by Davy Kraken
A library featuring commonly committed errors of the English language.
|Personal titles can refer to someone’s position in a family, such as mother, father, brother, or sister; or to someone’s professional position, such as professor, secretary of state, or doctor. When are these terms capitalized, and when are they not? First of all, they should be capitalized if they preface the person’s actual name, such as with Uncle Bob, President Reagan, and Cousin It. Secondly, they should be capitalized if they are being used in place of that person’s proper name, a condition which you can test by replacing one with the other. If the sentence makes sense with the proper name in place of the title, the title should be capitalized.
Uncle Joe and Aunt Helen will be coming for Thanksgiving this year!
Joe and Helen, my uncle and aunt, will be coming for Thanksgiving this year!
“Can you drive us to the movie theater, Mom?”
Brandon’s mom will drive us to the movie theater.
General Eisenhower later became president.
President Eisenhower was once a general.
We’re losing him, Doctor!
Is there a doctor in the house?