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When using the word "department" after the name of a department, does one capitalize it? For example, "Advertising Department?"

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When using the word 'department' (or 'group', 'committee', and the like) as part of a recognized name it would be capitalized:

Bill recently joined the Advertising Department.

If using 'department' not as part of a specific name it would be lower case:

We had a party to welcome Bill to the department.

As a further note, you could also drop the 'Department' and re-write the first sentence as:

Bill recently moved to Advertising.

But if using 'advertising' not as the name of a specific department, but rather as a field of expertise, you would write:

Bill works in advertising.

  • Should department be capitalised if it is used in the following context; "The department agreed ..."? – sturner Apr 12 '11 at 15:38
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    In looking at it I can't see why it would be capitalised, unless you put something specific in front of it as in "The Accounts Department agreed ..." – Stuart Allen Apr 17 '11 at 23:56
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    @Snubian: Capitalization would also be used in situations where e.g. a contract leads of with "The Department shall refer to the Widget Maintenance Department of Acme Corporation"; in such a case, when Department is capitalized it would always refer to that particular department, even in contexts that were talking about other departments. – supercat Feb 19 '15 at 16:46
  • @supercat Yes; even second-hand specification, where the complete first-hand term needs a capital, requires one. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 14 '18 at 20:29

protected by tchrist Mar 1 '15 at 19:07

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