Please do not remove the first paragraph as it functions as a quick navigational aid to the other articles in this series. Thank you. Petersam 03:52, 18 Oct 2004 (UTC)
It has become apparent that the words "first rate", "second rate", etc have become capitalised over the last year or so. This seems to me to directly contradict the guidance at Wikipedia:Manual of Style (capital letters), and I have changed them back again. To clarify, if we were talking about frigates, we would use lower case, because it's not a proper noun; "first rate" is exactly analogous. The usage on Category:Set indices on ships follows the lower case usage almost exclusively, as far as I can tell. Please address any concerns here before making wholesale changes back again.
On another note, some of the hyphenation has been rather patchy. Adjectival use will require a hyphen (first-rate ship) but when used as a noun (first rate), it does not. Again, I've made the changes were I've spotted the need.
Why the hyphen?
It's a compound noun, right? Not a compound adjective. The hyphen needs to come out of the title (to match its absence in the main text). OR make it "Third-rate ship", or "Third-rate ship (British Navy)", if that pleases. We must be aware of the likely wrong meaning most readers will attach to "third-rate/third rate", too. I don't know how to get around that. Tony (talk) 08:23, 21 January 2017 (UTC)