Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

Publications & Resources

People and titles

Don't use courtesy titles, such as Dr., Mr., Mrs., Miss. or Ms.

Capitalize formal titles – those that are almost an integral part of a person's identity – when they directly precede the name. For example: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Mayor John Tory, Queen Elizabeth.

A title set off from a name by commas is lowercased. For example: The prime minister, Justin Trudeau, will represent Canadians at the conference.

Lowercase occupational titles and descriptions. Titles of officials of companies, unions, political organizations and the like are also lowercased. For example: general manager Art Simpson, registered nurse Margaret Wilson, RNAO president Angela Cooper Brathwaite or senior policy analyst Lynn Anne Mulrooney.

Lowercase formal titles when preceded by former, acting and so on. For example: former mayor Rob Ford, acting health minister Kim Shen, past-president Vanessa Burkoski, prime minister-designate Mary Brown, the one-time president Gerald Ford.

Lowercase plural use of titles and when they are standing alone. For example: the prime minister, the premier, premiers Jean Martineau and Gertrude Germain.

Front-loading – piling nouns in front of a name – is hard on the reader. Instead, use of, the and a, and set off long titles with commas. For example: 'The president of Groovy Records of Canada, Sheryl Jones, attended the news conference' instead of 'Groovy Records of Canada president Sheryl Jones attended the news conference.'

Please refer to RNAO's glossary to learn more.