If you were standing outside my office door, you would hear a loud banging noise. That’s my head banging on my desk out of sheer frustration. The reason? Capitalization.
I have documents to edit that are filled with words that shouldn’t be capitalized—such as “federal,” “state,” “statutes,” “deadlines,” “laws”—but are uppercase. I have documents to edit that are filled with words that should be capitalized—such as “West Texas” and “Supreme Court”—but are not.
So to keep the head banging to a minimum, let’s go through the rules of capitalization.
1. Capitalize the first word in a sentence.
This is the most basic rule of capitalization.
2. Capitalize the pronoun “I.”
Another basic one, but in today’s text-message driven world, it bears mentioning.
3. Capitalize proper nouns: the names of specific people, places, organizations, and sometimes things.
For instance, “Austin, Texas,” “Patrick O’Brian,” “Ragan Communications,” “Supreme Court.”