Write for Business - Blog

UpWrite Press understands the importance of writing skills in business: We're business people just like you. On this blog you'll find tips to improve your writing, along with topics of interest to our staff.

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    Writing Rules: Capitalizing Formal Titles

    Thursday, October 08, 2009

    Capitalize the fist letter of each major word of an employee's title when it precedes that person's name.

    Marketing Manager Diane Barnhart will give her report at today's meeting.
    The marketing manager will give her report at today's meeting.

    Note: Also capitalize the formal names of entities within a company.

    Research and Development
    Human Resources

    (From Write for Business, page 207, and Proofreader's Guide PDF, page 19)

    Writing Rules: Capitalizing Titles

    Tuesday, October 06, 2009

    Capitalize the first and last word of a title and every word in between with the following exceptions: articles (a, an, the), short prepositions, and coordinating conjunctions. This applies to titles of books, newspapers, periodicals, poems, plays, films, works of art, articles, and photographs.

    Write for Business
    Journal of Office Professionals

    (From Write for Business, page 207, and Proofreader's Guide PDF, page 19)

    Writing Rules: Capitalizing Words Used as Names

    Tuesday, September 29, 2009

    Capitalize words like dad, mother, aunt, and judge when they are part of a title that includes a personal name, or when they are substituted for a proper noun (especially in direct address).

    Hi, Aunt Mae! (Aunt is part of the name.)
    My aunt is a doctor.
    The senator said his favorite legislator was Senator Hubert Humphrey.
    Please, Mom, stay for dinner.

    A Closer Look
    Here is a way to tell if a word is being substituted for a proper noun: read the sentence with a proper noun in place of the word. If the proper noun fits in the sentence, the word being tested should be capitalized. (Note: Generally the word is not capitalized if it follows a possessive noun or pronoun, such as Tonya's, her, my.)

    Did Dad (Alex) get the promotion? (Alex works in this sentence.)
    Did your dad (Alex) get the promotion? (Alex does not work here; also, the word dad follows the possessive your.)

    (From Write for Business, page 207, and Proofreader's Guide PDF, page 19)

    Writing Rules: Capitalizing Letters Used to Indicate Form or Shape

    Thursday, September 24, 2009

    Capitalize the letters used to indicate form or shape.

    B-pillar A-frame O-ring T-bar L-bracket T-shirt

    (From Write for Business, page 206, and Proofreader's Guide PDF, page 18)