When writing a proposal letter for a price quote in the construction construction industry, is it correct to capitalize terms such as customer/owner/client? Many estimators tend to do so, but it doesn't seem correct to me since the terms are not defined anywhere on the proposal letter.
From my experience and what I can locate online, capitalization in something like a contract is a placeholder for a proper noun.
The phrase "herein referred to as Client" is one example. However, I cannot find any official english usage that supports this.
Both of these examples would seem to indicate that using or not using capitalization is a matter of style:
The construction industry, but really any industry that deals in contracts may do this out of habit. Client is a reference to the client, John Doe. For someone who writes contracts or deals with those types of legal documents, I can certainly see how this habit can be formed.
When writing a proposal letter, the capitalization is optional. However, if you want to write it correctly, consistency is key. For example:
"Client agrees to perform the action and the client also agrees to provide feedback in a timely manner."
Here Client and the client are used, creating an inconsistency in the writing. Now, most everyone can understand that they mean the same, but to be 100% correct, pick one. Either use Client or the client throughout the proposal, but not both.
Use the capitalized form if you are referring to the previously-defined definition of it (alternate: put the lowercase version in quotation marks, and define accordingly, e.g. "client" means Writing Better English Services Inc.; the following services will be supplied to "client": ...).
Use the lowercase form if you are referring to a generic client and not a specific one.