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when to capitalize?

when to capitalize?

when to capitalize?

In the following sentence "manufacturer's" should or should not be capitalized?

"Observation and evaluations employ visual observation techniques and physical tests, listed below, of the work to verify general compliance with the requirements of project plans and specifications, and the manufacturer's published application instructions."

RE: when to capitalize?

No reason to capitalise it. It's a common (rather than a proper) noun in the middle of a sentence.

That's the formal position. Sometimes, people will capitalise common nouns to indicate that they are using them in a specialised way, rather than with the commonly accepted meaning - and, while that's not what we were all taught to do at school, it can work rather well.


RE: when to capitalize?

I'm more strict. Do not ever capitalize "manufacturer" in mid-sentence, it is not a proper noun.

If you want to stress the requirement to follow the manufacturer's published instructions, the use of italics is recommended. Some folks go farther and use italics, boldface, and underline as well. That overkill is not really OK according to any style manual I have seen. To me, though, it usually indicates that an engineer has been burned on a previous job by not emphasizing something enough. Any of those is better than capitalization in my humble opinion.

Good on ya,

Goober Dave

Haven't see the forum policies?  Do so now: Forum Policies

RE: when to capitalize?

I agree as well, there was nothing about the use of the word 'manufacturer' which would indicate that it needed any special emphasis.

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
UG/NX Museum:   http://www.plmworld.org/p/cm/ld/fid=209

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: when to capitalize?

The only time that I might consider capitalization is if this is part of a contract.  The beginning of the contract might say that "Manufacturer" means "ABC, Inc".  Manufacturer is a specific entity.  That's the only context that I might justify it.

RE: when to capitalize?

I strongly agree with the others and have to add that the example sentence is overly convoluted and verbose. It should be broken-up into at least two sentences.

RE: when to capitalize?

Following up on weab: it is very common to see "Owner", Contractor", and "Engineer" (and even "Manufacturer") capitalized in construction contracts and technical specifications when these terms have been specifically defined as refering to the parties to the contract and entities/people with special relationships to the contract. This action transforms these terms into proper nouns.

"Is it the only lesson of history that mankind is unteachable?"
--Winston S. Churchill

RE: when to capitalize?

I agree, weab and fel3, that is very common to find such capitalization in contracts. It is legalese, though, not correct grammar. My answer was in regard to the grammar, as governed by style manuals. Perhaps in some legal style manuals it is possible to convert a common noun to a proper noun. In technical writing, such a conversion is not really legitimate. At least I have never seen it.

Perhaps since I can't really buy the conversion of a common noun to a proper noun, I might be able swallow the conversion of the common noun "manufacturer" to the symbol  "Manufacturer," but it is still a bitter pill for me. Common use does not make a poor usage correct.

Personally, I would neither capitalize the word in the definition, nor in the text. There is no reason to do so in either location, unless the word begins a sentence (as it most often does in the definition) or is part of a title-case line.

Good on ya,

Goober Dave

Haven't see the forum policies?  Do so now: Forum Policies

RE: when to capitalize?

You want to capitalize on the weakness of others.

RE: when to capitalize?

Since most of the manufacturing is now done in China, I would never capitalize the word.

Mike McCann
MMC Engineering

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