To capitalize or not to capitalize
Writing style standards are shifting toward less capitalization and punctuation. The Canadian Press follows this basic rule:
Capitalize all proper names, trade names, government departments and agencies of government, names of associations, companies, clubs, religions, languages, nations, races, places and addresses. Otherwise, lowercase is favoured where a reasonable option exists.
General rules for capitalization
- When referring to the academic term, lowercase the season.
- fall term
- winter term
- When referring to a student's academic year, lowercase and hyphenate.
- first-year student
- fourth-year student
- Capitalize the proper names of nationalities, peoples, races and the like. See race, religion and diverse groups for more information.
- Do not capitalize the word university when it is not part of the school's proper full name, even if it refers to Dalhousie. See Dalhousie, Dal, The university for more information.
- The university, founded in 1818, is often known casually as Dal.
- Capitalize the proper names of departments, faculties and programs. Colloquial names should be lower-cased.
- Department of Biology
- Faculty of Science
- biology department
- science program
- Capitalize Dalhousie degrees when referring to them by their proper name, and lower-case them when using colloquial forms. Names of majors, minors, concentrations and programs are lowercase within text. See degrees, programs and courses for more information.
- Do not capitalize academic subjects except when referring to a subject that is also a proper noun.
- Capitalize the full names of organizations and institutions, but lowercase general references. See buildings and locations for more information.
- Lowercase "fax" and "email" in text. Email is used without a hyphen and is lowercased except to begin a sentence. See telephone, fax and email for more information.
- Lowercase compass directions: north, south, east, and west (including northern, southern, eastern, and western) when not part of a proper name. Capitalize in reference to a proper name or region.
- Northwest, but northwestern
- The East Coast, but eastern Nova Scotia
- "Internet" should always be capitalized.
- "web" should be lowercased, except to begin a sentence.
- "website" is one word, all lowercased except to begin a sentence.
- Capitalize holidays, religious feasts and all special times.
- New Year's Eve
- April Fool's Day
- Mother's Day
- Canada Day
- Do not capitalize the first letter of a common noun after a colon in running text, even if the colon is followed by a complete sentence.
- Avoid using ALL CAPS. Use bolded words instead for emphasis.