For the first four years of my primer education, I attended Catholic school. I was taught that God and any pronoun associated with Him had to be capitalized. The nuns had a way of really burning things into kids and that rule always stayed with me.
However, I have been seeing a lot of published works forgoing this grammar rule and letting the word “god” have no capitalization. I see it happen a lot with the phrase, “Oh my god”.
I am more than confused.
My reaction is to capitalize the G in God because it is a proper noun. When I read the sentence I think the person is talking about the dude upstairs (way upstairs). However, maybe I am reading the sentence wrong.
In a class discussion last night, I broached the subject in class and people who don’t believe in God don’t see the name as a proper name. Thus, God doesn’t get capitalized.
I looked at MLA the handbook of English and it said God does get capitalized when referring to a person but not when it is used as a description. MLA also says the pronouns for God do not get capitalized. I tried to find more examples in Strunk and White but I couldn’t find any.
I am doing the only thing I know how to do. I am breaking the sentence apart to see if I can make sense of it.
“Oh my God.”
“My” is a possessive adjective, “oh” is an interjection and “God” is the subject. But the question lies, is God a proper subject or a common subject. I think someone in my class last night said it depends on the intention of the sentence. If the author’s intention is for God to be a proper noun, then it would be written with a capital. If not, then the author is using the word like a pronoun or a common noun. It seems odd to me, but who am I to judge another’s opinion and besides, those damn nuns warped my precious head so much who knows what other lies I believe.
I am having a real hard time with the god as a description. If anyone can clear that up, I would appreciate it because in my mind, the sentence reads, “She picked up her god telephone and called Justin.” That can’t be right.
Now, to end this DISCUSSION, I would like to say if anyone has any clarification, I would be grateful for it.