Topic: Guard or guard?

I have an elite force of guards in my story called the Elite Guard. When I want to be formal, I refer to an individual of this force as an Elite Guard, and multiple of them as Elite Guards. This is consistent with how I've seen this done in other fiction and in real life (e.g., the Pope's Swiss Guard).

But ... what do I do when I want to be informal? Can I refer to them as guard/guards, or should it be Guard/Guards? The latter looks goofy when I write it that way. A similar case comes from one of Seabrass's stories. In his case, he uses City Watchman for an individual guard and will occasionally drop City, leaving Watchman.


Re: Guard or guard?

Hi Dirk - based on the below rule I found in a government style guide - I think informally it would be guard/guards...

"A common noun or adjective forming an essential part of a proper name is capitalized; the common noun used alone as a substitute for the name of a place or thing is not capitalized."

Here is a link to the guide: … 2008-5.pdf

Hope this helps.


Re: Guard or guard?

Thank you, ML. That agrees with what I did. Capitalization rules have been torture in my story because there are so many cases that could go either way. I have a sizable part of a spreadsheet dedicated to my rules just to keep them all straight.