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I've been corresponding with an employee of a health insurance company that specializes in Medicaid coverage. Regulations vary from state to state, and I've wondered whether the word "state" should be capitalized when used like "regulations directed by the State". Is there a rule for this?

Thanks.
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Hi,

Welcome to the Forum.

I've been corresponding with an employee of a health insurance company that specializes in Medicaid coverage. Regulations vary from state to state, and I've wondered whether the word "state" should be capitalized when used like "regulations directed by the State". Is there a rule for this?

In the examples you offer, the word is not used as a name, so should not be capitalized. However, I would consider capitalizing a phrase in a legal document like 'the State of Ohio'.

Sometimes, it's not clear whether or not the word is being used as part of a name. eg I wouldn't capitalize 'state' in 'For my vacation, I'm going to visit the state of Ohio'.

Best wishes, Clive
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Another thing I've come to learn is that when lawyers prepare things, they tend to capitalize words that are formally definied in a definitions section of the document. So if the entire document has defined "State" somewhere, or if the corresonpdence relates to that document, then the lawyers will tend to capitalize it.
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Comments  
In a textbook in a course in "Government and Civics" which I once used as a student, State was always used when one of the fifty States of the United States was meant, and state was always used in the general sense, as in The state has the right to tax citizens. This was explained in a note at the beginning of the book. Other than in that text, I am not familiar with any attempt to standardize this distinction through capitalization.

CJ
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Clive, In some Spanish-speaking countries (which are not separated into states, but rather regions, districts, etc.), el Estado, referring to the government or public sector, is capitalized to distinguish it from el estado, which is a commonly used word that refers to the general condition of something or someone. Hence, in this case, if one is translating documents for an international congress, esp. if it is to be held in a Spanish-speaking country with a lot of native Spanish-speakers, it may be advisable to conform to the generally accepted local norm of capitalizing State, when it refers to the government, and using lowercase for other contexts. This runs counter to normal usage in North America and Great Britain, but may be preferable outside English-speaking countries. Thanks, Alan
anskyI've been corresponding with an employee of a health insurance company that specializes in Medicaid coverage. Regulations vary from state to state, and I've wondered whether the word "state" should be capitalized when used like "regulations directed by the State". Is there a rule for this?
Thanks.

"Veterans and their spouses may be entitled to State and Federal Benefits?"

State and Federal Benefits capped or not?

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