Should mum be capitalised? Should university be capitalised?

🔎 Mum or mum? University or university?

In the manuscript I returned this weekend, one issue was the misplacement of capital letters in nouns such as the ones above.

My client often opted for the uppercase option but that wasn’t always the correct call.

▪️Keeping mum

Whether to use uppercase or lowercase depends on whether you’re describing the relationship or using the word in place of a name.

✅ My mum makes the best trifle.

✅“Will you ask Mum if she’ll babysit tomorrow?”

❌ My Mum hates snow.
➡️ mum ✅

❌ Do you want to play Scrabble, mum?
➡️ Mum ✅

▪️What are you reading?

‘University’ works in the same way. A lowercase ‘U’ refers to university in general. A capital ‘U’ means a specific one. Opt for lowercase unless you’ve named a specific university.

✅ I studied English at Keele University.

✅ My husband and I continued our university studies at a postgraduate level.

✅ We completed our postgraduate studies at the University of Leeds.

❌ I’d love to go back to University one day.
➡️ university ✅

❌My second choice after Keele was the university of Stirling.
➡️ University ✅

Hope this helps!

Let me know any requests for insight into other spelling, punctuation or grammar issues.

Published by clairecherryedits Indie Fiction Specialist. Line Editing. Copy Editing. Proofreading.

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