English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

When writing "American Dollar," should the d in dollar be capitalized?

share|improve this question
The dollar isn't that Almighty. At least not lately. – Robusto Jul 16 '11 at 12:22
It is more properly called the United States dollar. – z7sg Ѫ Jul 16 '11 at 16:00

No, it does not have to be capitalized. The following is much more common, and also correct:

American dollar

There are times when capitalization is helpful, such as in long lists. But it is never required.

Another thing to Keep in mind is That Excessive or unfounded Capitalization in normal writing tends to Look illiterate, unless it's wielded by an expert artist, or by earlier authors. So I would recommend that you use "dollar" rather than "Dollar" in almost all cases.

As with all nouns, one significant use of "dollar" where it should be capitalized is in a header or title, e.g:

The American Dollar Falls Below the Canadian Dollar!

share|improve this answer
Really, illiterate? I would say more 18th century. – Mitch Jul 16 '11 at 12:53
Thanks, @Mitch, I edited my answer. I am speaking to someone in the 21st century, though, and in normal writing from a person in the 21st century, excessive caps do look illiterate. – Daniel Jul 16 '11 at 12:55
I would say it depends from where it is done; many titles are written in title case, even in the 21th century. – kiamlaluno Jul 16 '11 at 14:24
@kiam: Thank you, too - I should have thought of titles. I edited. – Daniel Jul 16 '11 at 14:54

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.