We all want to start our letters, emails, and messages off on the right foot. First impressions matter a lot, and we want to make sure the one we give it’s the best we can. But this does lead to some interesting questions when the topics of email etiquette and proper grammar mix. That is in short the topic of today’s questions, as we try to answer the question:
Is Good Evening Capitalized?
If we look at the question from the usual capitalization rules then the question is a clear no. Capitalization rules indicate that you only need to capitalize a word if it’s the first one in a sentence, or if it acts as a proper noun.
That is to say that it is a proper name or title on it’s own. And “good evening” definitely doesn’t fit the second category, it’s just a greeting, and does not represent a person or company name on it’s own, so the only time it needs to be capitalized is when it’s the first word in a sentence. Or the rare cases when it’s part of a longer name or title, an example of this would be the movie Good Evening, as that is the proper title of a film in that context it’s a proper noun and get to be capitalized.
What About Email Greetings or Salutations?
It is rather common to see both words in “good evening” capitalized, particularly when it comes to emails or traditional letters. This comes from a form of etiquette inherent to writing letters, and is tied to how salutations are handled.
The opening greeting in a letter also known as a salutation is always delivered capitalized, and since good evening is so commonly used as that first greeting it is commonly delivered with both words capitalized.
However this rule only applies to letters, and it’s usage outside of them is not considered correct, meaning that most of the time good evening should not be capitalized.