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More Words That Shouldn't be Capitalized
Contributor
Written by
Maria Murnane
18 days ago
Contributor
Written by
Maria Murnane
18 days ago

In a recent post I explained that the seasons of the year should not be capitalized, nor should job titles that don't come directly before a person's name. Here are two other areas in which I frequently see capital letters where they shouldn't be:

Fields of study/work

Unless it's a language, fields of study or work aren't capitalized.

  • Gloria majored in Math. (INCORRECT)
  • Gloria majored in math. (CORRECT)
  • She's not sure yet, but she's thinking about pursuing a career in Physics. (INCORRECT)
  • She's not sure yet, but she's thinking about pursuing a career in physics. (CORRECT)
  • David teaches high school Chemistry. (INCORRECT)
  • David teaches high school chemistry. (CORRECT)
  • Maria studied both english and spanish in college. (INCORRECT)
  • Maria studied both English and Spanish in college. (CORRECT)
  • He's a world-renowned professor of History and French. (INCORRECT)
  • He's a world-renowned professor of history and French. (CORRECT)

Degrees

When spelled out, undergraduate and graduate degrees are not capitalized.

  • Gloria has a Bachelor's Degree from UCLA. (INCORRECT)
  • Gloria has a Bachelor's degree from UCLA. (INCORRECT)
  • Gloria has a bachelor's degree from UCLA. (CORRECT)
  • David wants to get a Master's Degree in chemistry at Harvard. (INCORRECT)
  • David wants to get a Master's degree in chemistry at Harvard. (INCORRECT)
  • David wants to get a master's degree in chemistry at Harvard. (CORRECT)
  • She received a Bachelor's in math and a Master's in English from Berkeley. (INCORRECT)
  • She received a bachelor's in math and a master's in English from Berkeley. (CORRECT)
  • She received degrees in math and English from Berkeley. (CORRECT).

Unfortunately, capitalization rules are frequently flouted on corporate websites and in press releases, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't follow them. Just read any article in a major newspaper and you will see that professional writers still take them seriously.

-Maria

Maria Murnane writes bestselling novels about life, love and friendship. Have questions? You can find her at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2017 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Comments
  • Patricia Robertson

    Aaagh! "She received a bachelor's in math and a master's in English from Berkeley." I never would have gotten that one right. If this had been a test, I would have failed. That's what I have a copy editor for! :) Bookmarking this.

  • Vivienne Diane Neal

    Maria, thank you. I learned a lot about capitalizing or not capitalizing degrees.