As a blogger, knowing when to capitalize someone’s title, or not, is something I have to think about daily. The general rule is to capitalize a person’s title when it directly precedes their name, but not when it follows it.
So, this is correct: Professional Free Spirit Rusty Blazenhoff runs an inbox zine.
But this is incorrect: Rusty Blazenhoff, a Professional Free Spirit, runs an an inbox zine.
(The latter should be: Rusty Blazenhoff, a professional free spirit, runs an an inbox zine. Actually, all three are technically wrong because “professional free spirit” is something I just made up.)
The one that always gets me is “artist.” According to the rule, professions like author, actor, pilot, musician and yes, artist, are not capitalized, before or after a name. As I understand the logic behind it, a title is capitalized because it is officially conferred or awarded meaning you earned it. The word “profession” stems from “professing” your occupation, meaning you declared it yourself. Therefore, it isn’t capitalized.
I think most artists have earned their title, some officially! So, between you and me, sometimes I capitalize the “a” in “Artist” when it precedes a name. Now, I don’t want to tell you what to do but maybe you should too (??). [where is that smiley, winky-face emoji when I need it?]
Chief Rule Breaker
(this one is capitalized, even though it comes after my name…another exception to the rule. Oh wait, I made “chief rule breaker” up too. NVM.)
P.S. There will not be an issue next week. See you in (gulp) AUGUST.