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Janna

Happy birthday or Happy Birthday?

Happy birthday or Happy Birthday?  

  1. 1. Happy birthday or Happy Birthday?

    • Happy birthday!
      0
    • Happy Birthday!
      21
    • Obligatory "other"
      2


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I see, all too regularly, the words happy and birthday capitalized. Is this correct? A birthday is not a holiday, nor is happy birthday a title. So my assumption was that if I wrote "Happy birthday, Sally!", then I would only be capitalizing "happy" because it's at the beginning of the sentence. However, cards will capitalize both words (Happy Birthday!). So which is correct?

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It depends. The way you are writing it, you would only capitalize Happy. If you were writing it on a cake or card, though, you would probably capitalize both, as it is more of a title then.

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It depends. The way you are writing it, you would only capitalize Happy. If you were writing it on a cake or card, though, you would probably capitalize both, as it is more of a title then.

 

:iagree:

 

Ex 1: Happy birthday, Mom. I love you.

 

Ex 2: HAPPY BIRTHDAY! (on a card, cake, etc.) All caps, cap the words, whatever.

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I guess I think of it as the title of a personal holiday and would call it a proper noun phrase. I capitalize both words.

 

Examples of how I would write it.

 

Happy Birthday, Jean!

 

Occasionally it isn't used that way in which case I wouldn't capitalize it.

 

Did you have a happy (pleasant) birthday, Jean?

 

Though to be honest, I rarely say the above because it does sound too much like a cliche. I'd be more likely to use the word pleasant instead.

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