A quick lesson in how to use capital letters
There’s nothing worse than being tripped up by capital letters. This means having to wade through a long piece of text crippled by incorrectly used capital letters, and not knowing the rules for how to use capital letters.
My top 10:
1. The pronoun, I is always capitalised. At the beginning, in the middle, at the end and in all contractions:
I am going
If there is money in my account I may go
I’ll go for a walk
I’m in a meeting
- Words that start a sentence
People are lazy
The weather is unpredictable
- Book titles
An American Marriage
The Mars Room
The Women in the Window (only nouns are capitalised)
- All proper nouns
These are not capitalised unless used at the beginning of a sentence.
Example: Summer brings rain, but plants die in winter.
Only capitalised when describing a region.
Example: I am heading south. Those people come from the West.
- Acts, sections, grades etc
Only capitalised when use in full description. The Labour Relations Act, when introduced in text, but later in the text, the act.
Section 7, but later in text, the section
- Job titles
These are not capitalised, a common error among corporates and PR agencies.
I spoke to the editor
She is the managing director.
But capitalised when used as an address, Professor James Clark or Rabbi Adam Fine
- Acronyms where each letter is said out loud, but not when written out in full.
Example ATM – automatic teller machine
LED – light emitting diode
- When nouns form a name
Example: Olympic Games