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  1. #1
    Tom Bradford Guest

    Default Chief Warrant Officer, USMC

    Ma'am or Sir,
    I am in the middle of writing performance evaluations for some members of my platoon and have come upon an issue regarding proper nouns. I have always thought that when I make reference to a proper noun, as in "the Company" or "the Unit" in reference specifically to "Communications Company", that the noun is in fact serving as a proper noun and should be capitalized. However, I have run into some disagreement from some senior officers and really need to back up my claim or adjust myself if I'm wrong! I can't find anything on the Web to address my particular question, and will certainly appreciate your assistance. Thanks, Tom

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Chief Warrant Officer, USMC

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bradford
    Ma'am or Sir,
    I am in the middle of writing performance evaluations for some members of my platoon and have come upon an issue regarding proper nouns. I have always thought that when I make reference to a proper noun, as in "the Company" or "the Unit" in reference specifically to "Communications Company", that the noun is in fact serving as a proper noun and should be capitalized. However, I have run into some disagreement from some senior officers and really need to back up my claim or adjust myself if I'm wrong! I can't find anything on the Web to address my particular question, and will certainly appreciate your assistance. Thanks, Tom
    Well, I would capitalize the proper name of the Company or Unit if they go by a certain name.
    ex.
    "Chief Running Butt" platoon should be capitalized since we have given the platoon a name and the platoon goes by that name. It is its proper name.

    "Bent Forks and Spoons" company has its name capitalized because it's known by that particular name. I don't feel the word company needs capitalization. It's like any other noun. Same with communications company, unless you give it a name that belongs only to that company.

  3. #3
    mykwyner is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Chief Warrant Officer, USMC

    Here's how I teach this rule to my students. Note: This may only be the rule in American written English.

    I looked up and my mother was standing in the doorway.

    I looked up and Mother was standing in the doorway.

    In the first sentence, mother is written with a lower case m because it is acting like a common noun (being modified by the adjectival pronoun my.

    In the second sentence Mother is spellled with a capital M because it is functioning as a proper noun (replacing the person's actual name).



    Now for what you really want to know: How do I tell when to use which?
    Since Company or Unit can never be used in place of the actual name e.g. Charlie Company or Intensive Care Unit, then they are common nouns and should not be capitalized. Only capitalize them when you are using them as part of the full name (like I did above).


    I see President Bush's airplane. Ive never seen a president before.
    When King Henry was king, things were different.
    I know that Charlie Company will be the company with the highest rating.

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