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I work at a company with the word "biomedical" in its name. Sometimes I see it capitalized in CamelCase, like a programmer would write it ("BioMedical"), and sometimes as one word ("Biomedical"). The second capitalization looks better to me, but I'm not sure. I've also seen the word written out as "bio-medical".

There seem to be too many options. Can anyone enlighten me on the proper capitalization?

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The word is biomedical and has been since at least 1921. At the start of a sentence, or in a title, it would be capitalised as Biomedical.

If some company chooses to use BioMedical as part of a brand, that's their business. It doesn't change the word as generally used, just as CinemaScope doesn't change the words cinema or scope as generally used.

The hyphenated bio-medical is also used, and if capitalised would be Bio-medical at the start of a sentence, but Bio-Medical in title-case.

At this stage though, the closed compound biomedical is well-enough attested that one is safer using that; hyphenating it my seem old-fashioned, bordering on twee.

Strike a red pen through BioMedical if it's not a brand. Strike a red pen through the hyphen of bio-medical only if you're enforcing a style-guide, as it isn't actually incorrect.

  • "Twee" is a British term, probably not understood in the US. – GEdgar Feb 4 '14 at 16:43
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Short answer: companies can do what they want with their names.

The term biomedical is a recognized term aside from the company name. As such, standard capitalization would usually apply and, where a capital was needed, it would be Biomedical.

Often company names and brand names use nonstandard capitalization, especially when the term used is a neologism or fanciful term, such as FedEx.

This internal capitalization is much less common when the term is a recognized word, unless the company is trying to draw attention to the latter portion.

But your company can do whatever it wants, even BiomedicaL if it chooses. Check on, and follow company policy.

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