Capitalization

When to Capitalize
When Not to Capitalize

As with punctuation, the rulewriter should not overuse capitalization. Standards were developed to minimize the use of capitalization because historically capitalization was more expensive to print. Although expense is no longer an issue, traditional capitalization principles are familiar and easier to read. To avoid the poor appearance of nonuniform capitalization, the rulewriter should use the following capitalization standards.

When to Capitalize

The following should be capitalized:

  • the first word in a sentence;

  • months and days of the week;

  • the word or phrase “Utah,” or “United States,” and words used in conjunction with them such as “United States Government”;

  • names of institutions such as “Utah State Prison,” “Utah State Training School,” “Utah State Hospital,” “Utah Museum of Natural History,” and “University of Utah”;

  • full and official names of associations and organizations such as “American Dental Association” or “Utah State Bar”;

  • full names of courts and other government departments, divisions, offices, committees, and boards;

  • the word “Legislature” only when referring specifically to the Utah Legislature;

  • the terms “Senate,” “House,” “House of Representatives,” and “Congress” only when used to indicate either the Utah Legislature or the United States Congress;

  • names, proper derivatives of proper names, places, historic events, and holidays, as in “Indian,” “Utah Lake,” “World War II,” and “Easter”;

  • official short titles and popular names of acts, bills, codes, and statutes;

  • the word “Title,” “Chapter,” “Rule,” “Part,” “Section,” “Subsection,” or other major subdivision designations of the administrative and statutory codes, when accompanied by the number of that subdivision, as in “Subsection 63-46a-3(3),” and when used in conjunction with the name of another code compilation, as in “Section 14 of the Federal Social Security Act” —capitalization is not necessary when used without a specific number, as in “as provided in this rule”;

  • the names of programs such as “Medicare,” “Medicaid,” and “Social Security”;

  • specific references to the state constitution or the codes such as “Utah Constitution,” “Utah Code,” “Utah Code Annotated,” or “Utah Administrative Code,” but not when general references are used such as “this code” or “this constitution”;

  • proper names of amendments should also be capitalized such as “Fourteenth Amendment” or “Gateway Amendment,” but the word “amendment” used in general references such as “the equal protection amendment” or “this amendment” should not be capitalized;

  • specific funds or accounts such as the “General Fund” or “Mineral Lease Account”; and

  • references to “Social Security number.”

When Not to Capitalize

The following should not be capitalized:

  • generic political subdivisions, as in “state” or “county,” except when the terms follow the names of the subdivisions, as in “Salt Lake County”;

  • titles of federal, state, local, and judicial officials, as in “governor,” “president,” “commissioner,” “representative,” “director,” “attorney general,” “judge,” “justice,” “chief justice,” or “treasurer,” unless used to refer to a particular person as in “Governor Huntsman”;

  • the words “federal,” “state,” or “court” when not part of a proper name except when “Supreme Court” refers to the Utah Supreme Court;

  • words merely indicating geographic location such as “northern Utah”; and

  • “general session” unless it is used in conjunction with a specific year “2005 General Session.”