Capitalizing titles of high-ranking officials
Should the title of a high-ranking official be capitalized?
- Capitalize the titles of high-ranking government officials when used with or before their names. Do not capitalize the civil title if it is used instead of the name.
The author cites several examples, including:
- The president will address Congress.
- The governors, lieutenant governors, and attorneys general called for a special task force.
- Governor Fortinbrass, Lieutenant Governor Poppins, Attorney General Dalloway, and Senators James and Twain will attend.
That said, you may accept either from your students since other sources may conflict. For instance:
The Holt Handbook, 6th ed. says:
- Titles that indicate high-ranking positions may be capitalized even when they are used alone or when they follow a name.
- Example: Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States
The Writer’s Brief Handbook, 5th ed. says:
- When you use titles of world figures alone, capitalization is optional.
- Example: The President [or president] spoke to the reporters.
. . . . .
Do you or your kids need some grammar guidance? The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation offers concise, helpful rules, examples, and practice exercises. It’s a combination reference book and workbook, super easy to use, and handy for home or office. Examples are short, simple, and practical. We know you’ll love it too! Want to read some reviews? Just click here.