Sunday, May 8, 2011

Proper Capitalization

Beginning of Sentences

The first word in a sentence should be capitalized.
The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. sharp.
Do you know where my red pen is?
Three years ago I was hired as an accountant.
If a word that would normally be considered a proper noun is not capitalized (such as the name of a company), then rewrite the sentence if possible. If it is not possible to recast the sentence, then the word should be capitalized.
Ebay is my favorite place to shop. (Acceptable)
My favorite place to shop is ebay. (Preferred)
Bell Hooks is my favorite writer. (Acceptable)
My favorite writer is bell hooks. (Preferred)


Sentences that follow a colon, however, are generally left lowercase. If a colon introduces dialogue or multiple sentences, then the first word after the colon is capped.
Every day started out exactly the same: he would get up, read the paper during breakfast, and then head off to work.
Elizabeth had some important decisions to make: Should she accept the new job offer, or stay where she was? If she decided to stay, should she ask for a raise? And if she decided to leave, would she regret her decision?


The first word of a quoted sentence is generally capitalized if it is set off by a comma or colon, but it is usually not capitalized if it is run into the sentence.
In the meeting, John said, “Have your annual reports finished by next Tuesday.
In the meeting, John said to “have your annual reports finished by next Tuesday.”

Notices, Mottoes, Slogans, and the Like

Notices and signs, such as those that appear on business doors, are often written in title case without quotation marks. If they are long, they are generally written in sentence case and often enclosed in quotation marks. Mottoes and slogans follow the same guidelines, though slogans or mottoes in a foreign language are generally italicized, and only the first word is capitalized.
Just turn left when you come to the door marked Employees Only.
Matthew ignored the Warning! Do Not Enter! sign as he breezed through the double doors..
His frequent saying, “Many hands make light work” became their family motto.
When faced with a difficult challenge, my father used to say, “A fronte praecipitium a tergo lupi.”

Personal Names

Personal names are almost always capitalized, unless the individual expresses a strong preference to have his or her name left lowercase (as in the example of bell hooks above).
Joshua Matthews is our attorney.
Derrick Lancaster will arrive at the airport at 7 p.m.
However, some surnames have parts that are not capitalized.
The new director is Jennifer de Souza.
Johann von Trapp will be directing the meeting.

Courtesy Titles

Courtesy titles, such as Mr., Ms., Mrs., and the like are capitalized.
Mr. Nathan Daniels is our new manager.
Miss Jessica Davenport will send us the report on Monday.
Abbreviations such as Jr., Sr., and so forth are also capitalized. Though traditionally these abbreviations were set off my commas, such commas are no longer required.
Daniel Jensen Jr. is the new hiring manager.
Sherman Rogers Sr. has been designated the new chair.


Words that identify familial relationships, such as aunt, grandfather, and the like are generally capitalized when they immediately precede a person’s name.
Last week we visited my Aunt Genna in Boise.
Were you able to see Grandma Jensen?
Such titles are not usually capitalized when they are not immediately followed by a name.
Yesterday we went and visited my uncles.
Did you know he was named after your grandfather?
However, such titles are capitalized when they are used in place of the name.
Have you seen my homework, Dad?
Hey, Sister, where have you been?
I can’t wait till you can come for a visit, Granny!
You’re looking really good, Aunt.

Position Titles

In running text, titles of positions are generally capitalized when they immediately precede a person’s name.
Tomorrow Professor David Mitchell will lecture on current environmental issues.
Did you know that Doctor Rebecca Donalds has worked here for 15 years?
I believe that Vice President Jared Wahlquist made the announcement yesterday afternoon.
Such titles are also capitalized when they follow a name on plaques, lists of names in dossiers and the like, and in similar situations.
Warren Bateman, Professor
Lindsey Michaels, Chief Executive Officer
Margaret Nelson, D.D.S.
They are generally left lowercase when not used with a name.


A word or phrase that is used with or instead of a person’s name is capitalized.
Last month I saw an interesting documentary on Ivan the Terrible.
My son is doing a report for school on Stonewall Jackson.
If you want to mention someone’s nickname as part of his or her given name, put quotation marks around the nickname.
This is my new colleague, Jerry “Fix-It” Johnson.
Have you met our new secretary, Amanda “A. J.” Wheeler?

Business, Organization, and Institution Names

The names of businesses, organizations, and institutions are generally capitalized.
Before coming here, I worked for Nelson Company.
They were just purchased by MW Telecom.
Abbreviations of company names, organizations, and government agencies are also capitalized.
I work in the IT department.
Have you ever eaten at IHOP?
I believe that they are wanted by the FBI.
Acronyms, or pronounceable words formed from the first letter of a multiword name, are also generally capitalized.
She is a volunteer with UNICEF.
Yesterday an important NATO meeting was held.

Product Names and Objects

Actual product names and brands and other objects of distinction are capitalized.
Did you purchase that Ford Mustang brand new?
Do we have any Floor Shine?
However, generic names for such products are not capitalized.
Did you purchase that car brand new?
Do we have any floor cleaner?

Titles of Books, Movies, Albums, and the Like

Titles of books, movies, music albums, collections of poetry, and so forth are generally capitalized and are italicized. In such cases, all first and last words and all other words except for articles, prepositions (regardless of length), and conjunctions are capitalized.
Last night we went to see The Scarlet Pimpernell.
Have you read the book The Truth regarding Harriett?
Do you remember Where the Red Fern Grows?
The titles of very long poems, such as the epic poems by Homer, are italicized.
My favorite epic poem is The Iliad.
Did you ever read The Aeneid?
The first word after a colon is capitalized in a title even if it normally would not be.
Read the first chapter in the manual Electrical Wiring: A Practical Guide.
Have you read his biography, My Life in the Fast Lane: The Early Years?
Shorter poems, chapter titles, headings, and the like are also typically capitalized. Names of poems (and often chapter or section titles) are enclosed in quotation marks when referred to.
He said his favorite poem by Poe was “The Raven.”
I’ve only read the first chapter, “Making it on Your Own.”

Scientific Names

In official scientific (Latin) names of plants and animals, the genus is capitalized and the species is left lowercase, and both are italicized. When the genus is abbreviated, the same rules apply. Phyla, orders, and other designations are not italicized.
The chimpanzee, or Pan troglodytes, is one of the more intelligent species.
The first animal we saw was a tiger, or P. tigris.
Common names of plants and animals are lowercased, except when part of the name is a proper noun, in which case the proper noun only is capitalized.
At the zoo, we saw an Asian lion.
Have you ever heard of a Cape Barren goose?

Medical Terms

The names of medical conditions; diseases; and procedures, tests, and operations are left lowercase. For diseases that include a proper name, such as Alzheimer’s, that word only should be capitalized.
Yesterday Jane went in for a sonogram.
Did you know that her son had Down syndrome?
Names of infections are not capitalized, though the specific names of infectious organisms are capitalized and italicized, like other scientific names.
Strep throat, or streptococcal infection, is caused by tiny organisms called Streptococcus.

Geographical Locations

Names of geographic locations—such as city, state, province, county, and country names—are capitalized.
He just moved from Tallahassee, Florida.
I believe that the director is from Carter County.
We visited Scotland last year.
Two-letter abbreviations of U.S. state names are also capped.
Please send all checks to 333 Mercury Way, Denver, CO 12345.
Our address is 555 Sunshine Dr., Sunny City, CA 98765.

Geographic Features

Many important geographic features are also capitalized.
Have you ever visited the Grand Canyon?
On our way home we passed Lake Mead.
Last year we drove through Death Valley.
However, when referring g to two or more geographical features together, the names, but not the feature designations, are capitalized.
I’ve only ever been in the Colorado and Virgin rivers.
He has hiked in both the Rocky and Appalachian mountains.

Geographic Designations and Directions

Geographic designations are generally capitalized.
We lived in the South for many years.
Winters in the Northeast can be brutal.
Directions, on the other hand, are lowercased.
Oklahoma City is south of Des Moines.
He lives in the north part of the city.
I believe that Atlanta is southeast of here.

Military Names and Terms

Titles of military groups—such as militaries, air forces, battalions, and the like—are capitalized, as are unofficial names used to refer to such groups (or Special Forces within such groups, as the Navy Seals).
Her husband served in the 567th Engineer Battalion.
Uncle Jed used to be in the Army reserve.
The names of specific wars, battles, revolutions, and similar military events are also capitalized.
He served in the Gulf War and later in Afghanistan.
My son is writing a report on the American Revolution.

Religious Names and Roles

Titles of high officials in religious positions are often capitalized.
Do you know who the current Dali Lama is?
Have you ever met the Pope?
Other titles of lesser positions are generally lowercase.
Have you met the new pastor?
Maybe you should talk to the bishop about it.
I believe he is the new priest.
The names of religions are also capitalized.
He told me he was Baptist.
Did you say that she belongs to the Catholic Church?

National and Ethnic Titles

Names designating national origin or ethnicity are capitalized.
My ancestors were Swedish.
The neighborhood is primarily made up of African Americans.
I love to eat Japanese food.

Months, Significant Dates, Holidays, Eras, and Seasons

Names of months, special dates, and the names of holidays are capitalized.
They plan to hire more employees in January.
Will you plant a tree in honor of Arbor Day?
We will have a company luncheon the day before Thanksgiving.
The names of eras are generally capitalized.
I believe that that species became extinct during the Ice Age.
Didn’t they live during the Paleotonic era?
The names of seasons are not capitalized.
The fall is my favorite time of year.
We plan to move our office in the spring.

Historic Periods and Events

The names of historic periods and events are generally capitalized.
My grandmother was a teenager during the time of the Great Depression.
Do you remember the Cold War?

Adjectives Derived from Proper Nouns

Adjectives derived from proper nouns are often, though not always, capitalized.
My favorite plays are Shakespearean tragedies.
He exhibits an almost Machiavellian attitude.
Everyone abhors John’s draconian policies.
He loves to cook in his dutch oven.


Many companies and organizations prefer to capitalize such things as departments, titles of position, and similar designations. In such cases, it is important to learn and adhere to the preferred house style.
My brother works in their IT Department.
John Buchanan was chosen as the new President of Global NG.
In my opinion, the Company is the best place to work for in the city.

Going religious? Doing visita iglesia in 2011

Interior lights. Antique chandeliers inside Molo Church, Holyweek 2011
I don’t want to consider myself a perfectly religious individual. I often have my own beliefs on religion. In fact, my mom and I find that subject the most irreconcilable difference between us. She likes attending traditional catholic mass, I, on the other hand, prefers to do it in random churches.

Queue. People waited their turn to kiss the holy relic.
Molo Church, Holyweek 2011

I have nothing against being dogmatic in religion. I just don’t feel comfortable being fixed with the beliefs not always suited to present lifestyles. I don’t want to wear dress when going to church as catholic dogmas want, but I do believe in God and go there in jeans and T- shirt, never anything that shows skin and steal the scene.

The Holy Procession. Passing by our neighborhood. Holyweek 2011
I don’t have intentions of becoming a nun or church choir member, but I do pray to God every single moment. When people around me talk about their strong religious beliefs, I don’t say anything. I believe that people have their freedom to worship in any way they want and I don’t want to brag my ways either.

Holy Procession. Passing by the crowded street. Holyweek 2011
Nevertheless, I try to live up to the expectations of my religion in my most decent way. If there is something visible about my belief.. That would only include going to the church to light a candle. I guess not all knew this, but I bring my own lighter or match. My grandmother said, lighting my candle from other people’s mean I would be carrying the burden they wanted to get rid of.

Holy Procession. Holyweek 2011.

Another thing, every Holy Thursday, I do my Visita Iglesia, doing the way of the cross in seven different churches. I have been doing this with my bestfriends for the last five years.

The Feminist Church. Parish of St. Anne (Molo Church) houses all female saints 
Lastly, I watch or join the procession of religious relics before paying a visit to Molo Church to kiss the crucified Jesus Christ every Good Friday.

I don’t think this is way enough to pay my religious dues, but that’s closest to the best I can do. Most of the things I do for my religion are kept secret. It is between me and God.

Mother Nature Strikes Back

John Paulo Edrosolano

Through the storm. Two men hurried home under the strong rain and wind
Nowadays, we’ve had encountered a lot of problems, but all these has an end. One of the problems that is really hated by the public is calamity. What is a calamity? A calamity is a disastrous situation or event happening in our environment, resulting to damage of all natural resources that man depends on. There are many kinds of calamity that will forever exist, like earthquakes; a shaking of the ground. It can be a slow and sometimes it is violent enough to tear down mountains and cities with one big strike. A hurricane, a powerful, whirling tropical storms, is also a kind of calamity. Hurricanes are also called Willy-willies , cyclones or typhoon. For example was what happened in Anda, Pangasinan when many homes were destroyed by a strong wind as “Typhoon Emong” pounded the place, happening last June 2009.

Also, tsunami is a kind of calamity. It is a huge wave that begins when the sea floor is violently shaken by an earthquake, a landslide or a volcanic eruption. All calamities that are mentioned are caused by climate change.

Dried up. The farmer looking sadly at pond
slowly disappearing with drought.

Climate change is a rapid modification in the atmosphere; it is getting warmer, colder, wetter or drier. There are many theories why it is happening, and one cause of climate change may be shifts in the earth’s orientation to the sun. Many, however, believes that the main reason this calamity happens, is how we treat nature.

When calamity strikes, it is a big trial for us to pass through. The effect of calamity was very terrible; all human resources that we depend on will be destroyed. It can destroyed farms, and houses like those in Anda, Pangasinan last 2009. As I said, a typhoon destroyed all the infrastructure people in that city depended on. After a strike, it leaves many people to suffer, and it results to lack of shelter and clothing. Also, it causes hunger to victims. In that situation, the government had declared that the city be placed under the state of calamity, that they needed more attention and help to survive the challenges of the nature.

Nothing too stable. Shell station pounded by the storm

In our country, we had already encountered many kinds of calamities. Like what happened last June 21, 2008 when super typhoon strokes our country causing floods to most of the part of our nation. This typhoon was called “Typhoon Frank”. Most of us can never forget how it affected the whole nation. Typhoon Frank was one of the biggest calamities that we had encountered. Also, it is the greatest calamity that affected the whole city of Iloilo. One-third of 1, 691, 000, citizens of city of Iloilo, were left homeless because their houses were destroyed. All damage infrastructure that the typhoon left had cost nearly P 1,500,000,000. That time, the city of Iloilo was deeply in help and needed more support in giving the primary needs for all the victims. With all the damage that typhoon Frank left, we needed long time to stand up and start living normally again.

Also this year, last February 21, a volcanic eruption shocked Sorsogon as Mount Bulusan erupted. Mt. Bulusan puffed cloud of ashes that headed towards south and has reached Irosin ,City having 46,000 inhabitants affecting the health of all the citizens near in the explosion . An evacuation was ordered and over 100 families affected of the ash falls left. But thanks to God, the ash fall stopped in just two week and people had their lives back. 

Gravity ruled. People can't help but stare at a building as it goes down after an earthquake hit Philippines
There are some ways to lessen the damage of the coming calamity. Because we are not aware of when it will strike, preventing high number of casualties should be our government’s concern. They should always prepare and remind citizens of what are the best things to do when facing a calamity. Also, all weather stations should always be active to remind the public of a coming calamity, so preparations can be made . If the public can prepare, they can avoid bad things from happening. The purpose of the government agencies is to give information if there is a change in our atmosphere. With this, we can be more aware with the consequences of the things we do as we treat our mother nature.