Well, I’m often wrong and when I am I, don’t mind admitting it. Of course, normally I don’t know that I’d make a post about it, but I thought that this was worth posting here and I also thought it might be useful to other fanfiction writers out there.
When I first started writing for the FMA fandom, like many people, I always wrote military titles with capital letters, but last year I came across something in one of my textbooks that said that unless there was a name after the title, the title should be lower case. (“The colonel” as opposed to “Colonel Mustang”)
This is something that I’ve stuck with over the past year. Recently, however, my beta pointed something out to me. He mentioned that perhaps the rank should be capitalized when the person was being addressed, even if there was no name behind the rank.
Well, I thought about it, and it did seem like that would be appropriate, but I wasn’t sure because of what I'd read, so I contacted one of my old professors about the question, and she said that, yes, if the person is being addressed directly, then the rank should be capitalized since it’s in place of their name (e.g. “Hello, Colonel.”), but if they are not being directly addressed, and there is no name after the rank, then it should be lower case.
*chuckles* So I was like, well... damn... ^ ^; But, yeah, even though I'd been doing that wrong, I found it really interesting (because I’m a geek). Probably some of you already knew this, but I didn’t, and I thought it would/could still be useful.