Question

Should " schizophrenia" be capitalized??

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should I capitalize the word " Schizophrenia" while writing?

Answered By: Linda Kern
Last Updated: Dec 12, 2016     Views: 2230

Hello!

In a word, no, schizophrenia is not capitalized.

As you know, capitalization is a matter of grammar and academic style. According to APA style, common nouns aren't capitalized; only proper nouns are capitalized (APA p.102).  Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (2005) is the APA standard (along with the APA Dictionary of Psychology). Merriam-Webster’s defines a common noun as "a noun that may occur with limiting modifiers (a, an, some, every, my for example) and that designates any one of a class of beings or things." On the other hand, a proper noun is "a noun that designates a particular being or thing, does not take a limiting modifier, and is usually capitalized in English."

So... disorders or syndromes are not capitalized unless they are named after a person, such as Asperger syndrome. Even then, "syndrome" is not capitalized. On the other hand, autism spectrum disorder, for example, is not capitalized

Thanks for asking a librarian.

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