If the name is capitalized, for example, should it be McDONALD or MCDONALD?

  • McDonald is already capitalized. You’re talking about something else.
    – tchrist
    Jul 17, 2013 at 16:00
  • 3
    Using a lowercase letter in a capitalized name is illegal in seventeen states already. Jul 17, 2013 at 16:16
  • -1 Surnames aren't usually capitalised, so the answer to this question is probably going to depend on why it is capitalised in the first place.
    – toryan
    Jul 17, 2013 at 17:48
  • @toryan NB: “Capitalized” means that the first letter is in uppercase. It is not the same as writing something in all capitals.
    – tchrist
    Jul 17, 2013 at 18:36
  • @tchrist Fair enough, although I meant all caps in the same way as the question.
    – toryan
    Jul 17, 2013 at 18:57

1 Answer 1


This is a matter of personal preference and/or a style guide, but here's what I recall from one usage authority (The Right Word at the Right Time, published by the Reader's Digest).

Smith > SMITH
La Salle > LA SALLE
LaSalle > LaSALLE
la Salle > LA SALLE
Macdonald > MACDONALD
MacDonald > MacDONALD
McDonald > McDONALD

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