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Thread: Why does Army Times not capitalize the word "Soldier"?

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    Senior Member Rusty Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Why does Army Times not capitalize the word "Soldier"?

    I say, "who cares"? I think that most of this griping stems from an inferiority complex that some military members have when seeing others show special deference to the Marine Corps.

    This inferiority complex seems to be more prevalent in the Army than any other service.

    I personally capitalize Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine, and Coast Guardsman; but I don't get my panties in a bunch when others don't.
    "Well... Uber's going to "driverless" cars soon, and their research probably shows that they're a natural fit (when it comes to getting paid for doing nothing)."
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    Re: Why does Army Times not capitalize the word "Soldier"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Creaminess View Post
    At some point within the past few years (maybe more), a directive was put out within the Army to capitalize the word "Soldier" (also "Soldiers") in any written correspondence. At the same time, "Family" (and "Families") was also directed to be capitalized. Yet I notice everytime I read the Army Times, neither word is capitalized, while the word "Marines" is.

    I'm very disappointed that the publication that is supposed to report on and for Soldiers does not show us the proper courtesy. I realize that Army Times is not written by Soldiers, but I would expect it to adhere to the same standards when we are its target audience and are one of its main topics.

    Is Army Times going to correct this deficiency? Yeah, it's nitpicky or whatever, but it's a bit annoying.
    I don't consider it a deficiency. Service branches put out a directive to deviate from the standard customs and usages of the English language. Those in the military have to play by that. Those who aren't are free to say "you are not the boss of me" and keep on writing as they always do.

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    Re: Why does Army Times not capitalize the word "Soldier"?

    I personally think it's pretty silly to capitalize "soldier." Capitalizing "family" borders on ridiculous.

    But the Army Times should be ashamed of itself for referring to the companion of a female general as "her wife." According to the English language, the United States government, and common sense, women don't have wives. If they are married, they have husbands. The Army Times should stop being a cheerleader for redefining marriage.

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    Re: Why does Army Times not capitalize the word "Soldier"?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSoldierwhosaysNi View Post
    I personally think it's pretty silly to capitalize "soldier."
    Shouldn't there be uniformity among the services when it comes to this? Capitalizing "Marine" only implies that their service is more valued than others.

    I believe the Navy put out a directive 20 years ago, that the world "Sailor" was to be capitalized. 20 years later, no one else has caught on.

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    Re: Why does Army Times not capitalize the word "Soldier"?

    ..the Times follow journalism standards, not Army standards.

    Can't site source and paragraph, but there used to be a Stripes guy that came on here and gave the whole story about this. It's not an oversight, they do it on purpose because it is "proper" according to journalism standards.

    Not sure why Marine is capitalized, you'd think the reasoning would be the same.

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    Re: Why does Army Times not capitalize the word "Soldier"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Measure Man View Post
    ..the Times follow journalism standards, not Army standards.

    Can't site source and paragraph, but there used to be a Stripes guy that came on here and gave the whole story about this. It's not an oversight, they do it on purpose because it is "proper" according to journalism standards.

    Not sure why Marine is capitalized, you'd think the reasoning would be the same.
    Joined up with a Public Affairs unit. Haven't gone to the schoolhouse yet (I don't leave until Mid-October), but according to AP stylebook - "Marine", "Sailor", "Soldier", "Airman" are all supposed to be capitalized.

    But I've noticed a lot of "journalists" can be pretty atrocious even with just basic grammar... so it should come as no surprise if they miss the other rules too.

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    Re: Why does Army Times not capitalize the word "Soldier"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Bonham View Post
    Joined up with a Public Affairs unit. Haven't gone to the schoolhouse yet (I don't leave until Mid-October), but according to AP stylebook - "Marine", "Sailor", "Soldier", "Airman" are all supposed to be capitalized.

    But I've noticed a lot of "journalists" can be pretty atrocious even with just basic grammar... so it should come as no surprise if they miss the other rules too.
    Nah, I don't buy it.

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    Re: Why does Army Times not capitalize the word "Soldier"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Measure Man View Post
    ..the Times follow journalism standards, not Army standards.

    Can't site source and paragraph, but there used to be a Stripes guy that came on here and gave the whole story about this. It's not an oversight, they do it on purpose because it is "proper" according to journalism standards.

    Not sure why Marine is capitalized, you'd think the reasoning would be the same.
    I was a public affairs specialist in the Army, and when I got out in 2003 we did not capitalize soldier yet. I have been working in Public Affairs as a civilian for two years now, and I have been told that there was Public Affairs guidance for the military that now Soldier should be capitalized. I personally don't agree, feel like we are stealing from the Marines. AP stylebook does not list Soldier as a capitalized proper noun. We capilize Marines because the proper name of their service is the U.S. Marines, and the people in the organization are Marines. Soldiers are in the U.S. Army, sailors in the U.S. Navy, airmen in the U.S. Air Force. Maybe airmen should be capitalized since it is a form of Air Force?

    Anyway, military guidance says capitalize them, but journalistic standard is to not. Follow orders or what's technically right?

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    Re: Why does Army Times not capitalize the word "Soldier"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Bonham View Post
    Joined up with a Public Affairs unit. Haven't gone to the schoolhouse yet (I don't leave until Mid-October), but according to AP stylebook - "Marine", "Sailor", "Soldier", "Airman" are all supposed to be capitalized.

    But I've noticed a lot of "journalists" can be pretty atrocious even with just basic grammar... so it should come as no surprise if they miss the other rules too.
    Where is that listed in the stylebook (not being sarcastic)? I couldn't find it looking up each one individually except Marines.

    P.S. enjoy DINFOS, loads of fun.

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    Re: Why does Army Times not capitalize the word "Soldier"?

    I believe that this individual says it best...

    Quote Originally Posted by Proper Grammar for Respect Nouns
    May 19, 1994, the Secretary of the Navy, John H. Dalton, decreed the word Sailor when used in Naval correspondence and referring to Sailors of the U.S. Navy – Sailor will be capitalized. Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, in October 2003 and Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. John Jumper, in May 2004 decreed the same for the words Soldier and Airman respectively. Marine (when referring to a person in the Marine Corps) is a proper noun and will always be capitalized.

    Sailor, Soldier, and Airman are also considered proper nouns in this blog (I hope in your blog too). I think when you are referring to them in any article, blog, correspondence, print, or print media those words should be capitalized – if you’re afraid some English teacher may come and swat your knuckles, or you’re concerned the grammar police may attempt to arrest you, tell them these words are proper “respect” nouns and they need to follow the lead of the respective military service heads and update their grammar manuals. (CLICK HERE FOR ORIGINAL ARTICLE)

    To bring the Corps inappropriate, this has nothing to do with the Marine Corps. We use these words as titles and therefore they should be held in the regard of a proper noun.

    By the by, IMHO, anyone who has had to try to follow the guidelines on how to write a proper paper for their professors etc. has had to have seen the ridiculous rules they toss in to those stylebooks. Some of the arbitrary rules they put in are no different than some general trying to get his name in the history books by saying we have to take the black beret from the Rangers and let every Soldier feel 'special' enough that they can not put their cover on with one hand either. So much in the stylebooks are there because someone wanted a feather in their cap... IMHO.

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