3.1 To capitalize or not to capitalize
Leaders in writing style standards are advocating a shift toward less capitalization and punctuation. The Canadian Press refers to it as "a modified down style" that follows this basic rule:
Capitalize all proper names, trade names, government departments and agencies of government, names of associations, companies, clubs, religions, languages, nations, races, places and addresses. Otherwise, lowercase is favoured where a reasonable option exists.
The Canadian Press continues to use "lowercase" and "uppercase" as single words, contrary to the two-word format adopted by the Oxford Canadian Dictionary and this style guide.
This guide recommends a lower case style for several reasons supported by various sources consulted in its preparation:
- when too many words are capitalized in text, they lose their importance and no longer attract the attention of the reader.
- copy is easier to read when capitalized words are limited.
- lower case style does not diminish the stature or credibility of a person's or department's position or reputation.
- judicious use of capitalization combined with white space and typeface can improve the effectiveness of print materials.
3.2 A general rule for capitalization
Capitalize common nouns when they represent a complete formal name, and use lower case in the partial or informal versions of the name.
- the University of Saskatchewan; the university
- the Government of Manitoba; the Manitoba government; the government
3.3 Capitalization of job and position titles
In running text, capitalize formal job titles when they appear directly in front of a name and are not set off by a comma.
- Director Chris Phooster; Chris Phooster, director; the director
- Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher; Margaret Thatcher, prime minister; the prime minister
Formal titles are those than could be used with the surname alone.
- Bishop Williams
Also see job and position titles, Section 3.5.7
3.4 Capitalization in quotations
Capitalize the first word of a quotation that is a complete sentence.
3.5 Capitalization at the U of S
3.5.1 Academic programs
Use the general rule of capitalization for formal academic programs within colleges and departments.
- the Ukrainian Studies Program; Ukrainian studies; the Vocal Studies Program; vocal studies
3.5.2 Academic subjectsDo not capitalize academic subjects except when the subject is also a proper noun.
- English, engineering, French, chemistry, law, Latin
3.5.3 Building names
Only the full and formal name of a building should be capitalized. Use lower case for informal titles.
- Agriculture Building, but ag building
3.5.4 Committee names
The names of committees, task forces and other working groups do not require capitalization.
- the nominating committee
- the land use task force
3.5.5 Degrees and other awards
Use the general rules of capitalization to refer to degrees and awards.
- Doctor of Philosophy; doctorate
- Master of Business Administration; master’s degree in business administration, MBA
- Bachelor of Arts; baccalaureate or bachelor’s degree
- Professional Certificate in Land Management; land management certificate
See abbreviations of degrees, Section 1.6
3.5.6 Unit and department names
Follow the general rules of capitalization.
- Department of Political Studies, political studies department, the department
- Facilities Management Division, FMD, the division
3.5.7 Job and position titles
In running text, capitalize formal job titles when they appear directly in front of a name and are not set off by a comma. Use lower case in other instances.
- Manager of Payroll Helen Crane
- Helen Crane, payroll manager
- the manager
- English Professor Scott Mead
- Scott Mead, professor of English (capitalize English because it is a proper noun)
- the professor
- Toxicology Professor Sylvia Danes
- Sylvia Danes, professor of toxicology
- the professor
Always hyphenate the titles "vice-president" and "vice-provost".
When making reference to U of S vice-presidents in running copy, do not set off their area of responsibility with commas or parentheses.
- William Pender, vice-president of finance and resources
Commas setting off areas of responsibility are acceptable in lists.
- William Pender, vice-president, finance and resources
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