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  1. Over the top's Avatar
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    #1

    s possessive

    There is a book called the god delusion by Richard Dawkins and I was wondering why there is no s possessive, the god's delusuion? also why is there the definite article the?

    Thank you

  2. freezeframe's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: s possessive

    Quote Originally Posted by Over the top View Post
    There is a book called the god delusion by Richard Dawkins and I was wondering why there is no s possessive, the god's delusuion? also why is there the definite article the?

    Thank you

    the noun god functions as an adjective to the noun delusion, modifying it

    God does not have any delusions. But we have something called "the god delusion"; that is, we believe in a supernatural being and that is a delusion, according to the book.

    EDIT: in response to Barb's post -- the above is a description of the book's content;
    Last edited by freezeframe; 08-Apr-2011 at 19:49.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: s possessive

    The above post was a perfect description of the GRAMMAR.

    Comments about that actual existence, non-existence, or nature of God are neither sought nor welcome.


    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  4. Over the top's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: s possessive

    Quote Originally Posted by freezeframe View Post
    the noun god functions as an adjective to the noun delusion, modifying it

    God does not have any delusions. But we have something called "the god delusion"; that is, we believe in a supernatural being and that is a delusion, according to the book.

    EDIT: in response to Barb's post -- the above is a description of the book's content;
    If the god delusion means the delusion of god then why the god's delusion does not also have the same meaning?
    isn't the content of the book is the same as the book's content!
    Can you give me other examples where god is used as an adjective. Thanks

  5. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: s possessive

    Quote Originally Posted by Over the top View Post
    If the god delusion means the delusion of god then why the god's delusion does not also have the same meaning?
    As freezeframe explained, it is not the delusion of god; it is people's delusion about god. The author of the book does not claim that god is deluded; he claims that god does not exist, and that people who believe in god are deluded.

  6. freezeframe's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: s possessive

    Quote Originally Posted by Over the top View Post
    If the god delusion means the delusion of god then why the god's delusion does not also have the same meaning?
    isn't the content of the book is the same as the book's content!
    Can you give me other examples where god is used as an adjective. Thanks
    When you put two nouns together, the first one functions as an adjective. This has nothing to do with god as such.

    Leather pants -- pants made out of leather; not the same as "pants' leather"

    Letter opener -- opener for letters; not the same as "opener's letter"

    god delusion -- delusion that god exists; not the same as "god's delusion", which would mean "god is delusional".

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    #7

    Re: s possessive

    Quote Originally Posted by Over the top View Post
    There is a book called the god delusion
    We capitalize book titles: The God Delusion.

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    #8

    Re: s possessive

    For that matter, we normally capitalize "God" when referring to the Judeo-Christian, monotheistic God (as opposed to, say, Greek or Roman gods.)

  7. freezeframe's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: s possessive

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    For that matter, we normally capitalize "God" when referring to the Judeo-Christian, monotheistic God (as opposed to, say, Greek or Roman gods.)
    Not to start a religious debate, but that is a choice, not a necessity. Often this choice is somehow motivated (i.e. it's part of the writer's point).

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    #10

    Re: s possessive

    I am describing the common usage that I am familiar with. If others choose differently, that is their prerogative. I thought a learner of the language should know that it can be considered disrespectful to not capitalize "God."

    If we can tell learners that many prefer gender neutral words like "firefighter" over "fireman," in order to avoid offending some people, we can surely tell them what the norm is on this subject.

    Style and Editing Guide

    This is a digest of the AP stylebook. Searching under "Capitalization" shows the recommendation that "God" be capitalized.

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