I'm struggling a little with knowing when to capitalise words under the Chicago Manual of Style.

In the phrase "He became a professor", would I capitalise the word 'professor'?

My thinking is that I'd capitalise it if it were referring to a specific individual (e.g. "Professor Smith") but not in this case. I've looked but can't find anything definitive from Chicago so would appreciate any help!

closed as off-topic by jimm101, NVZ, Hellion, curiousdannii, tchrist Dec 8 '16 at 14:02

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  • What sections of the CMOS have you checked? What do they say? What is in them that doesn't answer your question? In the online version, sections 8.27 and 8.21 talk specifically about this, down to the word. – Alan Carmack Dec 6 '16 at 23:22
  • 1
    I'm voting to close this question because how to make text follow a particular style guideline is off-topic, per community consensus here. – Hellion Dec 7 '16 at 18:55

You're correct.

Professor, when not referring to someone by name, is lower-case. As you suspected, you'd capitalize if you were saying something like:

It's amazing that my friend Bill is now known as Professor Miller!

As opposed to:

My friend Bill is much busier now that he's a professor.

Class dismissed.

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