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Capitalizations

These lessons, by one of our most consistent FaithWriters' Challenge Champions, should not be missed. So we're making a permanent home for them here.

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lish1936
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Capitalizations

Postby lish1936 » Thu Apr 10, 2014 12:16 pm

Jan, I was wondering if you had time to take a quick look at this site. I wanted to be sure this one was not written to a specific group ( divinity students, etc.)


http://moodyweb.wikispaces.com/Capitali ... nd+Phrases

Thanks,

Lillian
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Re: Capitalizations

Postby glorybee » Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:21 pm

Lillian, most organizations that do any publishing or that require writing from others will have their own guidelines for usage, and this link from Moody is one of those. Everything here (with one exception that I'll discuss in the next paragraph) is pretty standard, though.

The exception is the bit about capitalizing pronouns for God or Jesus. Moody says to capitalize them; however, there are some Christian organizations and even some versions of the Bible in which these pronouns are not capitalized. There are some people who feel very strongly about this--they feel that capitalizing pronouns for God or Jesus shows respect. Others say they should be capitalized to distinguish between God or Jesus and other men who might be mentioned in the same paragraph.

On the other hand--as I've said, there are others who do not capitalize those pronouns. The Christian Writers' Manual of Style weighs in on the side of non-capitalization. And I've just done a quick check of John 3:16 in four common versions of the Bible (KJV, NASB, RSV, and NIV). None of them capitalized 'he' or 'him.'

So my recommendation is to do what you feel most comfortable with if you are writing for yourself or to self-publish. If you're writing for publication elsewhere, check their manual or guidelines.

A final note: I've seen many Christian writers who refuse to capitalize Satan because they think that capital letter gives him respect that he does not deserve. Capital letters, however, do not bestow honor. They're simply the way that we, in English, distinguish common nouns from proper nouns. If we put lower case letters on every name that we did not respect, we'd write about adolph hitler and the ku klux klan and that sort of thing.

I know I've probably answered more than you asked.
Jan Ackerson

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lish1936
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Re: Capitalizations

Postby lish1936 » Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:44 pm

Jan, thanks a bunch for your answer and for taking the time to check out the site. No, your answer was not "more" than I asked. I also wondered about capitalizing "Devil." So like the Little Bear's porridge, it was just right. :D


Lillian
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I write even when I think I can't, because I must. :-)

I love to write. Nothing escapes the crush I have on the written word. I'm hooked on words!!

"Let words bewitch you. Scrutinze them, mull them, savor them, and in combination, until you see their subtle differences and the ways they tint each other." Francis Flaherty

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Re: Capitalizations

Postby Anja » Sat Apr 12, 2014 3:32 pm

I didn't check out the link you posted, Lillian, but as Jan didn't address it, either, I will add a word about using "bible." I know several people who would get their knickers in a knot if they see it uncapitalized, but it's our usage that warrants having it not capitalized, not lack of respect, just as Jan said.

If referring to our scriptures, it is capitalized, as are all titles of written works. If it's the sacred writings of another religious group, it is capitalized. But if one says, "The Enclyclopedia of Knots and and Fancy Rope Work is the cowboy's bible," it is not capitalized. (But I would guess there are some who would argue there is but one Bible, and all other uses of the word are invalid.)
Last edited by Anja on Sat Apr 12, 2014 5:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Ann Grover

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lish1936
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Re: Capitalizations

Postby lish1936 » Sat Apr 12, 2014 4:42 pm

Thanks, Ann. I'll keep that "Knots and Fancy Rope" example in mind. I can't remember when or where, but I think I remember Jan putting up a red light to Challenge writers about capitalizing "Bible."

it's nice to see your name on the forum. You are missed. :D



Lillian
E-Book - Retirement Lane - How to Celebrate Life After 60

Fortunate 500


I write even when I think I can't, because I must. :-)

I love to write. Nothing escapes the crush I have on the written word. I'm hooked on words!!

"Let words bewitch you. Scrutinze them, mull them, savor them, and in combination, until you see their subtle differences and the ways they tint each other." Francis Flaherty


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