When people see their name in the media or some other professional context, they like to see it spelled correctly. As it should be. But when their title is used in conjunction with their name, they also like to see something else: capital letters. And while those two conventions often go together, it’s just as likely they shouldn’t.

According to the AP Stylebook, formal titles should only be capitalized when they’re used directly before an individual’s name. That means Chancellor Susan O’Brien and Director of Development William Santiago would have their titles capitalized while Elise Ellsworth, vice president of logistics, would not.

And don’t think this rule only applies to the rank and file. It even applies to the president of the United States. When the title is used before the president’s name, he’s President Donald Trump. When it’s not, he’s Donald Trump, the president of the United States, or, simply, the president.

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