Another use of "in charge"


Senior Member
Raji; Farsi

I know the meaning of the idiom "in charge" and "in charge of". I just do not know if it can be used as a noun in the signature of official letters like this:

Micheal Johnson
In-charge of the Education Department

Is it correct to use "in-charge" that way? Here it means "the person responsible". If it is wrong can you help me correct it?

Thanks a lot in advance!
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Hello Maggŭs,

    What is your position? What do you do? I would expect someone who is 'in charge' to be a director or a manager, or something else, but that would depend on your specific duties. Also, what kind of Education Department is this? Is it a government agency or part of a private business.

    (I am assuming that you are asking about a signature you want to use yourself. If I am mistaken and you are asking about something you saw somewhere, please let me know.)

    Enquiring Mind

    Senior Member
    English - the Queen's
    Hello Maggus (sorry can't do the "smile" over the "u").
    No, you can't use "in-charge" as one hyphenated word in this sense.
    Normally, if it was the person's title, we would say "Head" or "Director" or "Chief" or whatever the title actually is. If the title doesn't specify a position like "head" or "director", but the person is responsible for that activity, you could say "Michael Johnson, in charge of life-long learning" or whatever. Note, no hyphen, and it's an adjectival phrase here, not a noun. If the department is clearly defined and has a name, like "Education Department", it is almost certain to have a titular head.


    Senior Member
    It is a correct usage, but I don't think it is appropriate for formal title. "Head of ...", "Supervisor of ...", etc., yes; "In charge of ... ", no. However, if this was just one in a list of duties rather than a job title, no problem.

    Edit. Sorry, no hyphen. (Cross-posted)


    Senior Member
    Raji; Farsi
    Hi, Cagey!
    Thanks a lot for your help.

    The problem is not just meaning but the correct use of this structure: "in-charge of ...." I am not sure if it is stylistically correct.
    The context refers to a UNIVERSITY education department. The person should be the head of the department. Or maybe just the clerk who works there.
    Actually, I saw it in a non-native writing, and that's why I am a bit suspicious.


    Senior Member
    Raji; Farsi
    Hello, Enquiring Mind & dadane!

    Thank you very much. I'm getting the sense that the hyphen is a wrong choice here. And the phrase is too general to be used as a title.


    Senior Member
    USA English
    "In charge" as a noun. :eek: Horrors.

    On the other hand, educators are often wont to come up with jargon only vaguely resembling Engish.


    Senior Member
    Raji; Farsi
    Thank you, sdgraham!
    The consensus shows that that's not a normal English construction.

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