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 to capitalize.


David Seibert is a professional salesperson and consultant for businesses that respond to formal procurements in non-federal markets. Dave publishes a comprehensive curriculum of online, self-paced proposal training classes, delivers onsite and online proposal training programs for dedicated proposal teams, and provides proposal and business development consulting services for businesses that want to improve their win rates. 

Dave is founder and president of The Seibert Group, a proposal consulting and training organization serving businesses that sell to other businesses, A/E/C firms, schools, and to state and local governments. Dave authored the popular proposal book, Proposal Best Practices, is active with the Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP), and is a member of the APMP Speakers Bureau. You can contact Dave at [email protected].

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