Capitalization…in Moderation!

In one scene of the movie, National Treasure, the main bad guy is carefully reviewing a letter, trying to decipher it’s hidden meaning. He astutely points to a word and asks, “Why is the first letter of this word capitalized?” One of his dopey henchman replies with a predictably dopey response, ”Because it’s important?” Arghhh.

One Of The Things I Frequently Encounter When Reviewing Client Proposals Is That Everything Is Capitalized. Sure, I Get It, You Capitalize A Word Because It’s Important. If It’s Important, It Should Be Capitalized, Right?


This overly dramatic example aside, sellers have a tendency to capitalize words they shouldn’t just because they perceive the word to be important. They’re an accounting company so they capitalize Accounting. They’re a payroll company so they capitalize Payroll.

Ladies and gentlemen, there are rules for capitalization! You can find them in any grammar book or, even easier, you can find them all listed somewhere on the Internet. And for the most part, the rules are clear. Just know that capitalizing a word because it’s important is not included in the list of which words that should be capitalized.

David Seibert is a professional salesperson, proposal trainer, author, writer, and business development consultant. He is the founder and president of The Seibert Group, a proposal consulting and training organization serving businesses that sell to other businesses, schools, and to state and local governments. You can contact him at


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