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Capitalize entries in Webster's Third indicated as usually capped (usu cap) and those in Webster's Eleventh that begin with an uppercase letter. Lowercase often cap or sometimes cap entries unless in Style Manual.

1. Names of organizations, groups, agencies, firms, etc., are capped, following the organization's own style when full name appears (but lowercase the article the): the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, the board; the Environmental Protection Agency, the agency; but the U.S. Geological Survey, the Survey.

If there is much material about an organization, try to give its full name at least once. However, well-known names may be shortened even on first appearance if clear: DuPont, IBM, Ford, MIT, Caltech, UCLA, UNESCO. Generally do not abbreviate Company or Corporation or use an ampersand unless it is so done on the organization's letterhead.

Acronyms are generally set in full caps, no spaces or periods; however, long acronyms may be reduced in type size or set in small caps for the sake of appearance: a UNESCO (or UNESCO) program.

2. Place-names follow the style of the NG atlas, then the U.S. Board on Geographic Names.


When two or more place-names share a common element, it is capped:

the Potomac and James Rivers
Mississippi and Missouri River channels

Bodega and Cortez Streets
Mounts Mitchell and Rainier

Lowercase shortened forms as follows:

the African continent, continent of Africa, the continent
down Pennsylvania Avenue, along the avenue
Commonwealth of Virginia, the commonwealth
University of Maryland, the university's students
Zion National Park, Zion Park, the national park, the park
Chesapeake Bay, the bay, a bay bugeye
San Francisco Bay, the bay but the Bay Area
Mississippi River Delta, the Mississippi Delta, the delta


English Channel, the Channel
the Commonwealth (formerly the British Commonwealth)
European continent, the Continent, the continent of Europe
the Colonies (U.S. history)
Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf
the Florida Keys, the Keys

3. Titles and office:  As a general rule when a high-ranking title occurs before a name, it is capitalized. When the title follows the name, or is in apposition to a proper name, it is lowercased. In the case of a long or unwieldy title, reorganize the sentence structure so that the title follows the name.


4. Military and religious titles:

Gen. Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; the general
Barbara Duckworth Case, Dean of St. Nicolas's
Barbara Duckworth Case, the dean of the cathedral
the dean of St. Nicolas's, the dean
Cardinal James Hickey, the cardinal

5. Civil and professional titles:

President George Bush, the president
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice, secretary of state
the secretary of state; the secretary
Prime Minister David Cameron; but British prime minister David Cameron; prime minister of Great Britain; the prime minister
Senator Kathy B. Maher; but Alabama senator Kathy B. Maher; the senator from Alabama
Mayor Ann K. Wendt; but Westmoreland Hills mayor Ann K. Wendt
Ann K. Wendt, the mayor; mayor of Westmoreland Hills
Park Superintendent Julie Agnone; the superintendent
assistant park superintendent Mary Jennings
park ranger Sandy Dane
senior researcher Heidi Schultz
sanitation engineer Throckmorton K. Zandervelt III

6. Academic titles:
             Kathie Gartrell, Walt Whitman Professor of English
            Kathie Gartrell, professor of English; Professor Gartrell

7. Corporation titles:
            At MIA, President Alice Jones introduced me to bookkeeper Mary McPeak, security officer James Fay,
            and general manager Greg Doerning.


8. Honorifics are capped:

His Eminence
Your Honor
but yes, sir

Your Majesty, Her Majesty
Her Royal Highness, Your Royal Highness
Your Grace, My Lord, His Lordship
9. Epithets and appellations are capitalized and not quoted if well established; lowercase within quotation marks if less firmly established:

the Maid of Orléans
the "legal eagle"

"the hostess with the mostest"


10. In display type, each word in a hyphenated compound may be capped:

America's Small-Town River
The Navy's Inner-Space Shuttle