’re still referring to the same “code” or “council.”

  12. regena says:

    abbr. are complecated i see what you mean they are just to hard to explain much less remember!argh

  13. Jami says:

    In typing a verbatim transcript, titles are not necessarily listed and/or named in a certain way that it’s easy to refer to the rules. Can you please help to shed some light on how to apply these rules in general everyday speech that is written out? For example, I would cap the job title in response to this question: “What is John Smith’s position with the company?” -or- “The last job Mr. Smith held with the company was Finance Director?” What I’ve normally been relying on in these situations is when the question or response is directed at specifically naming a person to a particular title, I will capitalize it. When a position is referenced in general, I don’t cap it. For example, “Who was the supervisor on duty at the time?” -or- “I was trying to get promoted to supervisor.” Do you have any suggestions of ways I can relate these types of situations better to the rules?

    • Jane says:

      You are bringing up the difficulty with capitalization: many of these rules are “rules of thumb.” Your strategy regarding job titles is a widely accepted practice that shouldn’t cause dispute.

  14. Jami says:

    In further thought, I have another instance I’d like to ask about. I type full transcripts, so it gets confusing. It will probably be easier to give an illustration rather than try to explain what I’m asking without it. Here goes:

    “What is John Smith’s title?”
    “Department Supervisor.”
    “Who do you report to?”
    “John Smith.”
    “When the incident happened, what did you do?”
    “I went directly to the supervisor.”
    “Would that be John Smith?”
    “Yes, he is my supervisor.”

    In the instance that he is speaking specifically about John Smith when he is saying supervisor, would supervisor be capped?

    • Jane says:

      I would not capitalize “supervisor” in that last line of dialogue because it is not part of a title. It is debatable whether “supervisor” in the second line of dialogue should be capitalized. “Department” must be capitalized only because it is the first word of the quote.

  15. tj says:

    I’m watching a debate on a popular blog or Blog about the capitalization of the word Blog. Spell check appears to want the word to be capitalized in the text of a paragraph when talking about or referencing a blog.

    What do you think?

  16. Jane says:

    The tendency, with technology, is to capitalize words such as “Website” (or Web site), Internet, and Blog until the nouns become part of the vernacular. At that point, we tend to stop capitalizing. I think that “Blog,” which is short for “Web log,” will soon not be capitalized just as many people no longer capitalize “website.”

  17. Terry Frakes says:

    When did it become incorrect to capitalize titles which refer to specific individuals? Other sources say it is correct to write, “the President is onboard Air Force One,” but your site says it should be, “the president is onboard…” I am 60 years old and was an English major; we were taught to capitalize titles when they refer to a specific person, and of course, to capitalize titles used in conjunction with the individual’s name, e.g., President Kennedy.

  18. Jane says:

    I was taught to capitalize the title of a person of high rank, such as President, regardless of whether the name followed. However, the rule changed over the years. (I don’t know when.) The Chicago Manual of Style, which is the authoritative source that I use, states that “president” is not capitalized.

  19. Cherie says:

    If I am writing a list of job titles in a document, such as,
    Dean of Academic Affairs
    Director of Human Resources

    is it correct to capitalize these specific positions in a company?

  20. Dennis says:

    Hi Jane – I often see position announcements that capitalize the title of the position when it appears that they shouldn’t according to the CMS. For example, “The Executive Director will be responsible for…” or “…seeking an Executive Director to…”

    Does this fall under the ego rule? When crafting a letter of interest in response to a position announcement, should I follow their lead and capitalize the title in a sentence such as “I recently read the position announcement seeking an Executive Director and I’m interested”?

    Which looks better…capitalizing like them even if it’s wrong or sticking to the rules?

    • Jane says:

      Capitalization is a fuzzy area when it comes to rules vs. preferences. Yes, ego plays its part in capitalizing titles like Executive Director in a job announcement. But capitalization should serve this function, so I think it’s fine (and preferable) to capitalize the position title in your response. Good luck in finding your perfect job!

  21. LuAnn says:

    Is the capitalization right in the following sentences?

    The Auditors are responsible to the Church Council through the Moderator. Two Auditors are elected to two-year terms on alternate years.

    • Jane says:

      Capitalization has a lot of gray areas. The rule of thumb is to lowercase job titles when not used with names. Therefore, I recommend not capitalizing auditors or moderator. Because Church Council is the actual name of the group, it should be capitalized.

  22. Megan R. says:

    Is it necessary to capitalize names of a profession if it is in the middle or end of a sentence?

    Examples:
    I want to study Zoology. –or– I want to study zoology.

    A possibility for my future profession is Zoology.
    –or–
    A possibility for my future profession is zoology.

    A person can’t be a Zoologist if they don’t like animals.
    –or–
    A person can’t be a zoologist if they don’t like animals.

    Should zoology be capitalized or not?

  23. Meg says:

    Is this correct?

    Jane is the director of giving and in April she took the additional position of Acting Chief Officer.

    • Jane says:

      Since both job titles are descriptive and are not part of a name, they should not be capitalized.

      Jane is the director of giving and in April she took the additional position of acting chief officer.

      • sam says:

        I’m confused… you said “Rule: When the appears in front of the job title, do not capitalize.”

        but then you said ” Jane says:
        October 11, 2010 at 10:56 am
        Even better perhaps: Jane is the Director of Giving, and in April she took the additional position of Acting Chief Officer.”

        Why is Director of Giving capitalized in the first instance if “the” precedes the title?

        Also, what is the rule in the instance of no “the”? For example: “He serves as Chairman of the organization” Or “He serves as chairman of the organization”?

        Thanks!

        • Jane says:

          The response of October 11, 2010, does not appear to be consistent with the rule. Perhaps Jane let the “ego rule” take over since her name was in the example! (As we have noted on the home page of the web site, Jane passed away on February 25, 2011. I am her husband and in order to continue her legacy of promoting good grammar for anyone and everyone, I have assumed her responsibility for responding to people’s inquiries.) The job titles in Meg’s sentence should not be capitalized and we will make the correction.

          Regarding your second question, our rule in the Capitalization of Job Titles blog states, “Do not capitalize titles when used descriptively.” Therefore, write “He serves as chairman of the organization.”

  24. Mike Goronsky says:

    Jane: I do a lot of writing at work, and I often encounter the dilemma of when to cap titles and when not to. Do you agree with these?

    Joe Smith, Loss Prevention Manager, resigned. Jack Simpson, Human Resources Director, will hold a conference. Jeremy Hotaling, Zone Director, addressed his staff. Gary Wright, Check-Fraud Investigator, will interview the associate. Karen Lotansky, Manager of Front-End Operations, completed the audit.

    BUT: Amy Smith, cashier, stole the money. NOT: Amy Smith, Cashier, stole the money.

    Thanks for any help.

  25. Mike Goronsky says:

    One more, Jane, if you don’t mind. What about police titles? Are these okay?

    Mike Fiantino, Police Chief, will resign on Friday. Jack Kolsky, State Trooper, will be assigned the case. Charlie Morgan, Detective Sergeant, will interrogate the witness. Louis Labiento, Police Officer, will issue the warrant. Howard Gates, Niskayuna Detective, will testify on November 15.

    Thank you kindly — much appreciated.

  26. Mike Goronsky says:

    Jane:

    What about capitalizing generic titles of departments in a grocery store?

    Sal worked in the Seafood Department.
    Sal worked in the seafood department.

    Joel worked in the Meat Department.
    Joel worked in the meat department.

    Kathy works in the Deli.
    Kathy works in the deli.

    Sherman works in the Human Resources Department.
    Sherman works in the human resources department.

    Thanks.

    Mike

  27. Mike Goronsky says:

    You have a great site, and you do cover capitalization in depth. I own multiple style guides (and books), and they do not cover this material.

    And, one more.

    I spoke with Cashier Amy Smith about her tardiness.
    I will address the issue with Front-End Supervisor Mary Gonzalez.
    I spoke with Janitor Peter Cummings about his lack of detail.
    I spoke with Critic Howard Johnson … .

    Peter Cummings, Janitor, … .
    Howard Johnson, Movie Critic, …

    Even these?

    Thanks for all your help, and have a nice holiday!!

    • Jane says:

      When a job title follows a person’s name and is part of the complimentary close, capitalize.
      Example:
      Sincerely,
      Peter Cummings, Janitor

      When a job title follows the name in the middle of a sentence, do not capitalize.
      Example:
      Peter Cummings, janitor, was asked to resign.

      When the job title precedes the name in the middle of a sentence, capitalize the title.
      Example:
      I spoke with Janitor Peter Cummings about his lack of detail.

  28. John says:

    Now I have a question regarding capitalization of holiday wishes.

    I’d like to wish Seasons Greetings to all.
    I would like to say Happy New Year to all!!
    I hope you have a Happy Birthday.
    My family and I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!
    I’s like to say Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to the Stevens family!

    Much obliged.

    John

  29. victo says:

    I’m not following this. Why would you cap “Cashier”–a job title–after a name and not “janitor”? Also, why would we cap “Janitor” before a person’s name? Is “Janitor” official enough to do so? Would we also cap “Features Photographer Emily Harwood made a lot of money on her last photo shoot”? Where do we draw the line?

    Thanks for any help in understanding this.

    • Jane says:

      “Where do we draw the line?” That is a good question. In setting out the rules for capitalizing titles in my blog, I tried to avoid making judgments about how official a title might be. My response of 11/13/2010 below, should have read, “Peter Cummings, the janitor, was asked to resign.”

  30. Roseanna says:

    What is correct? Co-Chair or Co-chair? Does it depend on how you use it?

  31. Dee says:

    I have a question regarding the capitalization of field of work, such as dentistry. If there is a specific field of dentistry, such as, “forensic odontology”, should it be capitalized?

    For example, Forensic Odontology is more prevalent than in years past.
    or,

    Some suggest the field of Odontology is less accurate.

    Thank you,

    Dee

  32. Timmy says:

    Do I need to capitalize auto collision repair technician in this sentence?

    I am applying for an entry-level position as an auto collision repair technician.

    I need to know ASAP.

    • Jane says:

      Sorry for the delay in responding. In general, you would not normally capitalize the job title in that sentence. However, if the company to which you are applying capitalizes it in their sentences advertising the position, then you may choose to capitalize as well. This belongs in the “ego rule” category.

  33. Jennifer says:

    I would like to know if “elementary school teacher” and “reading interventionist” or “middle school teacher” should be capatilized in my resume/cover letter?

    • Jane says:

      In a cover letter you are probably listing these titles in sentences. The rule would say not to capitalize. In your resume, you may be providing a listing of the positions you have held. Thus, you might give yourself the liberty to capitalize either the first letter of each title or the first letter of each word of each title, depending on your overall resume format.

  34. ravi bedi says:

    Do we always capitalize ‘God’… irrespective of the context in which it is used? I see both in use.

    • Jane says:

      If it is used as the proper name for the biblical Supreme Being, then yes, it should be capitalized. If it is used as the general noun, “a god,” meaning a supernatural deity or idol that is worshipped, then it is not capitalized.

  35. Heidi says:

    I’m editing a story about U.S.Marshals doing their thing. One man involved is referred to as “U.S.Marshal So-and-so”, and the story involves more than one marshal (sic). Should the word “marshal” be capitalized when used alone?

  36. Caroline says:

    In formal contract documents that describe the roles and activities of various key personnel, is it correct or acceptable to capitalize job titles? From my reading of Chicago and other resources, it would seem that they should NOT be capped, but there are times when I really resist lowercasing them.

    For example, “The Finance and Procurement Manager assumed a number of new responsibilities during the performance period.”

    That *looks* right to me, where “The finance and procurement manager assumed…” just doesn’t. Am I falling into the “everything should be capped” trap?

    • Jane says:

      Yes, I think you are falling into that trap. Titles should only be capitalized if they precede a proper name when used as part of the name or if they immediately follow the name without the word “the.”

      The finance and procurement manager assumed a number of new responsibilities during the performance period.

      Finance and Procurement Manager Roberto Rodriguez will be the guest speaker today.

  37. Fred nickel says:

    Hi, I am a 55 year old student at Penn State working towards my Voc 1 certificate. I am no good in english never was, my question is does the two words; new year need to be capitalized in this form: I will be starting my special needs program in the new year. word 2007 says it does.
    Fred

    • Jane says:

      In your sentence it should not be capitalized.
      I will be starting my special needs program in the new year.

      If you are referring to the New Year holiday, you should capitalize it.
      I will be starting my special needs program on New Year’s Day.

  38. Jane L says:

    Still struggling with when to capitalize a title or ex. title in a press release. Here is my dilemma:

    [Company] today announced the promotion of [Ms. Employee] to the position of Vice President Administration. Her areas of responsibility include human resources, customer service, marketing communications and exhibit planning. [Ms. Employee] has been with [Company] for six years as Executive Assistant to the President and has been involved the medical device industry for more than ten years.

    “[Employee] has played an essential role in [Company] operations since our inception,” stated [John Doe], president and chief executive officer. “Her promotion is a direct result of her dedicated service and proven experience in managing key administrative areas of [Company] operations.”

    • Jane says:

      The rules shown in the blog state that job titles should be capitalized when immediately preceding the name when used as part of the name and when immediately following the name when the word the does not appear in front of the job title. Therefore, “[John Doe], President and Chief Executive Officer” should be capitalized.

      You did, however, mention that you are writing a press release. According to The Chicago Manual of Style (8.1), non-academic contexts, such as press releases, may capitalize titles that normally would not be capitalized. Therefore, you may capitalize “Vice President of Administration” and “Executive Assistant to the President” if you wish.

  39. Aaron says:

    This site is very helpful! I used to know all of these grammatical rules but find more and more of them slipping out of memory as time goes by. Nice to have a reference with people willing and happy to help.

  40. Jandriene says:

    Thanks for the help – good advice. I am doing a transcript where they refer to various organizations without using the complete name of it. It is hard to decide whether or not to cap, but I will follow the rule of thumb that if it was said properly once earlier in the transcript, I will cap the “shortened” versions of same.
    Great website – thanks!

    JAG

  41. Jennifer says:

    I am editing an employee handbook but am having trouble with the capitalization of words like superintendent, school board and school district. Any tips?

    • Jane says:

      The word superintendent would not be capitalized unless it precedes someone’s name such as Superintendent McDonald. School board would not be capitalized as it would not be a proper noun. School district would only be capitalized if it refers to a specific school district such as School District 301.

  42. Ange says:

    Would I capitalize Program Director and Special Education in this context:

    Our Early Intervention Program Director has 25 years of experience and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education.

    • Jane says:

      Sometimes there is more than one right answer.

      In my blog “Capitalization of Academic Degrees,” I recommended following The Chicago Manual of Style: write academic degrees in lower case, except when using the degree as a title. Also, in my Rules for Capitalization on my website and on another blog entitled “Capitalization of Job Titles,” I provided two rules: 1) Capitalize job titles immediately preceding the name when used as part of the name and 2) Capitalize job titles immediately following the name when the word the does not appear in front of the job title. According to these guidelines, I would recommend, “Our early intervention program director has 25 years of experience and has a bachelor of science degree in special education.”

      However, The Chicago Manual of Style also says: “The full names of institutions, groups, and companies and the names of their departments are capitalized.” If your “Early Intervention Program” is also considered a department in your organization, you would be justified in writing, “Our Early Intervention Program director has 25 years of experience and has a bachelor of science degree in special education.”

      If you used your director’s name, according to the first rule above you would be justified in writing, “Early Intervention Program Director Evelyn Smith has 25 years of experience and has a bachelor of science degree in special education.”

  43. Anita Brierley says:

    What about job titles or interests by themselves; for example:
    a list showing the name in one column then their title or interest in another
    Name Title/Role
    David Smith Business Analyst
    Jane Doe Internal Stakeholder
    Ian James Project Sponsor
    Mary Jones Programmer

    AND just a title in a sentance……..Please include the Business Analyst in the distrubtion list.

    • Jane says:

      In both cases, I would follow this rule:

      Rule: Capitalize job titles immediately following the name when the word the does not appear in front of the job title.

      Therefore, in your column format, I would capitalize the job titles, but when using just a title in a sentence, use lowercase after the word the.

      Please include the business analyst in the distribution list.

  44. Lc says:

    I have a question regarding titles in a generic handbook. As far as I understand, when reffering to a specific person, even without an actual name, you would still capatalize the title. Following this train of thought, when you are writing a handbook and cannot write a persons actual name (seeing as there might be turnover before the handbook is revised) you would still capatalize their title as it is specifically reffering to one singular person and not the generic position.

    E.g.
    Jane Doe being the Project Director, the sentance might read:
    “If you have questions, please contact the Project Director” which is specifically refferring to Jane Doe.

    We are having a grammar war here at work, so any assistance you could provide would be most helpful!

    Many thanks -

    • Jane says:

      I would recommend following this rule:
      Capitalize job titles immediately following the name when the word the does not appear in front of the job title.

      Therefore, since your handbook speaks generically without a specific person’s name and the word the is used, I would write, “If you have questions, please contact the project director.”

  45. carolyn says:

    I need help with the capitalization of the board of directors. This is a title that wouldn’t have a name attached to the front or back of it because it is plural and talking about a group. Would I ever capitalize the title?

    Ex: The annual meeting of the Board of Directors shall be held on the second Thursday of the month of January.

    • Jane says:

      You would not need to capitalize internal elements of an organization unless they are attached to a name. According to the AP Stylebook, “Use lowercase for internal elements of an organization when they have names that are widely used generic terms: the board of directors of General Motors, the board of trustees of Columbia University.

  46. Derrick says:

    jane, would I capitalize the titles in the following:

    3.5. The stockpile manager must initiate restocking during an Event if the actual storage amount falls below 75% of the designated storage amount.

    3.6. The stockpile manager shall provide a salt/sand usage report to the Program Manager on Duty no later than 11:30 of each shift, for discussion at the Shift Transition Meeting. For an Event shift in which the stockpile manager is not on duty, the stockpile manager must assign the reporting responsibilities to a manager or supervisor on duty.

    • Jane says:

      I see no particular reason to capitalize any of the words in 3.5 or 3.6 except of course the first words of each sentence. If the word “event” has a special meaning within your organization and your organization has decided to capitalize it, then follow that practice.

  47. Cindy says:

    What about a sentence like this:

    He talked about how frustrating it was to be the Chief of Staff of the entire U.S. Army.

    Since it begins with “the,” does “Chief of Staff” have to be “chief of staff” instead? That doesn’t seem right.

    • Jane says:

      It depends on where it is used. According to the Chicago Manual of Style, “As is the case with civil titles, military titles are routinely capitalized in the literature of the organization or government with which they are associated. Nonetheless, in formal academic prose, most such titles are capitalized only when used as part of a person’s name.”

    • Kristin says:

      It seems that if you prefer to capitalize this title, you could just right the sentence as “He talked about how frustrating it was to be Chief of Staff of the entire U.S. Army.”

      • Jane says:

        It is the writer’s prerogative to capitalize the title or not, however, the Chicago Manual of Style advises, “As is the case with civil titles, military titles are routinely capitalized in the literature of the organization or government with which they are associated. Nonetheless, in formal academic prose, most such titles are capitalized only when used as part of a person’s name.”

  48. Mills says:

    the same way job titles are not capitalized following the word “the”, does the same rule apply with the word “a” ?

    serves as a director of New World Agencies
    or
    serves as a Director of New World Agencies

    cheers!

  49. Shari says:

    Should I capitalize or italisize Peace Garden in this sentence?

    That statistic may have off-set the Gophers gridiron set-back to the Bison of North Dakota State except the Peace Garden state has a billion in the bank and Minnesota owes the bank two-three times that amount.

    • Jane says:

      Descriptive nicknames for states are capitalized but not italicized. Also, offset and setback do not have hyphens. I suggest you write:
      That statistic may have offset the Gophers’ gridiron setback to the Bison of North Dakota State, except the Peace Garden State has one billion in the bank and Minnesota owes the bank two to three times that amount

  50. Brittney says:

    Should I capitalize the word dipatcher in the following sentence:

    “I am pursuing this position as a dispatcher for (blank) Police Department because…”

    • Jane says:

      Since the job title is not being used as part of someone’s name (Dispatcher Smith), you do not need to capitalize it. However, as a corollary to our “ego rule” mentioned in the “Capitalization of Job Titles” blog, if the organization’s job announcement or position description capitalizes dispatcher throughout the document, you may wish to capitalize it as well.

  51. Andrea says:

    Wonderful blog, Jane! I was asked to proofread a term paper for my Boss (that is based on the ego rule!) and he insisted that you capitalize any noun that describes a person’s job. He says it is based on respect for the person who holds the job. I think his ideas come from serving over twenty years in the military, where titles are much more formal than most jobs in the civilian world.

    On another subject, in the case above discussing Dispatcher Smith, would it be better to write “I am pursuing this position as Dispatcher” and drop the “a” that precedes the job description?

    • Jane says:

      It would not matter whether the “a” was dropped, the word dispatcher would still not be capitalized since it is not being used as part of someone’s name.

  52. Niki says:

    “I want to be a Fashion Designer.” or “I want to be a fashion designer.”

    And “I want to be an Animator.” or “I want to be an animator.”

    Also “I study Animation at University.” or “I study Animation at university.”

    Moreover “I am a University student.” or “I am a university student.”

    Would I have to capitalise or not capitalise university? If so then the same rule applies to words like college, high school, primary school, kindergarten etc? e.g “My child is now in kindergarten.” or “My sister’s first born is now in Kindergarten.” or “I am a high school student.” or “I am a High School student.”

    Which one is correct? Do I capitalise job titles or names of places when used in sentences like that? I must say that I’m literally confused about this one.

    • Jane says:

      Since none of the job titles are being used as part of someone’s name, you do not need to capitalize them.
      I want to be a fashion designer.
      I want to be an animator.

      Rule 2 in our “Capitalization” section states, “Capitalize a proper noun.” If you are referring to a specific school, such as Western Illinois University, you would capitalize it. The same rule applies to words like college, high school, etc. Also, unless you are referring to a specific course at the university (such as Algebra 2), do not capitalize the name of a subject.

      I study animation at the university. OR I study animation at Bradley University.
      I am a university student. OR I am a Brown University student.
      My child is now in kindergarten.
      I am a high school student.

  53. Oliver says:

    How will you write your position in a letter of resignation? for instance,

    I will be resigning as staff nurse from ABC Hospital…

    should the word “staff nurse” be capitalized?
    Thank you for the reply…

  54. Kristin says:

    Thank you for your wonderful blog.
    I read through all of the comments and saw that you mentioned it is appropriate to capitalize titles that are fairly specific. I am struggling to edit a document that mixes many specific and non-specific titles. For example, “She has developed a career in the medical technology field holding positions that include supervisor of the Arizona Department of Health Services Laboratory in Flagstaff, AZ; Bench Medical Technologist in Microbiology and Transfusion Medicine at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System at West Los Angeles, CA; and Laboratory Quality Assurance Coordinator for the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System.”

    In the case above, I am concerned that if I capitalize all of the titles except supervisor, less informed readers will assume it is a typo. Or should all titles be lower case, in which case I am concerned the passage will be more difficult to read.

    Thanks!

    • Jane says:

      Since the job titles are not being used as part of someone’s name, you do not need to capitalize them. The passage does not seem to be any more difficult to read with lowercase titles.

      She has developed a career in the medical technology field holding positions that include supervisor of the Arizona Department of Health Services Laboratory in Flagstaff, AZ; bench medical technologist in microbiology and transfusion medicine at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System at West Los Angeles, CA; and laboratory quality assurance coordinator for the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System.

  55. JD says:

    I’m on a workgroup tasked with creating the requirements for a new certified position in our state. One of the documents we created has the following sentences:

    “This document describes the minimum standard of competencies for certified parent peer specialists.”

    “The essential functions of a certified parent peer specialist are…”

    During review, the workgroup’s self-proclaimed grammar expert insisted that “certified parent peer specialist(s)” in the above sentences must be capitalized. My interpretation of the commonly-accepted rules of capitalization leads me to think no. So, which is it?

    • Jane says:

      You are correct. The term is used generically and is not being used as a job title that is part of a person’s name. Therefore, it should not be capitalized.

  56. Dawn says:

    In the paper that I am editing,does this get capitalized?

    “Next Friday, our Vice President of Creative Services, Brianne Schaffer, will deliver to you, personally a check for fifty thousand dollars and a car.”

    • Jane says:

      By writing the word our in front of her job title, it becomes more of a description than part of her name. Therefore, as written it would not be capitalized. If you omit the word our her title would be capitalized.

      Next Friday, Vice President of Creative Services, Brianne Schaffer, will deliver to you personally a check for fifty thousand dollars and a car. OR

      Next Friday, our vice president of creative services, Brianne Schaffer, will deliver to you personally a check for fifty thousand dollars and a car.

  57. Lisa says:

    Kristin’s example is one of the best examples of where an “ego” rule would apply. I am struggling with a similar dilemma in editing a piece specifically about the life/work of an individual. I know the rules, and technically these titles should not be capitalized, but in both the examples given by Kristin above and in the example below, it actually looks odd (at first read) not to cap the titles.

    The true dilemma is how much time it has taken thinking about the issue and making a decision! (And you can bet this will now be part of our publication’s style guide.)

    My example, in a piece about “Ms. Smith”:

    This dedication to education is evident through Smith’s participation as event coordinator of the annual [Event Title]. She has been involved for over twenty years!

    The Faire began under the guidance of [Organization Title]. Smith served as special events coordinator for the board at the time.

    Again, seems both Kristin’s and these examples beg for capping, but I think this is primarily because we are used to seeing job titles capped willy-nilly. I’m going to resisting capping!

    Thank you Jane, for your website and blog. Love that this conversation has been ongoing since 2007 – obviously some aspects of grammar take time to clarify fully!

  58. Monica Watkins says:

    What if a name is not used with a title? For example, in a cover letter I may noting my experience as a freelance writer or a technical writer.

  59. Artie Fodera says:

    just a quick thanks for doing this blog. thanks

  60. Richard says:

    We are constructing a bid for veterinary services, and the issue of whether or not to capitalize “Veterinary” or “Veterinarian” has come up when it is in the body of a sentence with no one’s name near it. I don’t think it should be since most of the rules point to the lower case.

    What do you think?

    • Jane says:

      You are correct. Unless it is part of a person’s title or proper name of a veterinary practice, it should be written in lowercase.

  61. Mindy Lyon says:

    What is the rule if you are announcing a new hire in a press release. For example:

    XYZ company has appointed Mindy Lyon to the position of continuous improvement specialist.
    OR
    Prior to accepting her position at XYZ company, Lyon was previously employed for eight years at XYZ company as a production supervisor.

    • Jane says:

      Titles should only be capitalized if they precede a proper name when used as part of the name or if they immediately follow the name without the word “the.” You did, however, mention that you are writing a press release. According to The Chicago Manual of Style (8.1), non-academic contexts, such as press releases, may capitalize titles that normally would not be capitalized.

  62. Alex says:

    What about a job function, on a business card?

    John doe
    Creative Graphic Design & Illustration

    or

    John Doe
    Creative graphic design & illustration

    I understand that if I say “Creative Graphic Designer & Illustrator”, capitalization is necessary. But what about this case?

    Thank you! ;)

    • Jane says:

      Although the style manuals do not address job functions in particular, the Chicago Manual of Style does acknowledge that both academic degrees and job titles are often capitalized on business cards and other promotional items. AP Style does not cover business cards and they say they are not aware of any “protocol” for business cards. Since you are a creative graphic designer, I’d say you have license to be creative on your business cards unless your company has specific business card guidelines.

  63. Tami says:

    I am writing a cover letter to apply for a job. I cannot decide whether or not to capitalize the job title. It’s not really being used descriptively as noted in the above examples.

    Should my sentence be:
    I am very interested in the cafeteria manager position currently listed on your website.

    or:
    I am very interested in the Cafeteria Manager position currently listed on your website.

    Thanks for your advice.

    • Jane says:

      Since the job title is not being used as part of someone’s name, you do not need to capitalize it. However, as noted in the “ego rule” in this blog, if the organization’s job announcement or position description capitalizes cafeteria manager, you may wish to capitalize it as well.

  64. Tami says:

    In addition to the question above, do I capitalize the word “the” in the name of the school (which contains the word “the” in its name)?

    Should my sentence be:
    I look forward to discussing the skills I would bring to the Truman School.

    or
    I look forward to discussing the skills I would bring to The Truman School.

    Thank you for any help you can give on this. I appreciate it very much.

    • Jane says:

      Generally, the articles a, an, and the are not capitalized unless they are at the beginning of a sentence. However, if the school capitalizes the word the in the job posting and other written materials, I would follow the “ego rule” and do the same.

  65. Lee says:

    Hi

    I found this post really useful.

    I am however trying to figure out one thing I couldn’t see addressed above:

    When you are using a job title in place of someone’s name, do you capitalize it?

    For example: How are you, Bishop? I’m not sure what is wrong with me, Doctor.

    Thanks for any help you can provide with this.

    • Jane says:

      Our Rule 6 of Capitalization states, “Capitalize any title when used as a direct address.”
      Example:
      Will you take my temperature, Doctor?
      Therefore, the capitalizations in your two sentences are correct.

  66. Melina says:

    Do you capitalize manager or manager on duty?

    i.e. Leaving your job before the scheduled time without the permission of the manager on duty may result in termination.

    • Jane says:

      The term manager on duty is used generically in your sentence and is not being used as a job title that is part of a person’s name. Therefore, it should not be capitalized.

  67. Claire says:

    What if the job title appears directly or shortly after the article a? Consider the following example:

    “nominaton of a Canadian Co-chair”

    Also, how would you capitalize the title co-chair? Should it be Co-chair or Co-Chair. I’ve seen both forms used in press releases.

    Thank you for any assistance you can provide!

  68. Claire says:

    I think I’ve figured out my answer to the question I posted earlier. I really want to capitalize co-chair because it’s the whole point of the communication that I’m editing. However, I think it’s technically supposed to remain uncapitalized.

    • Jane says:

      The same rules would apply to titles with “a” as with “the.” The rule of thumb is to lowercase job titles when not used with names. When used with a name, the word cochair would be written “Cochair.” Note that Chicago Manual of Style and Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary do not hyphenate the word. Associated Press Stylebook retains the hyphen, but only the first letter is capitalized. Co-chairman Smith welcomed everyone to the meeting.

  69. Kate says:

    I have a question about capitalization for job titles.

    “John is a speaker, author and Principal Analyst at Altimeter Group.”

    Do I capitalize Principal Analyst when the company is included? Or would all titles be lower case?

    • Jane says:

      Our Rule 3 of Capitalization says, “Capitalize a person’s title when it precedes the name. Do not capitalize when the title is acting as a description following the name.” Since principal analyst is acting as a description following the name, do not capitalize even when the company name is included.

      “John is a speaker, author, and principal analyst at Altimeter Group.”

  70. Rory Mimis says:

    I would encourage you to keep going on the handwriting but to start keyboarding! I know my son will write much more if he can type it- not only because it is physcially easier for him, but because he knows that once he is finished getting his thoughts out he will have to go back and edit for spelling, grammar, etc and that means REWRITING!! While is typing skills are quickly improving, I wish I would have saved lots of tears (his and mine!) by jumping on the keybording bandwagon earlier.

    • Jane says:

      I don’t know whether you intended to send your comments to me or to someone else, but I can certainly say that our grammar rules apply whether one is writing by hand or using a keyboard.

  71. Scooter says:

    Should I capitalize my job title in my cover letter? Example… Currently my present IT Technical Support position…

    thank you

    • Jane says:

      Since the job title is not used with a name or as direct address, do not capitalize. Also, currently and present are redundant and neither word may be needed depending on the rest of your sentence. For example, In my IT technical support position I have responsibility for . . .

  72. Erin says:

    When you are using a job title prior to the person’s name, would it be capitalized?

    i.e.; The Nevada Labor Commisioner, Jon Doe…

    or

    the Nevada labor commissioner, Jon Doe…

  73. Suzi McCoy says:

    Jane, your recent post on capitalizing job titles reached my desk today. I am curious why you are promoting using the “ego rules” for capitalizing job titles. This is inconsistent with nearly all style guides, including the The Chicago Manual of Style, The Associated Press Styleguide and The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage. I fight this battle with clients and my staff constantly. Grammar has rules for a reason. Egos should not change them.

    • Jane says:

      We are not “promoting” the use of ego rules. We are simply acknowledging that there are inconsistencies in the recommendations of the style guides and there are inconsistencies in bosses’ egos. It sounds like your ego is in check if you are recommending toning down the capitalization with clients and staff. We hope that staff members are able to discuss the issue with their bosses. But if capitalization is demanded, don’t lose your job over it.

  74. Renee says:

    Jane, I have a question re: professional titles following by their abbreviations. Would it be “Alert the general manager (GM).” or “Alert the General Manager (GM).” Thanks!

    • Jane says:

      The rule in our blog Capitalization of Job Titles states, “When the appears in front of the job title, do not capitalize.”
      Alert the general manager (GM).

  75. Jvo says:

    Thanks. Was exactly what I needed for my essay :D. Very succinct.

  76. Lola says:

    Hi Jane, I am posting a job online and the first sentence within the body of the job description starts with, “Ad Operations and Trafficking professional for our advertising production environment.” Should professional be capitalized in this instance?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Jane says:

      Titles should only be capitalized if they precede a proper name when used as part of the name or if they immediately follow the name without the word “the.” Therefore, write “Ad operations and trafficking professional.”

  77. Brooke says:

    I am going through a parent handbook (or Parent Handbook) for my gymnastics team. I am confused about when the words team and level should be capitalized. The previous author capitalize both words throughout the handbook. I went through and told her not to capital any of the words. Going through and reading it again, I am thinking examples 1 & 5 below should be capital while the others should stay lower case?

    Ex. 1: XYZ Gymnastics exclusively welcomes those who have shown the potential and desire to be part of our Team program.

    Ex 2.: More notably, the incredible memories gymnasts make through Team experiences will last a lifetime.

    Ex. 3: Sportsmanship – Being supportive of Teammates, following the rules, positively dealing with disappointment, and learning how to win graciously.

    Ex. 4: Tuition varies with each Level of the program and is based on how often the gymnast must practice.

    Ex. 5: The compulsory Level 7, is designed to encourage and prepare gymnasts for the transition from compulsory to optional routines at an appropriate age by providing skill direction and combinations that can be used as the basis for entry level optional routines.

    • Jane says:

      In Examples 1, 2, and 3 the words team and teammates are used generically and should not be capitalized. In Examples 4 and 5 the word level should not be capitalized. Also, there should not be a comma in Example 5 and entry-level should be hyphenated.

  78. Mary says:

    Do you capitalize the job title when it is followed by the company name? Example:

    Please contact the IBM Project Manager for assistance.
    The IBM Project Manager will coordinate the efforts with…

    or

    Please contact the IBM project manager for assistance.
    The IBM project manager will coordinate the efforts with…

    • Jane says:

      I assume you meant to ask, “Do you capitalize the job title when it is preceded by the company name.” Since the job title is not used as part of the person’s name, do not capitalize.
      Please contact the IBM project manager for assistance.
      The IBM project manager will coordinate the efforts with…

  79. Carolyn says:

    I wanted to know if the title in the following sentence would be capitalized:

    “Join Centegra Dietitian and Diabetes Coordinator Jane Smith as she discusses how to control blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure in diabetics.”

    Centegra is the name of the hospital system that Jane works for. Not sure if having the “company name” before the job title makes it a possessive and therefore should not be capitalized.

    • Jane says:

      Company names are always capitalized, but in this case, although it’s a close call, you seem to be dealing with a job description rather than a title like chairman or vice president, both of which are capitalized when they appear before a name.

      Unless “dietitian and diabetes coordinator” is an official title, make it “Join Centegra dietitian and diabetes coordinator Jane Smith as she discusses how to control blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure in diabetics.” While omitting the Oxford comma (the comma before and, after cholesterol) is not an error, we prefer including it.

  80. Joshua Puig says:

    How about the following sentences:

    1)My father was a medical technologist.
    2)Both PAs and veterinarians have things in common.
    3)I remember several phone call being made to Medical Doctors (MDs) and PAs.

    • Jane says:

      Your first two sentences are grammatically correct, however, our Rule 2 of Parentheses says, “Use full parentheses to enclose numbers or letters used for listed items.” It should be followed by a space. You could write physician assistants instead of PAs to make your second sentence more clear and consistent with the word veterinarians.

      (1) My father was a medical technologist.
      (2) Both physician assistants and veterinarians have things in common.

      Your last sentence should have the plural word calls. Also, writing both medical doctors and MDs is redundant. I recommend being consistent.

      I remember several phone calls being made to MDs and PAs. OR
      I remember several phone calls being made to medical doctors and physician assistants.

  81. amanda says:

    finanlizing minutes of annual convention.

    1. Do you capitalize chair?

    President Brown turned the chair over to Vice-President Smith.

    2. Should it be its or their

    Carol Smith, Chair of the Elections Committee delivered its/their report

    • Jane says:

      The word chair would not be capitalized in your first sentence, and Vice President should not have a hyphen. Also, If someone is sufficiently identified, the description following it is considered nonessential and should be surrounded by commas. Therefore, in your sentence, Chair of the Elections Committee needs an appositive comma after Committee. However, because many authorities would lowercase chair after a name, you might consider “Chairwoman Carol Smith of the Elections Committee delivered…”

      Finally, its is not consistent with the subject in your second sentence (Carol Smith). So here is a suggested revision of the two sentences:
      President Brown turned the chair over to Vice President Smith.
      Chairwoman Carol Smith of the Elections Committee delivered the committee’s report.

  82. Jen says:

    Should Multi Program be capatilized in this sentence….

    He has resumed his position as Multi Program supervisor.

    Thanks!

    • Jane says:

      Since the job title is not used as part of the person’s name, do not capitalize. Also, multiprogram is generally one word.

      multiprogram supervisor

  83. Holly says:

    Should “public schools” portion of the term “Richmond Public Schools,” referring to a city’s school district, be capitalized?

    Thanks you

    • Jane says:

      If “Richmond Public Schools” refers to the title of a specific school district, it could be capitalized, as would “Richmond Public School District.” If you are referring generically to the public schools located in the town of Richmond, you do not need to capitalize. Example: Everyone in her family attended Richmond public schools.

  84. Anna D. says:

    Hello,

    Thanks for your blog! I am translating a letter from foreign editors and there are two names. Should the names and titles at the end of the editors’ letter look as follows?

    Jane Smith and Mary Love
    Editors (The Editors?)

  85. Secyliah says:

    Why would a person intentionally not capitalize certain words such as America, American or President of the United states. Is this to give insult or is there another meaning?

    • Jane says:

      Proper nouns and adjectives derived from proper nouns should be capitalized. Therefore, both America and American are capitalized. Do not capitalize a title if it is used after a name or instead of a name, such as president of the United States. Many people do not know or understand capitalization rules. That could explain why a person would not capitalize certain words.

  86. Sherri Patterson says:

    Hi.
    Do you capitalize the position of supervisor if it comes after a department name? Example “The claims audit supervisor will review the referral.” Or should it be “The Claims Audit supervisor will review the referral.”?

    Thanks

    • Jane says:

      Titles should only be capitalized if they precede a proper name when used as part of the name. Therefore, do not capitalize.
      The claims audit supervisor will review the referral.

  87. Courtney says:

    Hello! I am trying to write a research paper in MLA format and I am writing about my chosen career path. When I am speaking about (or writing) the profession should I capitalize it? the field is “diagnostic medical sonography,” and I am working towards becoming a “registered diagnostic medical sonographer.” To me these seem like titles, so I am having issues of whether or not to capitalize them.
    Thank you!

    • We do not recommend capitalizing the medical field “diagnostic medical sonography” or the occupation “registered diagnostic medical sonographer.” It is possible that MLA format may differ.

  88. Charles Johnson says:

    Regarding capitalizing job titles, we are constantly responding to form Requests for Proposals and similar documents where these rules are almost always violated it seems and all titles are capitalized. (Sometimes they stop capitalizing certain titles when plural such as “dispatchers” but even those are sometimes capitalized. So when responding to someone else’s formal request for a response to their document, do we correct their hundreds of errors or take on their writing style? Keep in mind the solicitation document and the response can both be hundreds off pages of longs with dozens and dozens of titles.

    • Jane says:

      Many of the rules regarding capitalization of job titles are “rules of thumb.” As a corollary to our “ego rule” mentioned in the blog above, if the person capitalizes a job title throughout a document, you may wish to capitalize it in your response as well.

  89. Sarah J. says:

    How would you write one’s job title in an interview citation?

    E.g.:
    Last name, First name. Job title. Personal interview. Date.

    Do you capitalize the job title or leave it in lower case?

    • Jane says:

      There is no rule we are aware of that applies specifically to interview citations. When a job title is not immediately before a name, it is usually not capitalized. However, your case is different in that it is not part of a complete sentence. You may want to have your capitalization consistent with the job posting and other documents that your employer uses.

  90. Janey says:

    What about in a resume??

    Ex: Seeking a job position as a Bilingual Account Executive….?

    Would the job position (Bilingual Account Executive) need to be capitalized or would it have to be..

    Ex:Seeking a job position as a bilingual account executive..?

  91. Kookie says:

    I am trying to come up with a title for my essay. The essay is about the best or the worst job. I chose the worst job and still can’t come up with a title for my essay.
    Any suggestions?

  92. Debra says:

    I have to write a weekly report that says someone spoke with a person but using his/her title only. Which is the correct way to write this:

    Met with the Contracting Officer Representative (COR).
    or
    Met with Contracting Officer Representative (COR).

    I want to put the “the” in there but the person who sent me his input doesn’t have the “the” there. Which is correct?

    • Neither of your examples is a complete sentence. Assuming that the phrase is going to be part of a complete sentence, we recommend using the word the. When the appears in front of the job title, do not capitalize. Example:
      He met with the contracting officer representative (COR). (We have more commonly encountered the term as “contracting officer’s representative.”)

  93. richard feinberg says:

    I take issue with a line in your Pop Quiz:

    “Thank goodness for Finance Director, Sam Woo” – why do you feel that needs a comma? It’s like saying “We met with Vice President, Joe Biden.”

    Either say

    “Thank goodness for our finance director, Sam Woo”

    or

    “Thank goodness for Finance Director Sam Woo”

  94. Sarah says:

    Are they supposed to be uncapped or capped? Thank you!

    Mr. Bob previously worked as
    director of development and director of planned giving at Institution.
    Additionally, he has held numerous advisory and leadership roles in the philanthropic world,
    including president of the Blank Association for Philanthropy and president of
    the planned giving roundtable.

    • Assuming that the “Planned Giving Roundtable” is the proper name of an organization or philanthropic project, write the following:

      Mr. Bob previously worked as director of development and director of planned giving at the XYZ Institution. Additionally, he has held numerous advisory and leadership roles in the philanthropic world, including president of the Blank Association for Philanthropy and president of the Planned Giving Roundtable.

  95. Marian says:

    What is the rule for capitalizing the letter of each title in the following sentence: Companies’ Officers, Directors and other Employees… .

    When should the words be capitalized and when should they be lower case letters?

    Thanks

    • Titles are capitalized when they are used before names, unless the title is followed by a comma. Since your examples do not include any titles used before names, they are lowercase. Here is an example of a complete sentence using your terms:

      The companies’ officers, directors, and other employees were all given employee handbooks.

  96. Renae says:

    Is “author” considered a professional title? Which is correct: We are pleased to have author Jane Doe join us. or We are pleased to have Author Jane Doe join us.

  97. Meghan says:

    I noticed in the comments above that “cochair” should not be hyphenated, but rather written as one word. Is this the same for all “co” titles? For example, “co-director”?

    • There is not always agreement among the authoritative references on hyphen rules. AP Stylebook recommends writing co-director. Chicago Manual of Style does not specifically refer to that word, but does recommend writing coauthor, coeditor, coworker, and co-op. The best advice is to pick a style and be consistent.

  98. Lost says:

    This is a dumb English Grammar Rule and I think it needs to change; especially when referring to
    The President of The United States (Because there is only one whom holds this job title) and Vice President of The United States (Because there is only one whom holds this job title) or any Federal United States job title.

    See?! It just looks better… and feels a little bit more intellectual.

  99. Jacquie says:

    Would a job title that follows a name be lowercased even if it’s offset inside commas? I always thought it was acceptable to capitalize the title in this situation:

    John Smith, Vice President, Acme Limited, stated…

    • Titles immediately following the name do not ordinarily require capitalization. The Chicago Manual of Style does acknowledge that job titles are often capitalized on business cards and other promotional items.

      • Jacquie says:

        But in the example I gave, wouldn’t the title be a proper noun? This is an inline text example. The most common time this comes up for us is in press releases when we are introducing an individual before their quote.

  100. Smith says:

    I take it, from reading your rule, that you would not cap chief of police, even when referring to a specific person. For instance: “The chief of police knew I had them.” Correct?

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