Don’t Upset the Grammar Gods; Use a Capital “G”

Richard (R.J.) Eskow pleads his case to atheists to use a capital G when writing the word “God” because it’s the grammatically correct thing to do:

You’ve said it a thousand times, and I get it: You don’t believe in capital-G God any more than I believe in Tinkerbell. That doesn’t change anything. (See what I did there? I don’t believe in an entity named “Tinkerbell.” But since it is the proper name of a, yes, fictional character, I capitalized it.)

The “god” construct, however it’s intended, looks like an ungrammatical affectation. It makes the writer seem petty and silly, like those Republicans on Fox News who talk about the “Democrat” Party. It also seems intended to show disrespect to the beliefs of others (who shouldn’t care, but some of whom undoubtedly do).

You don’t want to violate the laws of grammar, do you? I mean, seriously: Is nothing sacred?

I’m with him. Proper nouns are capitalized, whether or not they’re fictional. So are pronouns referring to God (like He or Him). If you’re referring to the concept of a god, you don’t need to. Arguing otherwise makes as much sense as capitalizing the A in atheist. It’s not a religion, so there’s no need for it.

All that said, I really don’t get worked up about people who choose to do otherwise. If you read the comments on that Salon article, though, you’d think Eskow started World War III…

(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to David for the link)

"Yeah, we gotta stop confusing those two."

Stephen Hawking = Dead. Richard Dawkins ..."
"I read the first few comments and I have to say I’m shocked at how ..."

If You Want to Learn About ..."
"Also, hell is a Black Hole from which nothing escapes! (Except Hawkins Radiation, apparently.)"

Stephen Hawking = Dead. Richard Dawkins ..."
"Then the whole room becomes unclean. Anyone who visits will get cooties."

Linda Harvey: Abortions Are the Reason ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment