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I was reading through some company documents regarding “Our Vision, Values And Principles”, etc., and was wondering about how they were referenced later in the text.

Frequently the author wrote statements such as “our Values should reflect” or “the company’s Vision dates back to” or similar.

My question is, should an abbreviation of the title but an obvious reference back to the title be capitalized? Should his writing have been “our values should reflect” or “the company’s vision dates back to” or is he correct to have written as he did?

P.S. I know the author is male as his name is given at the end of the document.

  • It's just a matter of opinion/stylistic choice. Christians, for example, habitually capitalise the word god to indicate that they're talking about their deity. – FumbleFingers Nov 23 '15 at 14:11
  • Stop voting to close as "opinion based". This question can be answered with authority. For example, FF's comment above and Mark's answer below are not arbitrary. "Opinion based" is for questions that can't be answered with authority, and will attract arbitrary (opinionated) answers. Questions along the lines of "what's your favorite adjective". – MetaEd Nov 25 '15 at 1:09
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No, his capitalization within the text of the article is incorrect. Generally, only proper nouns are capitalized within a sentence. As a stylistic choice, his use of inappropriate capitalization is pretentious.

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    There is an exception: The article (or pre-existing corporate culture) might have defined Vision, Values, and Principles as corporate "basic beliefs" or some such, effectively making them proper nouns. This is not all that uncommon. – Hot Licks Feb 13 '16 at 4:03
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The only way I could see this as being appropriate or consistent is if the document was officially titled as such.

For example, if you had a book or periodical named "Principles of Design," I could see an abbreviated reference to the title ("...as we discussed in the first chapter of Principles ...") making sense from a style perspective.

To use these capitalizations in a corporate setting is an attempt to elevate this mission statement to a near-religious level. To me, that's just plain odd.

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