Parts of Speech: Common nouns as proper nouns

November 10, 2005: Issue 113

When you use common nouns (mom, baby, grandma, etc.) as proper nouns, capitalize them.

correct: This is a soft, soothing nursery where any baby will have sweet dreams.
correct: This is a soft, soothing nursery where Baby will have sweet dreams.

correct: Give your mom a delicious surprise with this Mother’s Day cake.
correct: Give Mom a delicious surprise with this Mother’s Day cake.

If you’re not sure whether to capitalize, try substituting a person’s name for the noun without changing or deleting any other words. If the name makes sense, capitalize the noun.

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