Monday, February 21, 2011

day 47: capitalize president or not?

With the introduction of Presidents' Day last night, I decided that I couldn't pass up this opportunity to discuss when to capitalize president, I mean President.

Generally speaking (as with all grammar rules, of course!), the word president is capitalized when referring to a specific president but not when it is referring to the office in general.


1. The President will be in town next week.
2. President Lincoln spoke first.

Do not capitalize:

1. A president must be thirty-five years of age.
2. The presidents reside in the White House.

The "capitalize when referring to a specific president" guideline is true of the highest official of any land--King, President, Queen, etc. It is not, however, true for other offices, such as senator, mayor, etc.

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