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  1. xiaoen's Avatar
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    #1

    God /vs./ god

    Hello Everybody,
    I don't know when I should write "God" with a capital letter and when to write it with a small letter "god".
    Do you have any information about this question? Or do you know any reliable threads or websites to teach me this?


    Thank you in advance.

  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: God /vs./ god

    If you are referring to one deity, the only deity, the creator of everything (as some people believe), then use the initial capital. If you are referring to one of a number of deities, then don't.

    Christians believe that Jesus is the son of God. Zeus was one of the gods the ancient Greeks believed in.

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    #3

    Re: God /vs./ god

    .If a religion is monotheist, believing there is only one God, use the capital letter. If the religion is polytheist, believing there are many gods, use lower case.

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    #4

    Re: God /vs./ god

    It's very simple: we use capital letters for names. (It's nothing to do with religion essentially.)

    Allah, Yahweh, God, Zeus, Odin, Vishnu...

    These are all names of gods, and so have capital letters. The name of the Christian god is 'God'.
    Last edited by jutfrank; 07-Oct-2016 at 21:30.

  3. Piscean's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: God /vs./ god

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    The name of the christian god is 'God'.
    For most people, he is the Christian god; for some, especially Christians, He is the Christian God.

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    #6

    Re: God /vs./ god

    I think you may be confusing the issue.
    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    For most people, he is the Christian god;

    Many people capitalise Christian, yes. Most people? I don't think you can say that. Personally, I don't advise it unless it's a name. (Here it's an adjective so doesn't count as a proper noun so there's no good reason to capitalise.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    for some, especially Christians, He is the Christian God.
    I think you mean only christians. This way of writing is non-standard and not correct outside of christian discourse.

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    #7

    Re: God /vs./ god

    Do any style guides recommend against capitalizing Christian?
    I am not a teacher.

  4. Piscean's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: God /vs./ god

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    Many people capitalise Christian, yes. Most people? I don't think you can say that. Personally, I don't advise it unless it's a name. (Here it's an adjective so doesn't count as a proper noun so there's no good reason to capitalise.)
    Well, the first five dictionaries I looked at at www.onelook.com, Oxford, Collins, Macmillan, Merriam-Webster and the American Heritage all gave the word an initial capital. This ngram suggests that most people do. I am a born-again atheist, but I capitalise the first letter of adjectives/nouns of faith, just as I capitalise the first letter of adjectives/nouns of nationality.

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    #9

    Re: God /vs./ god

    Surely "Christ" is accepted to be a name and therefore words associated with it would be capitalised anyway (regardless of any religious aspect). This works for most religions where the name of the god is incorporated into the name of the religion.

    Christ - Christian - Christianity
    Buddha - Buddhist - Buddhism
    Zoroaster - Zoroastrian - Zoroastrianism

    I've never seen the name of a religion uncapitalised in any trustworthy publication.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #10

    Re: God /vs./ god

    I can see the grammatical argument for not capitalising when it's an adjective, but many do as a sign of respect and because the followers tend to do so, so I think that not causing offence may trump grammatical form in the eyes of many.

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