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Capitalizing Proper Nouns

A proper noun is a noun which names a specific person, place, or thing. Proper nouns are capitalized. That includes the following categories of names: Each part of a person’s name: James A. Garfield Chester Alan Arthur Given or pet names of animals: Lassie Trigger Secretariat Geographical and celestial names: Red Sea Alpha Centauri Lake

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Names NOT Capitalized

The earth, moon, and sun are not capitalized unless in a list of celestial objects or part of another name. Correct: I was born on the earth. Correct: The first three planets from the Sun are Mercury, Venus, and Earth. (In a list) Seasons are not capitalized unless part of another name. Correct: This summer

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Capitalizing Proper Adjectives

A proper noun used as an adjective or an adjective formed from a proper noun is called a proper adjective. Proper adjectives are normally capitalized. This includes brand names. Correct: Syrian food a Kodak¨ camera Some proper adjectives may not be capitalized because the association with a particular name is gone. Correct: Teddy bear or

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Capitalizing Personal Titles

Capitalize a person’s title when used with the person’s name or as a direct address. The title is not capitalized when used generally. Correct: the Duke of Edinburgh Dr. Fleming Lieutenant Horatio Hornblower Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. Incorrect: The Duke sends his regards. (Used as a general word, not personal title.) Correct: The duke sends his

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Capitalizing Titles of Things

Always capitalize the first and last word in a title. Capitalize all the other words except for a, an, the, and conjunctions and prepositions of four letters or fewer. This applies to titles of books, chapters, periodicals, poems, stories, plays paintings, musical compositions, and subtitles. Examples: The Chronicles of Narnia (The is the first word,

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