Capital Ideas: Majuscules and Minuscules (Using Capital Letters)

WRITTEN December 1, 2011 Author: Rich Atkins

Using Capital Letters

Using capital letters properly is a sign of respect for your audience and subject. By not using, or misusing capital letters, your readers may think that you don’t know what’s correct (or even worse, don’t care). It may send a message to others that makes you look thoughtless. None of us would want that.

If you want to know when to use capital letters (majuscules) in writing, take a look at the guidelines below from Improving Communications.


The first word in a sentence.

Use the materials sparingly.

Proper nouns (not common nouns)

Stephen King (vs. writer)

Names of cities, states, and countries

Omaha / Nebraska / Ireland

Names of races, people, and languages

Caucasian / French / Italian

Days, months, and holidays

Tuesday / March / Independence Day

Words pertaining to the sacred

God / Christ / Buddha / Allah

Important words in titles

“Let’s Groove” / Angela’s Ashes

Direction names (used as nouns)

He lived out East. / The South is hot.

Words used as names

Dad / Grandma / Mother

Titles referring to a specific person

Doctor Jones (not the doctor)


“Capital idea, my boy! Capital idea!” (The immortal words of Thurston Howell III)


This information is from the Effective Business Writing class. If you’re looking for ways to improve your communication skills, register for one of the public classes scheduled currently for the New York City area.

>>Click here to find out more about majuscules and minuscules.


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