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Author Topic: God/desses and Capitalization  (Read 4584 times)

Melamphoros

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Re: God/desses and Capitalization
« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2012, 06:07:00 am »
Quote from: GoldenSiren;62442

Is it like this for anyone else? I kinda feel like a weirdo now... :o

 
Not on that issue specifically, but I keep thinking I may be a weirdo because I never encountered "capitalize pronouns that apply to deities" before coming to this forum eight years ago.  No one (not my teachers OR my parents) told me that it was the proper thing to do when I learned the finer points of grammar as a child.

I do capitalize now from time to time, but it's far from consistent.


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Re: God/desses and Capitalization
« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2012, 07:49:49 am »
Quote from: Melamphoros;62453
Not on that issue specifically, but I keep thinking I may be a weirdo because I never encountered "capitalize pronouns that apply to deities" before coming to this forum eight years ago.  No one (not my teachers OR my parents) told me that it was the proper thing to do when I learned the finer points of grammar as a child.

I do capitalize now from time to time, but it's far from consistent.

 
*nods* I try to remember as it appears to be the custom (here, at least) - but ....

Well.  I have a hard time with my hands keeping up with my thoughts at the best of times.  Typos will piss me off enough to fix them.  Weird capitalization I won't even notice unless it's something that really bugs the crap outta me.

Heck, I've had to go through MY OWN BOOK and standardize capitalizations .. 'cause they're all over the place ......

Starglade

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Re: God/desses and Capitalization
« Reply #17 on: July 02, 2012, 09:53:16 am »
Quote from: Melamphoros;62453
Not on that issue specifically, but I keep thinking I may be a weirdo because I never encountered "capitalize pronouns that apply to deities" before coming to this forum eight years ago.  No one (not my teachers OR my parents) told me that it was the proper thing to do when I learned the finer points of grammar as a child.

I do capitalize now from time to time, but it's far from consistent.

::nods:: It's not something taught in school. It's something common to Christianity (I can't speak for Islam or for Judaism), as I said before mainly because of the KJV wherein every pronoun referring to God is capitalized.

Learning by immersion, for a large part of the populace. It might even be in a couple of style guides--I'll check CMoS and see what it has to say.

ETA: The 14th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style (not the newest, I will note--they're on 16 now, but this is what I have in my reference library and I won't pay for a sub to the online version) says, and I quote: "7.80 -- Pronouns referring to (deity as the one supreme God, including references to the persons of the Christian Trinity) are today preferably not capitalized." (Italics mine.) So--not only weren't we taught to do it in school, but now according to one of the most respected bodies on grammar and usage in the US, it's no longer considered appropriate. ::shrugs:: Do as you will, as they say.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2012, 09:59:17 am by Starglade »
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Re: God/desses and Capitalization
« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2012, 11:22:02 am »
Quote from: GoldenSiren;62280
Hello there! :D:

So, as per usual I was searching around on the thread, and noticed that some people capitalize both the name(s) of their god/desses, and the third person pronouns tied into the sentences...Do you do this? If so, what is you're reasoning behind it? If not, why don't you?

 
I do it, yeah, and I capitalise both names and pronouns. It's a relic of my Christian upbringing, and I keep doing it to show respect for the Gods, like a few others in this thread do. I try not to overdo it though, so if I find myself capitalising every third word, I try to rework my writing to cut it down a little.

For me, it's a balance between keeping that style, and Not Writing every Sentence like every third Word is somehow Important. Because I hate random capitalisation. And you do read capitalised words differently; it's why it works as a way to show respect to Deity, I think.
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Re: God/desses and Capitalization
« Reply #19 on: July 02, 2012, 12:16:14 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;62300
I generally do capitalize pronouns referring to deities, simply because I consider them every bit as important and as real as the JCI God. As pronouns referring to the JCI God are capitalized in standard English, I feel they should either be for all gods or no gods -- so I capitalize them for all.


This is what I tend to do as well.
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Re: God/desses and Capitalization
« Reply #20 on: July 02, 2012, 12:25:45 pm »
Quote from: Morag;62360
And I'm not going to lie -- it drives me nuts when other people consistently don't capitalize pronouns for the gods. I wouldn't presume to tell others what to do, but I silently grind my teeth every time I see a lowercase pronoun for a god or goddess. (Don't even get me started on not bothering to do initial capitals on Their names.)


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Re: God/desses and Capitalization
« Reply #21 on: July 02, 2012, 01:28:08 pm »
Quote from: yewberry;62507
I don't worship gods.  Do atheists get a pass?

Brina

 
Maybe the editorial staff at CMoS tend toward atheism? :-)
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Morag

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Re: God/desses and Capitalization
« Reply #22 on: July 02, 2012, 04:52:14 pm »
Quote from: yewberry;62507
I don't worship gods.  Do atheists get a pass?

Brina

 
Yes? It doesn't bug me as much.

It's mainly when other theists don't do it that it drives me bonkers.
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Morag

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Re: God/desses and Capitalization
« Reply #23 on: July 02, 2012, 04:56:08 pm »
Quote from: GoldenSiren;62442
So really, I don't do it myself for purely selfish reasons. It's not that I don't respect the god/desses, I really do. It personally just short-circuits my brain :p

 
Like I said -- I'm not going to presume to tell anyone how to type gods' names and pronouns.

As for brain short-circuits, there are other grammatical things that make me have to stop and re-read paragraphs over and over again, and I usually can't listen to audio recordings of lectures, books, etc because of my auditory processing deficit. (Music is a bit different.) So you're not the only one who has that sort of issue.

I do try to spread out the pronouns when I'm typing about the gods just to avoid that abundance of capital letters in my sentences, for what it's worth.
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Juniperberry

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Re: God/desses and Capitalization
« Reply #24 on: July 02, 2012, 07:01:08 pm »
Quote from: GoldenSiren;62280
Hello there! :D:

So, as per usual I was searching around on the thread, and noticed that some people capitalize both the name(s) of their god/desses, and the third person pronouns tied into the sentences (e.g. I follow Odin. I love Him and all of His principles...). Personally, I don't do this, even for the Christian Yahweh. The god/desses I follow have never shown any preference for it. But I'm curious. Do you do this? If so, what is you're reasoning behind it? If not, why don't you?


I only capitalize the names. Even god is lower case because its a job title and not a name.

Capitalizing pronouns is a fairly new (overzealous) trend in Christianity afaik. And it doesn't make any sense. If you're going to capitalize words associated with deity than the sentence should look like this: "Odin Hung Himself On The World Tree For Nine Days." Its ridiculous to capitalize an article when referring to a god, and it seems just as silly to capitalize the pronouns. "He" isnt a proper name for Odin. Its just a piece of speech, "he" is no more sacred than "on" or "tree" just because of its connection to a mention of deity.

I lol'd once when I saw a blog that was all: "So Odin took His horn and raised it to Freyja, and together They toasted Their son Baldr, as He went up to Them in Their thrones, where She said that Her son was the best of all Gods and They Themselves the gods All agreed." Its just too much.
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PrincessBurrito

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Re: God/desses and Capitalization
« Reply #25 on: July 03, 2012, 10:41:18 am »
Quote from: callmechaos;62289
I really have a strong dislike of the Christian religion, and the more i watch documentaries about it, and read up on it, and watch things like the god debate, i lose more respect for it. So, in order to piss Christians off, I like to type god lowercase. However, I don't treat my gods the same. Names usually are uppercase, pronouns lowercase.

 
Thats kind of why I dont do it. Not really to piss Christians off, but I'm always used to Christian texts always using uppercase. I personally find it more important to respect 'their' presence as opposed to "There" presence ;)

Maps

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Re: God/desses and Capitalization
« Reply #26 on: July 04, 2012, 11:19:05 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;62544
I only capitalize the names. Even god is lower case because its a job title and not a name.

Capitalizing pronouns is a fairly new (overzealous) trend in Christianity afaik. And it doesn't make any sense. If you're going to capitalize words associated with deity than the sentence should look like this: "Odin Hung Himself On The World Tree For Nine Days." Its ridiculous to capitalize an article when referring to a god, and it seems just as silly to capitalize the pronouns. "He" isnt a proper name for Odin. Its just a piece of speech, "he" is no more sacred than "on" or "tree" just because of its connection to a mention of deity.

I lol'd once when I saw a blog that was all: "So Odin took His horn and raised it to Freyja, and together They toasted Their son Baldr, as He went up to Them in Their thrones, where She said that Her son was the best of all Gods and They Themselves the gods All agreed." Its just too much.

 
Yeah, I sort of agree with this. For me, though, because of my deist/panentheist leanings (there's a cultural precedence for this also in my reconstructionism), I still believe that there is a higher divine force in the universe, and Their pronouns I -will- capitalize out of literally nothing but respect-- this is a remote and impersonal entity, so respect is all there is here. But to me, gods and goddesses and godhirs (or whatever genderless or nonconforming deities might be called) are all manifestations of that ultimate reality in our world, and those manifestations change depending on the, well, job description.

Lokabrenna

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Re: God/desses and Capitalization
« Reply #27 on: July 05, 2012, 12:04:57 am »
Quote from: GoldenSiren;62442


The other reason, and also the biggest one (and I don't know if it's like this for any other people) is that capital letters are like a neon sign to me. Maybe that was one of the reasons people (way back when) began to capitalize a god/dess's pronouns like that? :confused: Anyways, to me a capitalized word or two (such as names, places etc.) in a paragraph is fine, and it shows the proper emphasis. However the problem with pronouns is that when they show up, there are usually quite a few of them. So when I read or write something that has that many capital letters in one paragraph, that little flag that goes off in my head each time, and then what the person is trying to say, or even what I am trying to write, becomes really jerky when I'm reading it in my mind (It sort of ends up being like: I really like PAUSE to talk about STOP random things PAUSE to people STOP I don't know :p). I can't count the number of times I've had to reread a passage because I lost my train of thought noticing all the little capitalized words. I really think it has something to do with the ADD I swear I have >.>


Just to echo this, I'm currently writing a story in which religion plays a very important role in my protagonist's life, and so I attempted to capitalize every pronoun when used in reference to every deity (there are six of them). Then I started getting into internal debates with myself over whether such-and-such a term should be capitalized, and then I finally decided to eschew most capitalization until I've written the whole story, then I'll work it out. I'm pretty sure if it ever was published with so many capital letters some readers would be very annoyed with me!

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Re: God/desses and Capitalization
« Reply #28 on: July 05, 2012, 02:08:20 am »
Quote from: Maps;62790
Yeah, I sort of agree with this. For me, though, because of my deist/panentheist leanings (there's a cultural precedence for this also in my reconstructionism), I still believe that there is a higher divine force in the universe, and Their pronouns I -will- capitalize out of literally nothing but respect-- this is a remote and impersonal entity, so respect is all there is here. But to me, gods and goddesses and godhirs (or whatever genderless or nonconforming deities might be called) are all manifestations of that ultimate reality in our world, and those manifestations change depending on the, well, job description.


That's a good point. I might capitalize a concept of It to distinguish the importance compared to it. And that's a lot of what the Christian capitalization is about; distinguishing He as *the* He of all he's. But that doesn't make sense in polytheism. Am I distinguishing Odin as the He among all he's, and if so what of Thor, Vidar, Tyr's, Freyr? If they're all distinguished then...what am I emphasizing anymore  exactly?

If its to set them apart as gods, and god is just a job, than I should also be capitalizing other job holders. He the wight, She the Disir, It the fylgja, They the ancestors...As a term of respect, it becomes so empty when its so spread and only seems useful when setting one apart as the Thing above all things.
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GoldenSiren

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Re: God/desses and Capitalization
« Reply #29 on: September 17, 2012, 12:34:37 am »
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Quote from: Lokabrenna;62796
Just to echo this, I'm currently writing a story in which religion plays a very important role in my protagonist's life, and so I attempted to capitalize every pronoun when used in reference to every deity (there are six of them). Then I started getting into internal debates with myself over whether such-and-such a term should be capitalized, and then I finally decided to eschew most capitalization until I've written the whole story, then I'll work it out. I'm pretty sure if it ever was published with so many capital letters some readers would be very annoyed with me!


That DOES bring up some interesting thoughts. . . Personally, I wouldn't focus on the pronoun caps in the storyline, but perhaps use it if the character is reading a passage in the story, you get what I'm sayin'?
But that's just me. Let me know if you find a solution to that. Very intriguing. . .

Quote from: Juniperberry;62803
That's a good point. I might capitalize a concept of It to distinguish the importance compared to it. And that's a lot of what the Christian capitalization is about; distinguishing He as *the* He of all he's. But that doesn't make sense in polytheism. Am I distinguishing Odin as the He among all he's, and if so what of Thor, Vidar, Tyr's, Freyr? If they're all distinguished then...what am I emphasizing anymore  exactly?

If its to set them apart as gods, and god is just a job, than I should also be capitalizing other job holders. He the wight, She the Disir, It the fylgja, They the ancestors...As a term of respect, it becomes so empty when its so spread and only seems useful when setting one apart as the Thing above all things.


^ This brings up another few questions: What do you think was the ORIGINAL purpose of the capitalization of pronouns? I mean, sure, most likely it was a "to respect my God" move, but what do you think brought up the idea of simply capitalizing the pronouns, and not everything associated with the god? Do you think it was more along the lines of Juniperberry's theory, or was there another reason? Do you think (or know) that it started with Christianity? Or did it begin before that?
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