Category: capitalizing the Navy

Do You Capitalize "Navy?"

I’m not talking about the color, navy blue. I’m talking about the U.S. Navy, as in military.

The reason I’m asking is because this came up in edits for a new book I have coming out that deals with the gays in the military and the unfairness of DADT. And I wanted to be sure to get certain facts right.

When I submitted the book, I had the word capitalized. I did my research at libraryonline and here’s what they said:

Army, Navy and Air Force – Capitalize when referring to these organizations by name or with other widely accepted references to them. Examples:· the Army · U.S. Army · French Army · Organized Reserves · 1st Regiment · the Navy · U.S. Navy · British Navy · Marine Corps · the Marines · the Air Force · U.S. Air Force · Royal Air Force · Edwards Air Force Base

However, there seem to be different schools of thought on this topic, because when I received the book from the copyeditor this morning the Navy was now the navy.

Evidently, some publishers go with The Chicago Manual of Style, which doesn’t capitalize navy, as in the Navy. So I figured they knew better than I did and let it go.

But, to all the reviewers and persnickety types out there who do believe the Navy should be capitalized. Don’t come after me on this one. Authors do not, in spite of what everyone thinks, get the chance to veto all editorial decisions. So I learned something new today about the Chicago Manual. And if it’s good enough for The Chicago Manual, I suppose I can learn to live with it.

But if anyone feels like commenting, I’d love to hear your thoughts.