capitalization of a title


I believe that the following is the incorrect " The Dean's administrative executive puts ..." 'Dean' should be lower case - correct?

asked Mar 09 '12 at 16:31 Janice Bailey New member

2 answers


Depends...  "Dean Lass" is a title, like "President Obama."

however, "The Dean's..." as you've used it is somewhat general.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say capitalized is acceptable, and lowercase is also acceptable.

link comment answered Mar 09 '12 at 16:36 Erik Czerwin Contributor

The Chicago Manual of Style prefers "The dean's ... "  Capitalization of titles is a common error and CMS decries their prevalence. 


Perhaps the only formal writing exception I know -- and CMS does not fully agree with it -- occurs when a title is used in lieu of a Proper Name. CMS agrees when the title is the President (of the United States) but not when it is a governor (or other title). In contract language, capitalized titles -- such as Architect, Contractor, or Owner -- are used when referring to a person "acting in their official capacity." 

link comment answered Mar 10 '12 at 02:49 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

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