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Government vs. government [caps or not]

English translation: government

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:Government
English translation:government
Entered by: Mads Grøftehauge
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15:43 May 19, 2003
English to English translations [PRO]
/ Usage
English term or phrase: Government vs. government [caps or not]
The way I understand it, this word is uncapitalised when when reffering to governments in general (eg. "A government may recommend [...]!), but capitalised when reffering to a specific government (eg. "All members of Government may...", "The local Government must...").

Would you consider the examples below please?

"In the local ballot you must choose between the two bills put forward by your Government as a result of the debate you have had. [...] The government’s job is to sum up the local discussion. [...] The Gamemaster decides which one of the groups becomes Government."

Also, is there some sort of rule? Because it obviously isn't as simple as whether the article is 'a' or 'the'.

TIA,
Mads

(The examples come from the rules to a game to teach school children about democracy)
Mads Grøftehauge
Local time: 14:23
lower case
Explanation:
Organisations, acts, etc

Organisations, ministries, departments, treaties, acts, etc, generally take upper case when their full name (or something pretty close to it, eg, State Department) is used. Thus, European Commission, Forestry Commission, Arab League, Amnesty International, the Scottish Parliament (the parliament), the Welsh Assembly (the assembly), the Household Cavalry, Ministry of Agriculture, Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA), Treasury, Metropolitan Police, High Court, Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, Senate, Central Committee, Politburo, Oxford University, the New York Stock Exchange, Treaty of Rome, the Health and Safety at Work Act, etc.

So too the House of Commons, House of Lords, House of Representatives, St Paul's Cathedral (the cathedral), Bank of England (the Bank), Department of State (the department).

But organisations, committees, commissions, special groups, etc, that are either impermanent, ad hoc, local or relatively insignificant should be lower case. Thus: the subcommittee on journalists' rights of the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party, the international economic subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Oxford University bowls club, Market Blandings rural district council.

Use lower case for rough descriptions (the safety act, the American health department, the French parliament, as distinct from its National Assembly). If you are not sure whether the English translation of a foreign name is exact or not, assume it is rough and use lower case.

Parliament and Congress are upper case. But the opposition is lower case, even when used in the sense of her majesty's loyal opposition. The government, the administration and the cabinet are always lower case. In America acts given the names of their sponsors (eg, Glass-Steagall, Gramm-Rudman) are always rough descriptions and so take a lower-case act.

The full name of political parties is upper case, including the word party: Republican Party, Labour Party, Peasants' Party. Note that usually only people are Democrats, Christian Democrats, Liberal Democrats or Social Democrats; their parties, policies, committees, etc, are Democratic, Christian Democratic, Liberal Democratic or Social Democratic (although a committee may be Democrat-controlled). The exceptions are Britain's Liberal Democrat Party and Thailand's Democrat Party.

When referring to a specific party, write Labour, the Republican nominee, a prominent Liberal, etc, but use lower case in looser references to liberals, conservatism, communists, etc. Tories, however, are upper case.

Selected response from:

Kim Metzger
Mexico
Local time: 07:23
Grading comment
Thanks Kim! I do like a simple rule! Besides, it fits nicely with my general dislike for Capitalization. Especially In Titles Or Headlines. Now for the Germans (and many Anglos) to get off their high Horses. ;-)
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
3 +11lower case
Kim Metzger
4 +2No answer....David Moore


Discussion entries: 2





  

Answers


6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +11
lower case


Explanation:
Organisations, acts, etc

Organisations, ministries, departments, treaties, acts, etc, generally take upper case when their full name (or something pretty close to it, eg, State Department) is used. Thus, European Commission, Forestry Commission, Arab League, Amnesty International, the Scottish Parliament (the parliament), the Welsh Assembly (the assembly), the Household Cavalry, Ministry of Agriculture, Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA), Treasury, Metropolitan Police, High Court, Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, Senate, Central Committee, Politburo, Oxford University, the New York Stock Exchange, Treaty of Rome, the Health and Safety at Work Act, etc.

So too the House of Commons, House of Lords, House of Representatives, St Paul's Cathedral (the cathedral), Bank of England (the Bank), Department of State (the department).

But organisations, committees, commissions, special groups, etc, that are either impermanent, ad hoc, local or relatively insignificant should be lower case. Thus: the subcommittee on journalists' rights of the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party, the international economic subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Oxford University bowls club, Market Blandings rural district council.

Use lower case for rough descriptions (the safety act, the American health department, the French parliament, as distinct from its National Assembly). If you are not sure whether the English translation of a foreign name is exact or not, assume it is rough and use lower case.

Parliament and Congress are upper case. But the opposition is lower case, even when used in the sense of her majesty's loyal opposition. The government, the administration and the cabinet are always lower case. In America acts given the names of their sponsors (eg, Glass-Steagall, Gramm-Rudman) are always rough descriptions and so take a lower-case act.

The full name of political parties is upper case, including the word party: Republican Party, Labour Party, Peasants' Party. Note that usually only people are Democrats, Christian Democrats, Liberal Democrats or Social Democrats; their parties, policies, committees, etc, are Democratic, Christian Democratic, Liberal Democratic or Social Democratic (although a committee may be Democrat-controlled). The exceptions are Britain's Liberal Democrat Party and Thailand's Democrat Party.

When referring to a specific party, write Labour, the Republican nominee, a prominent Liberal, etc, but use lower case in looser references to liberals, conservatism, communists, etc. Tories, however, are upper case.




    Reference: http://www.economist.com/research/StyleGuide/index.cfm
Kim Metzger
Mexico
Local time: 07:23
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 2249
Grading comment
Thanks Kim! I do like a simple rule! Besides, it fits nicely with my general dislike for Capitalization. Especially In Titles Or Headlines. Now for the Germans (and many Anglos) to get off their high Horses. ;-)

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  J. Leo
6 mins

agree  Gayle Wallimann: Definitely, not capitalized.
6 mins

agree  xxxIno66
9 mins

agree  Vanessa Marques
10 mins

agree  Tony M: Yes, except you demoted Her Majesty, which is ALWAYS capitalised!
14 mins
  -> I'd write a letter to the Economist, except I don't know if I could muster the requisite passion!

agree  airmailrpl
27 mins

agree  jccantrell
28 mins

agree  Bin Zhang
36 mins

agree  Alaa Zeineldine
40 mins

agree  xxxJoeYeckley
1 hr

agree  xxxwendyzee
12 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

40 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
No answer....


Explanation:
because I've little to add to what Kim has said; his source and mine do disagree on one or two minor points, as follows: The Government, when it is clear which one is meant, but g when used adjectivally, and from this therefore The Assembly (Wales) and the Parliament (Scotland); geographically speaking, I think Market Blandings RDC might be hurt to be considered "unimportant", as would the Oxford University Bowling Club; though Kim's source may be right in those cases I feel fairly strongly that there is an option there. As to your examples; I think that "The Government" should follow the first set of brackets and "The game-master" should follow the second. I do not like the wording at the end either - it's clumsy, but I haven't really any better idea.

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Note added at 2003-05-19 16:25:01 (GMT)
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Dusty, \"The Economist\" is capitalised!!

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-05-19 16:50:54 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Sorry, Dusty; that note should have been for Kim!

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-05-19 16:51:28 (GMT)
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By the way, Mads, I\'d always take sooner than Harper Collins

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-05-19 16:52:42 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

That should have read \"I\'d always take OED sooner than....\"


    Harrap: Word Perfect by John O.E. Clark (1988)
    (ISBN 0 245 54562 X) OR (0 245 54601 4)
David Moore
Local time: 14:23
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 864

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  izy
39 mins
  -> TVM

agree  virgotra
1 hr
  -> Taa!
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