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Thread: Capitalization Questions

  1. #1

    Capitalization Questions

    Within my WIP, there are FBI agents. When talking about the president, the P isn't capitalized normally unless followed by his name. The president vs. President Jackson. Where I'm getting jammed up is in the situations below.

    1. At one point, I describe a guy as looking "Federal." Cap F or not? I initially chose not, but my wife says yes.

    2. The protagonist refers to the guys as "Feds." Cap F or not?

    3. The FBI agent character refers to the "Bureau" here and there. I assume the B is capitalized?

    Hmmmm
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  2. #2
    I'd say no to federal. It's a description, like royal.
    Yes to The Feds and The Bureau, as they've become names, like "And Mum came, too."

    Not certain, though.

  3. #3
    Thank you. I tend to agree. I also capitalize Dad and Mom when using them in place of their names.
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  4. #4
    1. No.
    2.Yes.
    3.Yes.
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  5. #5
    I concur.
    federal, Feds, Bureau
    Although, how does one look federal? If you mean someone looks like a Fed, it's perhaps clearer to just say that.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by per se View Post
    Although, how does one look federal? If you mean someone looks like a Fed, it's perhaps clearer to just say that.
    To me, it's clear as day because I wrote it. I guess I was going for the protagonist looking at a guy and thinking he was federal rather than local law enforcement. You're right though. It might just be better to say he looked like a Fed. Thanks!
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by violinguy View Post
    Within my WIP, there are FBI agents. When talking about the president, the P isn't capitalized normally unless followed by his name. The president vs. President Jackson. Where I'm getting jammed up is in the situations below.

    1. At one point, I describe a guy as looking "Federal." Cap F or not? I initially chose not, but my wife says yes.

    2. The protagonist refers to the guys as "Feds." Cap F or not?

    3. The FBI agent character refers to the "Bureau" here and there. I assume the B is capitalized?

    Hmmmm
    Hmm indeed. I would say:

    1. Describing a guy as looking "Federal" is a little, I dunno, out of whack, for me, because unless your narrator speaks like, whoa, that's totally federal dude, or something, "man, I feel defederated after last night", "federal" is an actual thing; it means centralised, not handled by some distant entity but controlled by the middle, and it's hard to see how a person could look like that. Governments can be federalised, yes; as can bureaux of investigation, as can many things. Maybe your guys looks like a Fed? That would make more sense, to me.

    2. Yes, Cap F.

    3. Yes, I think so, otherwise readers'll think he's talking about some Welsh dresser or roll top desk!




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