Capitalizing Units of Time
I am a teacher and we have just completed reports and have undertaken a gruelling proofreading session. A lot of people pulled me up on not capitalizing 'term one' or 'semester one'. Here is the context:
'In term one, Ruby completed an oral presentation that was well prepared and engaging.'
Surely 'term one' and 'term two' are units of time and are definitely not proper nouns.
One fellow colleague even said that 'oral presentation' should have been capitalized. I think this is ridiculous...
The Chicago Manual of Style, the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, and the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, to name just three major American style guides, all agree -- none of the examples you cite should be capitalized. In fact, most writers (especially in business writing) err by over-capitalizing.
The rules for capitalization are too lengthy to summarize here -- The Chicago Manual of Style devotes an entire chapter to the topic. In general, however, the universe of properly capitalized words is much smaller than you might imagine.
|link||edited Jun 27 '12 at 04:33 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow|
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