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Member # 9669

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When you mention "God" in a story, I already know his name is capitalized. What I'm foggy about is what if you are saying "the god"? Is it supposed to be "the god" or "the God". I know it's a pretty small question, but I don't remember for sure which way is correct.
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Robert Nowall
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It's not really "the God" in English, near as I can tell...if it were "the Lord," it would be okay. But I suppose if you're referring to a god other than God, it would be okay to small-g spell it...

Others will have thoughts on it, maybe more accurate than mine...

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Member # 8019

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Depends on the context. A proper noun is traditionally capped. Since the downstyle capitalization principle came into fashion circa mid 18th century, a common noun is lower case. Tenuous? When in doubt, leave it out is a useful principle. However, for reading ease, when in doubt, shout it out.
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Member # 9213

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I concur that the capatilized form is the equivalent of a proper name. Thus, using "the Bob" or "the Jeff" or "the Ellen" would be nonsensical.

"The Lord" is a designation of rank. Much as Captain Smith or Colonel Jones. In Scripture you thus find "The Lord G-d"* and where "The Lord" is used alone, the proper name of the Almighty is inferred in context.

The use of "the god" would be to indicate differentiation between those who believe in multiple different gods--i.e. "the god Zeus" or "the goddess Astarte", etc.

The exception occurs in Scripture between those who believe in the One G-d and those who do not,again in differentiation between Israel and the Nations (not Israel)--e.g. "the G-d of Israel".

Dr. Bob

P.S. Following traditional Orthodox Jewish practice of respect for the Holy Name, I write "G-d" without the "o" in ephemeral email, letters, and Forum posts. In my story submissions, however, I spell the Name completely because most do not understand the Orthodox convention.

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Member # 7912

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How about you give us the sentence in question? What god is being referred to as "the" and in what context, both conceptual and grammatical? There are a LOT of variables when it comes to that.
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Member # 2807

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I'm thinking that if you used something like "the God of Fire" it would be a title, and therefore capitalized. But, it you were using something like "the god they worshipped" it wouldn't be.
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Member # 9398

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There is also the stylistic freedom that says you can do either. Depending on a pov a diety might be The or just A. In most circumcstances The is really euphamistic for "the real one" or "the highest rank one." In my experience.

So then the a, the, or The becomes a matter of pov. Does the character see this diety as a local character, or the overlord as it were, or does he perhaps not even believe he exists but acknowledges the custom of the place.

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Member # 5512

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English uses capitol letters much more often than my first language. I've grown accustomed that as soon as I wish to make something important, I use capitol letters. We'll see if that's a healthy thing to do, I guess.
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