What is the rule on "god?" (Grammatically Speaking, that is)
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20-11-2012, 05:30 PM
RE: What is the rule on "god?" (Grammatically Speaking, that is)
(20-11-2012 04:44 PM)PhoenixGate Wrote:  
(20-11-2012 04:19 PM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  The quick and dirty rule is:

1. When God is used as a name, such as "Thank God" or "I hope to God" or "God damn it!", then it should be capitalized like all names.
2. When god is not used as a name, such as "Zeus was a Greek god", then it doesn't need to be capitalized.

So in your three examples, all three uses would be lower case.

Side notes:
a. Jewish tradition often avoids spelling "God" because that can be used offensively, so they often write "G-d" instead.
b. Older documents capitalize pronouns relating to God, such as "God wants us to worship Him" but that has dropped out of fashion and even the KJV bible uses lowercase.
c. In my novel, as a matter of style, I used uppercase for my evil god and all pronouns related to Him.
This is a good reply, and the quick and dirty rule is what I thought as well. However, I should point out that I directly recall my mother(devout Mormon) telling me as a child that god should always be capitalized. I think its more of a tradition, say if you're a devout believer it should always be capitalized, than a hard rule. I could be wrong though.

Yes, I did leave that in lower case on purpose. Smile

Your mother was right on that point (but wrong on the magic underwear, I daresay) - assuming she was referring to God as a proper name or title. Since Mormons also refer to him as "Heavenly Father", and in my experience, they use that as a name - it's not "my heavenly father loves me" but rather "Heavenly Father loves me", I think Mormons often just assume that any and all references to their god is always a name, or at least use it that way. They also recognize his name as Elohim, and I'm sure they capitalize that when they use it.

But I suspect that if your mother were ever to write something like "Heavenly Father is the god we pray to" she might write it like I just did since, in this context, god is more like a race than a name, much like I could say "Joe Pesci is the human I pray to". If she were to write "Heavenly Father is the God we pray to" it would be analogous to writing "Heavenly Father is the Elohim we pray to" which would be true but nonsensical.

(gotta give props to Carlin for the Joe Pesci thing)

And since this is a grammar thread, I recognize that "Heavenly Father (Joe Pesci) is the god we pray to" is ending a sentence with a preposition, which is a no-no, but I was keeping the example simple.

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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RE: What is the rule on "god?" (Grammatically Speaking, that is) - Aseptic Skeptic - 20-11-2012 05:30 PM
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