Tag Archives: capitalization

When To Capitalize Groups: Board, Company, Department, Committee

Organizations sometimes have their own writing style for internal documents — board of directors meetings Organizations sometimes have their own style guide for internal documents — annual reports, board of directors meetings notes, newsletters or emails, for example — in which capitalization use varies from external public documents.

For example, you might see Bank or Company capitalized throughout an internal piece, even in absence of the full official name.

The following guidelines will help you know when, in general, to capitalize and when to use lower case for business-related terms. Continue

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Confused about Earth vs. earth? You’re Not Alone!

Eart from outerpaceMy last blog dealt with word use that many — including me — find confusing: different from vs. different than and compared to vs. compared with.

Here’s another word puzzle I’d like to solve. After spending considerable time online trying to understand when to capitalize Earth and when to use a lowercase e, I’m still not sure. Here’s what I found. Continue

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The RNC: Abbreviations, Acronyms and Parentheses

Republican ElephantAlways searching for grammar lessons, I caught this online report about the Republican candidates and the presidential debates. It’s an example of how not to use an abbreviation or an acronym.

RNC Chair Reince Priebus sent a letter to the chairman of NBC on behalf of the Republican National Committee. The excerpt that follows shows how Priebus put the committee’s abbreviation (RNC) in parentheses as though the reader, the head of NBC, might not recognize it on second mention.

The chairman of NBC might not recognize the abbreviation RNC in that context? Really?

Different style guides make different recommendations. Let’s first look at the Priebus’ letter (bolding is mine): Continue

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Grammar & Online Dating: R U Mr/Ms Rite?

Online DatingA CEO client who values skilled language usage as much as I do sent me a link to a recent story in the Wall Street Journal about grammar and online dating sites:

What’s Really Hot on Dating Sites? Proper Grammar

I know what you’re thinking: What? I can’t be creative and just express myself, grammar shortcuts and all?! Do I need to hire an editor for my online profile? Continue

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Honor Parents, But Do It Right

Happy parentsEvery spring, we’re bookended by holidays that honor parenthood: Mother’s Day is the second Sunday in May, and Father’s Day is the third Sunday in June.

Some people, wanting to show respect for parents, always capitalize any form of mom or dad.

Regardless of our desire to demonstrate that we respect and cherish our parents, there are times to capitalize and times to use lower case. Here is a simple guideline: Continue

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Jello or jello? 12 Terms To Test Your Capitalization IQ

Green Jello - the best kindHere are a dozen terms from everyday language that often are written incorrectly. Some are capitalized and shouldn’t be; others shouldn’t be capitalized but are. Take the test, and then check the answers and explanations.*

No cheating!

  1. band-aid vs. Band-Aid
  2. cellophane vs. Cellophane
  3. fiberglass vs. Fiberglass
  4. formica vs. Formica
  5. internet vs. Internet
  6. jello vs. Jello
  7. kleenex vs. Kleenex
  8. mace vs. Mace
  9. mo-ped vs. Mo-Ped
  10. q-tips vs. Q-Tips
  11. realtor vs. Realtor
  12. web vs. Web


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