When to Capitalize “Parents” by Kathleen A. Watson


[This chapter seemed appropriate for this special day!]

Honor Parents, But do it Right

Every spring, we’re bookended by holidays that honor parenthood: Mother’s Day, which is the second Sunday in May, and Father’s Day, which is the third Sunday in June.

Some people, wanting to show respect for parents, always capitalize any form of mom or dad.

Regardless of our desire to demonstrate that we respect and cherish our parents, there are times to capitalize and times to use lowercase. Here is a simple guideline to help you choose:

If a parent’s name could replace your mom or dad
in your phrasing, use capitals. If not, use lowercase:

  • I told Mom (Jean) I’d be home by midnight.
  • I told my mom (my Jean) I’d be home by midnight.

In the second example, you of course would not say, “I told my Jean I’d be home by midnight.”

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