We’re going to start with God. When people stop capitalizing God, and why didn’t anyone tell me about it? It’s like the whole sneezing into your arm thing and changing the lyrics to O Canada all over again.
I remember the first time the parents were invited to visit the classroom when our daughter was in kindergarten. I’m not exactly sure what the occasion was, but we all stood to sing the national anthem. We’re singing along merrily and all of a sudden the kids are singing different lyrics than the parents – * I think some of the lyrics were changed to French or something, I don’t exactly remember I just know they were changed. But the point is, this is the first we heard of it.
*Okay, I remember now. The line we learned in school went, "We stand on gguard, O Canada" and it was changed to, "From far and wide, O Canada"
And then there’s the coughing into the crook of your arm thing. I was raised to believe that it’s only polite to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, preferably with a hankie in your hand. Then all of a sudden people are coughing into the crooks of their arms. What’s up with that? Who decided that this was more polite and more importantly, why didn’t anyone tell me?
Now I’m reading books where God’s name is mentioned, but it’s not capitalized. I am by no stretch of the imagination a religious person, but I was dragged kicking and screaming to Sunday school. I know the score. When you’re writing about God, you capitalize His name and any pronouns referring to Him. But now, apparently, it’s okay not to do this.
This warranted a little further investigation so my mother and my aunt don’t use rise from the grave to slap me upside the head because I don’t use the proper capitalization.
Names by which gods are known are capitalized, including God, Allah, and Vishnu. The word god is generally not capitalized if it is used to refer to the generic idea of a deity, nor is it capitalized when it refers to multiple gods, e.g., Roman gods. There may be some confusion because the god of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam is rarely referred to by a specific name, but simply as God.
About.com believes it’s a matter of faith and had this to say:
Christians are accustomed to using God because they always reference it in a personal manner - they say that "God has spoken to me," not that "my god has spoken to me." Thus, they and other monotheists might be taken aback at finding people who don't privilege their particular god concept and so reference it in a general manner, just as they do with everyone else's god.
Most of the grammar books I checked agreed that when God is used as a proper noun, that is, as a name, or as a title, it should be capitalized along with any pronouns referring to it. Otherwise it’s okay to leave it lower case. So now you know. :-)
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Now on to the Villains!
Wicked & Tricksy did an excellent series on Villains last week and I just had to share:
The Science of Villains
Killing With Kindness: When Doing Good Goes Very Bad
Love the Villain
The Best of Villainy
Villains Need Attention Too
Even if you’re not creating a villain of your own it still makes for great reading. Check it out, you won’t be sorry!