Capitalize or not


ex: Dr. John Doe is the Chief of the Infectious Diseases Section. My questions are: Are the following all capitalized: Chief, Infectious Diseases, Section.

asked Sep 13 '12 at 14:23 Joy Stephenson New member

1 answer


Your question does not have a black and white answer.


Is Infectious Diseases Section a formal, proper name? Is so, then yes -- it is capitalized. But if it is merely an informal name -- my Spanish study group -- then no.


In your sentence, chief should not be capitalized. Most American style guides agree: titles should be capitalized only when they occur immediately before a personal name -- Doctor John Doe, but not John Doe is a doctor.


Despite the rule, business and government writing tends to capitalize titles wherever they occur. That does not make it right, but it is leading to an evolution of the rule. The style guides are beginning to concede -- reluctantly -- that a title that occurs in an appositive might be capitalized for reasons of polite diplomacy. Doctor John Doe, Chief of the Infectious Diseases Section, is a graduate of ...


I hope this helps

link comment edited Sep 13 '12 at 16:08 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

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