Contemporary essays, fiction, and opinion offered regularly by author Anne Brandt.

Question for the week
Is there anything wrong with the following phrase? "It cost less to reuse boxes than to buy new ones."
Rules of the Games
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William S. , registered parliamentarian from Wetumpka, Alabama, asks...
My question involves capitalization. Which of the following sentences is correct?

1. The secretary asked President Jones to instruct the finance committee to sunmit its budget to the board of directors.

2. The Secretary asked President Jones to instruct the Finance Comittee to submit its budget to the Board of Directors.
Anne answers...
Traditionalists would opt for your second sentence, capitalizing and formalizing Secretary and Finance Committee by making them proper nouns. However, contemporary writers would opt for the first sentence, leaving the words as common nouns. The important thing is to be consistent throughout a given document; and, if this is a question of parliamentarian procedure, my hunch is that the more formal is the way to go.
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