Q. Can you revisit the issue of capitalization of “city of” and “state of” when used to identify an employer? Under 7.40 in the 14th edition, words such as “city” and “state” “are capitalized when they are used as an accepted part of the proper name.” Presumably you mean accepted by the powers of CMOS. In my example, Jan Johnson works for the (c)ity of Johnsonville, and I would like to offer her recognition in a conference brochure along with Rick Ricker of the state department of transportation. Suffice to say that heated debate is generated when one questions the way things always have been done.
A. Although Chicago editors were willing to travel personally to every burg in America to determine their accepted names, unfortunately the university wouldn’t fund us. Instead, we were forced to revise CMOS to include the following (in the 15th edition, this appears at 8.56): “Governmental entities: Where the government rather than the place is meant, the words state, city, and the like are usually capitalized.” I hope this allows you to recognize everyone with full capitalization honors.