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Pedants' corner

Should govenment be capitalised?

19 replies

HauntedLittleLunatic · 27/08/2012 22:35

Me and my essay again...

Should the word Government be capitalised?

In the context "....the Government has published a document...."


OP posts:
Devora · 27/08/2012 22:39

I work for the G/government and even we don't know. People just use them interchangeably.

Fuchzia · 27/08/2012 22:39


edam · 27/08/2012 22:44

It used to be cap G for 'the Government' in most style books (and lower case if you weren't using the definite article) but usage has changed and now many publications use lower case. It's a matter of choice. Do you have a clue about what the person marking your essay might prefer - what form their organisation uses, how old they are?

lunchbox · 27/08/2012 22:45

I love it when there's spelling mistakes in pedants corner Grin

lunchbox · 27/08/2012 22:46

And when I spot one and announce it using incorrect grammar Blush

edam · 27/08/2012 22:49


There we were, all being terribly polite and not pointing out the mistake... and then you make two mistakes yourself. Hoist with your own petard indeed!

tethersend · 27/08/2012 22:50


I dno't know what it is about this topic, but I always make errors when posting here.

It's the topic which punishes us for smuggery.

tethersend · 27/08/2012 22:50

Oh for fuck's sake.

iklboo · 27/08/2012 22:53

I prefer capital G for the noun Government but oddly don't like capital P for police. With a capital that just looks like I'm referring to Sting & his mates.

HauntedLittleLunatic · 27/08/2012 23:26


The mistake in the title was clearly a typo (cos I have spelt it correctly twice in the OP).

And I am here looking for advice cos I know my spelling and grammar are crap, therefore I am aware that I may end up with errors that I don't realise I am making.

Those that are giving me the advise should know better though Grin.

So concensus is that 'the Government' is probably preferred, although in the context of my essay either could work as long as they are consistent.

OP posts:
HauntedLittleLunatic · 27/08/2012 23:26

or should I say advic*e (I think).

OP posts:
Baconsarnie · 27/08/2012 23:52

HLL, it should be capitalised if it refers to a specific administration, as your example does. But not if you're referring to the general government of a country, that is, how the country is governed.

NellyJob · 27/08/2012 23:54

government has a small g imho

ninah · 27/08/2012 23:54

I think it's like god, capitilise if you believe

Zorayda · 27/08/2012 23:58

Capped up if specific, not if generic: "The Oompa Loompa Government has announced...", as opposed to "if a government announces".

Zorayda · 27/08/2012 23:59

Sorry - just realised Baconsarnie said it before me.

Baconsarnie · 28/08/2012 16:26

Yes, but you explained it better, Zoradya!

WMittens · 28/08/2012 19:20

What BaconSarnie and Zorayda said.

edam · 28/08/2012 20:56

Baconsarnie and Zorayda are 'right' ish but usage is shifting. You don't have to cap up even the Government as opposed to a government, or the Prime Minister rather than a bunch of prime ministers if you don't want to. Important thing is to make a decision and be consistent, rather than mix initial cap and lower case randomly.

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