I'm creating a table in which everything in the columns are being treated like titles- "Suggested Serving Size," "Flavor of Yogurt," etc.

So how do I deal with this one- "Profit per 16 oz. Container"? Should it be "Profit per 16 Oz. Container?" I know ounce would be capitalized, but what's the protocol for abbreviations?

  • 1
    Why would you capitalize ounce? – Mazura Feb 22 '18 at 23:55
  • @Mazura Because everything is title-case, and ounce is a noun. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Feb 22 '18 at 23:56
  • Oh. This is a (POB) manual of style question then. Should abbreviations of standardized units be capitalized when using title case? – Mazura Feb 23 '18 at 0:06

If you start capitalizing common units, you risk mangling them into something else entirely. It's not obvious what you would want a kelvin-gram (Kg) for, but a kilogram (kg) is a useful unit. Similarly, a megalitre (Ml) is a large amount of something, but a millilitre (ml) is only a little bit.


Abbreviations for standardized units are to appear exactly as they are shown on Wiki's pages for them. Otherwise you're not using standardized (!) units.

International System of Units

Imperial units

United States customary units


When abbreviating the name of a unit of measurement, stick to standard spellings, including standard capitalisation of those abbreviations.

Rationale: The field of units for measurement is so crowded, and the distinctions so important, that we need to jealously maintain even the distinctions granted by upper- and lower-case in order to tell the difference between units.

There is an important difference between 45 nm and 10 Nm, for example, which should be preserved even when abbreviating the words. So play it safe and never change the case on any unit even when abbreviated.

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