I received a paper in which every single word which in some way referred to God was capitalized. It bugged me, so I went looking for rules. I tried Google, “grammar of God” and found some interesting websights, but nothing useful. I switched my google search to capitalization of God and found some answers.
1. God, Allah. The rules about pronouns referring to the deity vary; some reference works state that “He” or “His” or “Thee” are capitalized whenever “God” is capitalized. Some writers always put the pronouns in lower case. Check with your professors about their requirements.
3. Incorrect capitalization of the noun “god”
Well, you say that god exists, but I think Santa Claus is more plausible.
Here, the writer is showing his complete and utter disdain for God by demoting him below Santa Claus, not only with his sentence, but with his capitalization. This is just plain wrong. In this sentence, God is a proper noun, and needs to be capitalized to distinguish it from “a god” as seen in the following sentence (which is correct usage):
I don’t see proof that there is a god.
Incorrect capitalization of pronouns
I know that God is alive because He shows himself to me.
Here, the writer is capitalizing a pronoun to try to convey the massive respect he has for his god above anything else that may be expressed with a proper noun. This is also bad grammar, though it does not introduce the confusion that not capitalizing “God” can (as noted above); it looks like he either has a sticky shift key or meant to break a sentence. Proper usage would be something to the effect of:
I know that God is alive because he shows himself to me
I know that God is alive because He shows Himself to me. (If you are capitalizing all the pronouns.)
4. Capitalization is like italicization or “like” quotation-encapsulation, it is a method of subtly changing the meaning of a word to suggest a different, a “bigger”, an “important” form of it’s use to then subtly change the meaning of the entire sentence.
Examples of capitalization include:
ï¿½ God – not “oh god, today sucked”, but “Oh Lord, thou art ten pounds of Holy in a Five-Pound-Bag.”-God
ï¿½ Bad Thing – not “bad doggie, no biscuit!”, but more towards being “Evil”-Bad.
ï¿½ Good Thing – not “that’s a good way of doing that”, but “this is the Right and Just way to do that”
ï¿½ Social Engineering – not chatting up a gal to get her phone number, but chatting up a gal to get her friend’s number.
Often, such emphasized terms will be found in notibly brief sentences with abrupt punctuation. This may be seen as the writer directing focus and resolution to the sentence. In speech, one might imagine the speaker crossing their arms and straightening their posture to say things such as:
ï¿½ Violence is Bad.
ï¿½ God is Opinion.
from Info Anarchy
5.ï¿½ The names of religions and religious terms receive capital letters.
We read a story from the Bible about God and Moses.
NOTE:ï¿½ Pronouns referring to God should be capitalized.ï¿½ Non-specific use of the word “god” should not be capitalized.
The Bible talks about God and His disciples.
The Egyptians worshipped many different gods.
Some company’s website
6. Religions: Methodist, Catholic, Taoism, Christian, Buddhism, Muslim
Note: Capitalize God only when it refers to the Christian God; also capitalize all nouns and personal pronouns when they refer to God.
Basically I found that most of the authors and sites said that the pronouns etc should be capitalized.
Any thoughts on that from anyone else?
Update: I actually think, after having thought of this for months and months, that I prefer that the title and the pronouns be captialized. It shows respect. Special respect. But apparently the Bible scholars think it should be more normal.
According to the SBL Handbook of Style, which, I am told, is the Bible for Biblical scholars, just as the MLA is the book for English scholars, God and his proper names should be capitalized, but not common titles or any pronouns.
So, Jesus is the Son of God, would be correct. But it is His kingdom of which he is Commander, would not be correct.
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