Power Of Attorney? Power Of Attorney?
Q: Dictionaries don't capitalize it, but it seems that it ought to be. Which is it? Is there a difference if I talk about _the_ (specific) power of attorney (capitalize) or powers of attorney (small letters) in general?
A: -In my experience (US English), it is not always capitalized. I don't think there is a hard and fast rule. Sometimes contracts will capitalize all terms with a specific meaning in that document (i.e. Grantor, Grantee, Lessor, Lessee), and in that case, you might want to capitalize it in order to be consistent. If you are talking about a power of attorney in general, I wouldn't capitalize it. -Which, basically, is my dilemma. I have a series of three letters by twoparties on opposing sides of the fence. The one is saying very importantly, I have been given this Power of Attorney (one can just see the capitals in his voice and tone!) so hand over the papers. The other one is saying, I see no justification for this "so-called power of attorney" (and the tone of derision in the "so-called" just makes the P & A shrink into their non-capital form in dismay) so hand over the papers. A judgement call on my part.... -Yes, I do agree. I hadn't read the whole thread before, and now I have done I see it wasn't originally about capitalisation of headings at all, as your post and the one before were, but rather of specific terms in contracts. I stand by my comment about headings in general terms though. As for terms in contracts, I'm with Sylvia. I don't think Maxi should have switched between caps and lower case for "power of attorney" (if he did in the end), because it is the same power of attorney. I'd have used caps throughout if the p of a was introduced formally at the beginning of the document, otherwise probably lower case throughout. I'm not saying I disagree with the general idea of distinguishing between "the Agreement" and other "agreements" within a single contract though. It's when I get tricky ones like that that I wish I was translating into German instead of out of it - everything upper case.