Why do many here insist that “God” is not a “proper noun” (and therefore subject to capitalization).?


Such claims have appeared often, including just minutes ago at:

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AojKBkOWlHo_UL8BJGd5HN_sy6IX;_ylv=3?qid=20100812081411AADolPm

Obviously, “god” is often used as just a common, generic noun — but why would anybody argue that “God” also is used…

I tend to use the terms ‘your god’ or ‘a god’ or ‘any god’ or ‘their god’ to describe the Christian deity, rather than referring to it as Christians do, as I do not believe in their version of what a god should be. If I were to use the term ‘god’ as a proper noun, which is rare for me, I do capitalize it. It -is- proper grammar. Which is why I am careful to make the distinction.

My personal vision of ‘god’ is not a person’s name, but as a thing (an entity), and therefore, it does not require capitalization as a proper noun. I wouldn’t capitalize the word ‘poltergeist’ or ‘ghost’. Therefore, I don’t capitalize the word ‘god’ in my personal usage of the term.

1) WHY WOULD ANYBODY INSIST THAT THE GRAMMAR TEXTBOOKS AND STYLE MANUALS ARE INCORRECT?

Well – you’re exaggerating a little here. No one on that post made *that particular* claim. Some people do not consider “God” to be a proper noun, a name or a title – and so they always write it with a small “g”. Of course, when speaking of the Judeo-Christian God in particular, capitalization **is** the standard English convention. Some people – obviously – ignore convention when it does not suit their purposes (or laziness).

Bottom line: it’s not worth getting “worked up over”. Although occasionally someone asks a question with such bad grammar that I feel it necessary to comment, really you should not expect people on this forum to use proper grammar or to recognize proper grammar. That’s for the English section – not the R&S section.

Jim, http://www.bible-reviews.com/

They have a point, but they’re still grammatically wrong. The word “God” when referring to a specific entity is capitalized. That’s not ideology. That’s just grammar.

However, the point they do have is that God is not the name of the entity you worship. That would be Yahweh, or Jehovah, depending which transliteration you adhere to. Some people don’t believe those words should ever be spoken, so the generic God came to replace it.

buggered if I know. Then again, it’s just English and that would be a language and language is constantly in flux b/c the people who speak and write it change. So it bugs you that people want you to start using Jehovah or Whatever instead of ‘God’ . Well, it should. You’re aware of the slow drift that comprises this part of the culture war. Like those Muslims who insist that ‘God’ and ‘Allah’ are the same, but they rarely say ‘God’ , instead saying ‘Allah’. They say that ‘Allah’ just means ‘God’ in Arabic but…. they were speaking English. They should’ve used the English for ‘Allah’. But instead they treated it as a proper name. Anyway, I don’t care. You tell me there’s an ‘omnipotent benevolence’ but never explain how that’s even logically possible given the existence of suffering. But hey, at least you’re not stoning your own kids to death and then telling me that your religion is wonderful.

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RE:
Why do many here insist that "God" is not a "proper noun" (and therefore subject to capitalization).?
Such claims have appeared often, including just minutes ago at:

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AojKBkOWlHo_UL8BJGd5HN_sy6IX;_ylv=3?qid=20100812081411AADolPm

Obviously, "god" is often used as just a common, generic noun — but why would anybody argue that…

Why do so many insist that Unicorn™ and Leprechaun™ are not proper nouns and therefore subject to capitalization?

I do it intentionally.
First, the vast majority of posters here only ever refer to their own narrow concept of a “god,” assuming no other concept exists or is valid, ignoring the thousands of other claimed “gods.” To emphasize their narrowness of thinking, I use “god” in the generic sense on purpose — since they don’t specify which “god” they’re talking about, I can’t assume a particular capitalization-worthy titled “god.”

And yes, I don’t capitalize “satan” either, for much the same reason (a ying-yang sort of god-opposite responsible for evil is common in religious mythologies).

If/when some believer asks a question about “The Christian God,” I’ll be happy to respond in kind. It rarely happens. They use “god” generically yet capitalize it; I don’t.

Peace.

When I say “god,” I’m not talking about a specific one, thus I do not a capitalize.

CHLOROFORM: “Why do so many insist that Unicorn™ and Leprechaun™ are not proper nouns”

Because they refer to a genus, and not to a particular thing or object.

It depends on the context. God the character is a proper noun. Otherwise it is a common noun.

P.S. Spider-Man is hyphenated.

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