At my company you can take a course where you can receive training in being a "Super Helper." (Real program name anonymized to protect the innocent.) When, if ever, should we capitalize "Super Helper"?

Like a title, I imagine if we were to say "Super Helper Dave," it should be capitalized.

What about if we say, "Come to this class so you can become a Super Helper!" Should it be capitalized then?

Does being plural make any difference? For example, should it be capitalized in a sentence such as, "We have twenty-seven Super Helpers"?

My instinct was to capitalize Super Helper like a person's title, which I would normally only capitalize before a person's name, but I'm not convinced this is really a person's title. Maybe it's a "name of a program"? Is it more appropriate to capitalize it in order to distinguish it as a particular, specific program?

Thank you!

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    Since S/super H/helper isn't a commonly recognised compound or collocation, you can choose to use the string as a proper noun or not as you choose. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 25 '15 at 23:26
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    With the particular example of "Super Helper," capitalization is helpful in that it identifies the phrase as a title as opposed to a helper who is super(ior). – dartonw Mar 26 '15 at 9:25
  • @dartonw Capitalization distinguishing the phrase is definitely a major consideration, thank you for articulating that. My current conundrum is trying to decide between that recognition lent by capitalization versus the fact that the capitalized "Super Helper" looks kind of obnoxious to me in documentation where I must repeatedly use it. – Dale Mar 26 '15 at 12:09
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    A possible solution to overuse of the capitalized phrase is to initialize the title after introducing it, e.g. "The Super Helper (SH) program is for employees who specialize in helping others. Each SH..." – dartonw Mar 26 '15 at 19:57
  • @dartonw Another good suggestion. Abbreviation is perfectly reasonable in our internal communications, but for things like our web site we're concerned that abbreviation might confuse visitors. Maybe I can assuage my own doubts by abbreviating internally, at least. Thank you again. – Dale Mar 31 '15 at 21:22
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Whether it's a title or not, these two sentences are invariant:

  1. Come to this class so you can become a super helper.

  2. We have twenty-seven super helpers.

To see this, if you decide it is a title, replace "super helper" with "doctor" and the correct capitalization will be clear. If it's not a title, while you might capitalize the "Super Helper program" as it's a name, you would not capitalize the product of the program, i.e. the "super helpers."

It does not seem like "super helper" would be an official title or honorific at your company as it's pretty condescending (perhaps the actual program sounds better). If it is functioning as a person's title, the only instance it is capitalized is directly preceding their name, as in "Give your report to Super Helper John." Note that some titles are exceptional; you should "Bow before the King," but "Submit your work to the professor."

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