Wednesday, February 21, 2007

God, god, G-d

And one more thing about this religion stuff: often in the netroots you see the the name "god" spelled in all lower cases. When I see this, I get the exact feeling as when I hear W say "the Democrat party." Looks to me that, in both cases, the speaker wants to insult people so badly that they're willing to break with linguistic tradition to do so. The word "Democrat" is a noun; "Democratic" is an adjective. Thus "Democrat party" is grammatically wrong.

Similarly with the former example, however. One of the very few actual ironclad rules in the English language is that proper names are capitalized. Fucking always. If you name your dog "Dog," from that moment forward every time you refer to its name in writing, you capitalize it. Same with deities when the word "god" is used as the being's proper name: "God, my dog Dog worships me as if I were a god."

I don't get it: is not believing in a deity the excuse for this? It would be a pretty shoddy defense, unless you also don't capitalize santa claus or huck finn.


Connie said...

There are a lot of different gods out there that people believe in. Do you want just yours capitalized? I tend to use lower case unless I am specifically referring to the Judeo/Christian/Islamic God.

El Ranchero said...

Not a matter of what I want, it's a matter of not bending grammar according to your biases. Proper names (and words used as proper names) are capitalized. When did I ever say I want just mine capitalized? That would run contrary to my post. Of course there are a lot of different gods people believe in, AND ALL OF THEM ARE CAPITALIZED. No one spells it "shiva" or "allah," nor should they, because they are proper names.