Please advise whether I should capitalise the following (in the sentence):

...Global Financial Crisis of 2008-09...

Since it seems to be a description of a globally recognised phenomenon/event, I thought it should be capitalised, but I'm not sure.

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    No, that forms no criterion for caps. Quick rule here: Look for titles of things like the Great Depression, not the dawn of time. – Yosef Baskin Jul 23 '17 at 13:15
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    Without detracting from @Yosef's comment, the term "Global Financial Crisis" (and even its acronym GFC) is now used as a proper noun referring to the events around a specific period of (recent) history. Treating it as a proper noun calls for its capitalisation. – Lawrence Jul 23 '17 at 13:28
  • Why in the world is this marked British? – tchrist Jul 23 '17 at 14:46
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    It's hard to tell what is meant by "in the sentence" when we aren't actually given the sentence! If context is important, please edit your post to add some of the surrounding text. – herisson Jul 23 '17 at 15:12
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    @sumelic I suspect that bit is perhaps meant to indicate “within a sentence (as opposed to after a period or as a heading where different rules of capitalisation may apply)”. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 23 '17 at 15:30

A number of major economic upheavals have received proper-name billing. Thus, for example, Wikipedia has entries for or allusions to the "South Sea Bubble," the "Panic of 1819," the "Panic of 1837," "Railway Mania," the "Panic of 1857," the "Wall Street Crash of 1929," the "Great Depression," the "Great Recession," etc.

This does not resolve into a consistent, predictable pattern, however. For example some sources refer to the "Mississippi Bubble" and others to the "Mississippi bubble." Likewise, some sources give "Tulip Mania" and others "Tulip mania". And some economic upheavals—such as the "dot-com bubble"—have tended to remain lowercase despite being widely identified by that particular name.

In the case of the global financial crisis of 2008, the predominant form thus far seems to be lowercase, but this may be due in part to common variant forms such as the "2008 global financial crisis," which, like "1857 panic" and "1929 stock market crash," lends itself to a lowercase treatment because it uses financial crisis generically, with the year as the distinguishing modifier.

In the fullness of time, the "Global Financial Crisis of 2008" may take its place among the widely acknowledged proper-named economic disasters of Western history—but so far, people have been far less willing to treat it as a proper name than they have (for example) the "Great Recession" that followed on its heels. And until support for treating the common name as a proper name becomes significantly firmer, you are likely to see the "global financial crisis of 1989" remain the more common treatment of the term.

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  • I thought it was tulipomania. – Edwin Ashworth May 29 '19 at 19:00

Capitalization is reserved for names. Although "Global Financial Crisis" and the less-punchy "Financial Crisis of 2007-2008" are in the running for the honor, the relatively minor correction of 2007 doesn't really have an agreed-on name yet.

In the work you are writing, are you planning to consistently call it that? If so, you can consider it a none name for your purposes. If this is a one-off, I'd advise against it.

Perhaps the absence of capitalization problems was why "9/11" and "September 11" were adopted so speedily as names for the 2001 terrorist attacks.

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    The War of 1812 is a name, and is almost always capitalized. So why not the Global Financial Crisis of 2008? This event needs a proper name, and I see no reason to avoid capitalization until the name is settled. – Peter Shor Jul 23 '17 at 14:31
  • Well, naming is a communal and iterative act. On the one hand, we don't want everyone inventing their own, so the OP calls it the Global Financial Crisis, you call it the Holy Crapiscade, I call it the First Annual I Told You So Jamboree, it's a Tower of Babel. On the other hand, the only way to name things to to start proposing names, see what sticks. – Malvolio Jul 23 '17 at 16:10
  • I was about to say the same as Malvolio… for body copy. In headlines and other 'elevated' cases, there are no real rules (however much I'd like there to be). At the end of the day, house style always takes precedence over any rule, even if everyone else thinks it's clearly wrong. – Robbie Goodwin Jul 23 '17 at 20:35

I think answer one, Sven Yargs', is spot on here. I had the same issue and decided against capitalization on our site, www.internalaudit360.com. In the United States we tend to call it "The financial crisis of 2008," although the date changes from time to time and the capitalization seems to deviate widely. (Interesting that the self-centric USA neglects the use of the word "global.") In any regard, the deviation in the exact words seems to indicate that the event has yet to take its place as a proper noun requiring capitalization in the way that the Great Depression has.

One note here. Since it's not a proper noun, you do need to be more careful with your phrasing. Since its not a proper name of the event, you are using the words "financial" and "crisis" in their normal sense, so you should avoid shorthand and make sure the sentence makes sense in full context.

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