12 Capitalization Rules Most People Don’t Know

Picture of the number sixDo not capitalize seasons of the year unless they appear within a formal title.


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter
  • The 2012 Summer Ball

Do not 
capitalize any prepositions, conjunctions or articles in titles of books, magazines, blog posts or newspapers unless they begin the title.

  • The Secret Life of Gremlins
  • Of Mice and Men

Picture of the number eightDo not capitalize words that are derived from proper nouns but no longer depend on those nouns for their meaning.

  • french toast
  • english mustard
  • roman blinds

Picture of the number nineDo not capitalize occupational titles.

  • teacher of art, Jock Japin
  • pencil manager, Hugh Clough
  • chief tool, Constantine Klunk

Picture of the number ten Do capitalize degree abbreviations but do not capitalize names of degrees when written in full.

  • B.A. (bachelor’s of art)
  • M.A. (master’s degree)
  • M.B.A. (master’s of business administration)

Do use capital letters for references to numbered items:

  • Room 101
  • Figure 26
  • Three Mile Island

Picture of the number twelveDo use capital letters for the majority of acronyms (there are some exceptions, including ac and dc). Do not use acronyms for spelled out versions of the acronym if they are not proper nouns.

  • International Business Machines (IBM)
  • central processing unit (CPU)
  • RAM (random access memory)

Are there are capitalizations rules that confuse you? Drop us a line, and we’ll see if we can help.

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