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Suppose there is a guild whose name is Foo. When I address it should I capitalize guild? In other words, which should I say:

  1. He joined guild Foo.
  2. He joined Guild Foo.
  3. He joined the guild Foo.
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In role playing games, for guilds, Foo is normally the name of the particular craft practiced by members of the guild. The proper name of a guild is something like the Guild of Tailors with the words capitalised as shown, so the correct sentence would be:

He joined the Guild of Tailors.

If you want to refer informally to a guild, you can do so using a genitive form of the craft, and then all words would be lower case because it is not a proper name:

He joined the tailor's guild.

In the real world, guilds are pretty old fashioned, but there are still about 110 livery companies in London, and the proper name of a guild is something like the Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors or the Honourable Company of Master Mariners. If you wanted to use one of these names correctly, you would have to say

He joined the Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors.

For a more modern example of capitalisation of names, you could look at political parties:

He joined the Conservative Party.

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3) He joined the guild Foo.

is correct, because you said the name was Foo, so as a proper noun only Foo is capitalized.

1) He joined guild Foo.

is incorrect, because lower case guild is just a singular noun, so an article is needed.

2) He joined Guild Foo.

is incorrect, because this is saying that the guild name is "Guild Foo" (capitalized as a proper noun). However you said the name was just Foo.

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  • Also, hʌn, not to be a stickler, but one should probably add a comma in sentence three, between "the guild" and "Foo," that is, "He joined the guild, Foo." – Teacher KSHuang Apr 11 '17 at 8:00

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