Capitalization

Q. Should “tea party” be capitalized? I cannot find it referenced in CMOS, but I’ve noticed that AP news stories lowercase “tea party,” “tea partiers,” and so forth.

Q. Should I capitalize specific named academic degrees such as “Master’s Degree in Built Environment” and “Bachelor of Fine Arts”? This information will be engraved on a plaque on a prominent painting at our headquarters, so it’s essential to get it right.

Q. Combining 8.21 or 8.22 with 8.32 in the 16th edition suggests that you would condone these sentences: “The queen had tea with the Queen Mother.” “The president and the First Lady waved to the crowd.” Is that a correct interpretation of Chicago style?

Q. In section 8.28 of the 16th edition, the Manual specifies that academic degrees are lowercased when referred to generically. I infer from the converse that specific degrees then are capitalized. However, I am confused by the examples: a master’s degree and a master of business administration. Wouldn’t the latter be a specific degree? What is an example of a degree that would be capitalized?

Q. I live in the western part of Michigan. My boss thinks we should use West Michigan in a newsletter article, but I think it should be west Michigan. Who is correct? Many thanks.

Q. I am writing a report for a U.S. government agency. My contacts want me to capitalize “federal,” as in “Federally funded.” This looks incorrect to me. I couldn’t find a specific rule in the Manual, though the examples I saw seem to support my opinion. I would appreciate your guidance. Thanks!

Q. “These are results of two previous double-blind, repeat-dose studies of XYZ (studies 000 and 001).” Although the word studies before 000 and 001 is not capped, do you ever cap a preceding word before the study number, and if the preceding word is a plural, such as studies, should it be capped before the respective number/name? Thanks.

Q. When making reference to western (occidental) cultures, western media, western identity politics, I prefer to use a lowercase w to de-emphasize the unity of the West (even though it is often convenient in argument to point to it as such) and because capitalization of w would further privilege the West. However, my copyeditor has changed every instance of my use of western to Western. Who is right and why?

Q. How is capitalization handled in questions of ambiguous geographical origin? I’m trying to rationalize 8.37 and 8.60. Is it “German shepherd,” on the grounds that the term refers to the putative geographical origin of the dog, or “german shepherd,” in the same way that you have “swiss cheese” and “french dressing” on the grounds that the term is nonliteral, meant to evoke recall of a geographic place irrespective of the actual origin? (If this is confusing because German shepherds may originate from Germany, what about Australian shepherds, which have nothing to do with Australia whatsoever?)

Q. When writing out a person’s title that includes a hyphen, when the first letter would be capitalized, should the word following the hyphen also be capitalized (e.g., Co-Founder)?