As the title explicitly suggests, I have a question about whether I should capitalize the words inside parentheses.

I want to know which of the sentences below is the grammatically correct one.

  • PP(Production Planning) module is an important ERP module.
  • PP(production planning) module is an important ERP module.
  • PP(Production planning) module is an important ERP module.
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    I'm afraid this is a question that, in the absence of an applicable style manual, can only be answered by an opinion. I'm old school and always capitalise as in your first example. My daughter, a UX designer, abhors capitalisation in most circumstances, preferring sentence capitalisation and would go for your second example. I doubt that anyone would suggest the third version was a good idea. Commented Feb 10, 2023 at 13:35

2 Answers 2


As Peter Jennings says in his comment, the “correct” answer depends on what style manual controls.

In most cases, however, no style manual is considered authoritative. In such cases, it seems advisable to do what is most common, namely to use capital letters for acronyms consistently

NATO rather than nato

SEC rather than sec

NY rather than ny

In addition, I personally have adopted the convention used by American lawyers, which is to use capitalize the first letter of each full word used in a specially defined sense as well as all the letters in an acronym and, in the absence of a section of specially defined terms, to indicate all specially defined words, phrases and acronyms when first used with parentheses and quotation marks.

United Nations (“UN”)

John Smith and Jane Doe (the “Owners”)

  • 1
    This does not answer the question. The OP is asking, not what to capitalize in the initialism or acronym, but what to capitalize when expanding or defining it. Commented Feb 10, 2023 at 20:30

None of them are correct according to most style guides, such as APA. The full form should come first, using lowercase if it's a common noun and uppercase if it's a proper noun or the sentence requires it (e.g., the start of a sentence or a title). The initialism comes afterwards in parentheses. As always in English, there should be a space between the end of the word and the opening parenthesis after it. Putting that together:

Production planning (PP) module is an important ERP module.

However, it sounds most natural to include the definite article here ("The… module") which would make "production planning" entirely lowercase.

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