When should you capitalize someone’s title? We get this question quite often so here are some rules and guidelines:
Guideline: Though there is no established rule on writing titles in the complimentary closing of a letter, we recommend capitalizing a person’s title when it follows the name on the address or signature line. However, you may also leave it in lowercase since titles are generally not capitalized when following a name in text. Choose a method and be consistent.
Margaret Haines, Chairperson
Margaret Haines, chairperson
Rule: Capitalize the titles of high-ranking government officials when used with or before their names. Do not capitalize the civil title if it is used instead of the name.
The president will address Congress.
All senators are expected to attend.
The governors, lieutenant governors, and attorneys general called for a special task force.
Governor Connelly, Lieutenant Governor Martinez, and Senators James and Hennessy will attend the meeting.
Rule: Capitalize a title when used as a direct address even when the person is not named.
Will you be holding a press conference, Madame President?
Please give us your opinion of this latest development, Senator.
We need your response quickly, Mr. President.
We need your response quickly, President Obama.
Will you help me with my homework, Dad?
Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010, at 10:35 am236 Comments on When to Capitalize People’s Titles