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'secretary of U.S state' Vs 'U.S secretary of state' [word order] Options
A cooperator
Posted: Monday, September 9, 2019 6:39:18 AM

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Hi Everyone!
I've seen these phrases on the topic of when to capitalize job titles somewhere on the Internet:
"U.S Secretary of State Colin Powell" and "Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Qatar Minister of State for Energy Affairs, announces that Qatar will leave OPEC next month during..."
But, as long as State is for the U.S, and for Qatar, I am wondering why the author didn't phrase them as follows:
Secretary of U.S State Colin Powell, where the descriptive words 'U.S' are first listed like the way "As per Government of India Guidelines" is phrased.

Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Minister of Qatar State for Energy Affairs.



I was told
Quote:
Secretary of State is the title of the post. You can't break it up. Colin Powell was the US Secretary of State.

Dominic Raab, whose official job title is Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) is normally referred to as the (UK) Foreign Secretary.


Also,
Quote:
"State" has many definitions. In this case, "State" does NOT mean one of the American geographically distinct States. It has the broader meaning of "the operations or concerns of the government of a country" (from Merriam Webster).

Also, "Secretary of State" is defined by the same source as "the head of the U.S. government department that is in charge of how the country relates to and deals with foreign countries."


thar
Posted: Monday, September 9, 2019 7:51:47 AM

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No.
As explained before, this is a job title.

Secretary of State
Minister of State for Energy Affairs




You will find it in many examples, and it is always that way.


UK
Quote:

Chris Heaton-Harris was appointed as a Minister of State at the Department for Transport on 25 July


You can have a 'Minister' and a 'Minister of State' - those are different job titles.
Audiendus
Posted: Monday, September 9, 2019 9:34:10 AM
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A cooperator wrote:
But, as long as State is for the U.S, and for Qatar, I am wondering why the author didn't phrase them as follows:
Secretary of U.S State Colin Powell, where the descriptive words 'U.S' are first listed like the way "As per Government of India Guidelines" is phrased.


The two constructions are not parallel. One refers to the "Government of India", i.e. the Indian Government (not the "Government of Guidelines", which would not make sense); the other refers to the "Secretary of State" (not the "Secretary of U.S", which would not make sense).

You need to consider the meanings of phrases. You will then see that a construction that is appropriate in one case may not be appropriate in another.
palapaguy
Posted: Monday, September 9, 2019 12:37:48 PM

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I and others have explained this several times. "United States Secretary of State" is the title of a post. You can't change the word order.

There is no "Secretary of U.S State." It does not exist.

A cooperator
Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2019 8:43:52 PM

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Thank you, all of you, very much indeed,

Thar,
Quote:
You can have a 'Minister' and a 'Minister of State' - those are different job titles.

How are "minister' and 'minister of state' different from each other?


Oxford dictionary listed the definition of 'secretary of state' as follows:
Quote:
In Britain, the head of one of the main government departments: the Secretary of State for Defence.
On other hand, in the US, it means 'the head of the government department that deals with foreign affairs.


So, do you think I can say:
the U.S secretary of state = the head of the government department that deals with foreign affairs = the U.S foreign affairs secretary. However, in other countries, such as Canada, Canada's foreign affairs minister.
the U.S secretary of state for defence. = the head of the government department that deals with defence affairs = the U.S defense secretary. However, in other countries, such as Canada, Canada's defense (defence) minister.
the U.S secretary of state for finance the head of the government department that deals with financial affairs = the U.S finance secretary. However, in other countries, such as Canada, Canada's finance minister.
the U.S secretary of state for energy affairs = the head of the government department that deals with energy affairs = the U.S energy affairs secretary. However, in other countries, such as Canada, Canada's energy affairs minister.
etc, etc, etc.

So, "Minister of State for Energy Affairs" is strange. So, I think according to the definition of 'secretary of state' in Oxford dictionary, it would read "secretary of state for energy affairs." the same as in "the Secretary of State for Defence." in Britain as Oxford listed.
A cooperator
Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2019 8:44:19 PM

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Besides, why do you still tend to capitalize those phrases, such as 'minister', 'secretary of state', etc.?
I asked "would you be so kind as to tell me why you did capitalize the following:
Colin Powell was the US Secretary of State." in another thread of mine entitled 'International Islamic Solidarity Bank' Vs. 'Solidarity International Islamic Bank' (Word order)'

And palapaguy replied:
Quote:
Because it was his official title as others here have told you.


AFAIK, titles are only capitalized when used as proper nouns (as part of someone’s name) as Melissa mentioned below:
This is a follow-up question between me and Ms Melissa Donovan:

I: Hello dear Ms. Melissa,

Firstly, while translating ‘salesman’ on Google Translation, I found this example below in which ‘Principle’ is capitalized. That is the reason I am asking you why it is so, and ‘salesman’ is not.
“In the showroom John McCormack is the Principal salesman with three expert salespeople working under him.”

Secondly, IMHO, I think If someone is the main carpenter on a specific project (with other carpenters following his orders), he would be called “Head Carpenter”, “Lead Carpenter” or “Chief Carpenter”, “Principle Carpenter”, “Main Carpenter” or even “Senior Carpenter”.

So, if someone is the main salesman on a specific project(with other salespeople following his orders), he would be called “Head Salesman”, “lead Salesman”, “Chief Salesman”, “Principle Salesman”, “Main Salesman” or even “Senior Salesman”.
If you were describing his job, you would say “He’s a lead carpenter/lead salesman/principle carpenter/principle salesman . . .” or just “I’m a carpenter/salesman and I’m in charge of _____ project.”

So, I think ‘Principle Salesperson’ is considered here as Job title revealing both the job level(“principle’ is a modifier as a noun, in bold) and the job responsibility.
So, “Principle Salesman” should come in the job title category entitled “Job title revealing both the job level and the job responsibility” which must be capitalized.
As a result, it must be capitalized as in ““In the showroom John McCormack is the Principal salesman with three expert salespeople working under him.”

Finally: IMHO, I think “Head/Chief/Lead/Principle/Main/Senior” can modify any job titles in a trade or academia.
So, the following examples come in this category “Job title revealing both the job level and the job responsibility” and must be capitalized:
Head(Chief/Lead/Principle/Main/Senior) Builder/ Carpenter/Goldsmith/Chef/ Salesman/Prison Officer/ Engineer/Accountant/ Electrical Superintendent,Marketing Manager
a Professor
a Head Professor/The Head Professor of Computer Science Department.
a Assistant Professor
a Teaching Assistant

Melissa Donovan on August 17, 2019 at 5:06 pm
Job titles are only capitalized when used as part of someone’s name. The best example of this is as follows (using “president” as an example of a job title):

Have you seen the president?
I am the president.
We’ve asked President Smith for advice.
Are you listening, Madame President?

As you can see, it’s only capitalized when used as part of someone’s name. That’s why you would see Professor Jones capitalized but “I spoke to the professor” not capitalized.

Having said that, many industries and businesses have their own style guidelines, and it’s not uncommon to see job titles capitalized. Most people assume these words should be capitalized, and so they get capitalized.

In the general rules of grammar, we’d follow the “president” guidelines that I laid out above. The simple fact is that job titles are not proper nouns and only proper nouns get capitalized. However, anyone is free to develop their own style guidelines, and many businesses and industries have done just that. But be mindful that if you capitalize “John is the Principal Salesman,” you would also have to capitalize “Jane is the Salesperson” and “Joe is the Custodian.” If you cap one job title, then they should all be capped.

Hope that helps.

I: Hi dear Ms Melissa, do you think that “presiden”, “professor”, and “head”) shouldn’t be capitalized even in the following since they are not part of a person’s name(They are not preceding a person’s name to whom they are titled)
Trump is the current President of the USA.
He is the existing President of Yemen.
I am the Professor of Computer Science Department.
I am the Head of Computer Science Department.

If yes, they shouldn’t be capitalized, then could I conclude that job titles should only be capitalized if they come before a person’s name?

But, on the free The Free Dictionary(an American online dictionary) forum that, I was told by a native English speaker member the following:
Some guidelines.
A proper post title (which I would capitalise) would often (not always) be one which can be preceded by “the”. A job description would more likely have ‘a’ – but not always.

I’m a security guard. (“security guard” is just ‘what I do”)
I am (the) Security Guard at the National Museum. (“Security Guard” is my post title)

Very often, it’s just that you choose.
If you want to mention your post title, you say “I am the Professor of the Computer Sciences Department.”
If you don’t, you might just say “I am a professor”, if you consider it to be your job.
Or you might want to state your personal title – “I am a Professor” or “I am Professor Jones.”

Which means that member capitalizes the job titles if he he want to mention his post title although the job title are not part of a person’s name.

Melissa Donovan on August 23, 2019 at 1:30 pm
At this point, we’re going in circles. No, those words should not be capitalized. Yes, titles are only capitalized when used as proper nouns (as part of someone’s name). In some industries and companies, style guidelines are established with variants on these rules and standards. It’s not necessarily “wrong” to capitalize some of the terms you’re asking about.

“A native English speaker” is not necessarily an expert, and I would not recommend taking random grammar advice from strangers without first establishing their credibility.

I would strongly suggest picking up a book on English grammar. You should decide if you want to use American or British English, as there are some significant differences (We use American English here at Writing Forward). One of my favorite resources is Grammar Girl, which has a book, a podcast, and a website packed with good information. In fact, you can probably search there to find more answers to these questions on capitalization. She is an authority on these matters.

Also, I recommend using Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, as it is standard among professional writers and editors. Good luck to you!

However, I see you capitalizing the job titles although they are not part of someone's name:
'minister', 'secretary of state', etc.
Secretary of State
Minister of State for Energy Affairs
the (UK) Foreign Secretary
the Prime Minister
You'd have to call Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister, Chrystia Freeland for Canada's policies.
Colin Powell was the US Secretary of State.
Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frédéric Macron is a French politician serving as President of France since 14 May 2017. He previously was Minister of the Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs from 2014 to 2016.

thar
Posted: Friday, September 27, 2019 5:04:15 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 21,348
Neurons: 86,287
But, in that context, there is only on Secretary of State. The job title, and the person currently holding that position.

But there are lots of managing directors - one for each company.

Also remember just because you read something somewhere, that doesn't mean it is good grammar. The internet is full of badly-written stuff, so you have to consider the source. The government website from a native English-speaking country will probably get it right. Somebody's blog, or the listing from a non-English speaking country, could well get it 'wrong'. Even in English-speaking countries, the person who compiles a list might be the most junior clerical assistant - and they might not know how it is normally presented. So don't focus to much on verifying everything you see. Rely on reputable sources, and if they do something you don't understand, that is the time to investigate.
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