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User talk:Eira/Capitalization

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Ma'am, we're capitalizing the Bible because "Bible" is a proper noun and proper nouns should be capitalized. in my opinion, one should never sacrifice good grammar just to make an ideological point - particularly not one as relatively minor as this. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 16:53, 7 May 2008 (EDT)

"Bible" is just a derivative word from Greek "biblia" meaning "books" (through to Latin "biblia" the plural of "biblium" (gen bibliorum)) The name "bible" really isn't significant in anyway like the term "god" which tends to be capitalized to make it refer specifically to the Christian god. I'd hate to see some future English language referring to "Godd" or something like that as if it were a personal name, and not the generation from a general into a specific by Christian actions. The same has already come from "Lord" which derives from "loafward". If you want to specifically refer to the Christian bible, then call it the Chrisitan bible, rather than simply "the Bible". --Eira omtg! The Goat be praised. 17:04, 7 May 2008 (EDT)
Excellent suggestions! And why stop there? Why should "christ" be capitalised, for a start? — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 17:09, 7 May 2008 (EDT)
Sure, let's uncapitalize "christ" then. There have been many christs (anointed ones) so, why capitalize the Christian christ? --Eira omtg! The Goat be praised. 20:15, 7 May 2008 (EDT)
Sophistry, ma'am. The proverbial 'reasonable person' would never doubt that "Bible" in this context, by means of centuries of usage, refers to a particular book, rather than just books in general - just as there is no doubt that "Newcastle" usually refers to a specific city in Northern England despite the presence of numerous other (relatively) new castles. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 17:13, 7 May 2008 (EDT)
I prefer to work from Solipsism... I'm right and everyone else is a figment of my imagination. I see no violation of "grammar" in referring to the Christian bible without capitalization... it's simply an arbitrary rule enforced by time and tradition. At the Time of the Writing of the Constitution all Nouns were capitalized... now only proper Nouns. "Formal Grammar" changes all the time. All of it is arbitrary. Christians insist on capitalizing any word that refers to Him even if it is not a noun, but I find that sort of usage arrogant and insulting. We are the voice of change, of challenge, or contention against tradition without a rational basis. What rational reason do you have for capitalizing "bible" other than it is simply dictated by formal grammar by arbitrary individuals? --Eira omtg! The Goat be praised. 17:36, 7 May 2008 (EDT)
It's a book title. It's capitalized. If we wrote about "bibles" the group of them would not be capped, but the individual ones would be, unless they were specifically e.e. cummingsed. humanUser talk:Human 17:39, 7 May 2008 (EDT)
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Cute... but writing things backwards is not grammar, it's writing convention. You seem highly confused about what is "grammar" and what is simply proscriptive "grammar". There do exist people who cannot grasp grammar, but they are a significant minority, underneath one in a million as an occurrence rate. Every other person in the world is capable of producing proper grammar. Actually, nearly perfect grammar actually. Grammar nazis and proscriptivists are working from a frame of rules that are entirely arbitrary, and have absolutely nothing to do with real grammar. My "rational" reason for refusing to capitalize "bible" in reference to the Christian bible is that the book is not special in any way. It's a book of mythology that is titled with simply "Book". When talking about it as "the good book", should we capitalize that as well? Why not just call the Christian bible the "Book", with capitalization and all? Why give it a name that is actually a generic word? When talking about "the Bible" it disguises that there are a number of different bibles, based off different texts, and different translations. There is no "Bible", there are a ton of "bibles" sometimes with sometimes very very divergent meanings. In a bible study class I had one person say "And it says 'out of the stump of David will arise a new branch' showing that David's line was at an end, and that this new sprout [Jesus] is a new growth from a dead past." And I turned to him and said, "My bible is in German, (specifically die Luther Bible) it says 'out of the Stamm of David'... this is not a a stump, a thing that has come to an end, a lineage that has been cut down, but rather a 'stem' a 'trunk' simply put the lineage itself. There is no 'it was cut down and is now growing again' in my translation." We are not talking about one single bible, we're instead talking generically of many books that all carry the name "bible"... if you want to talk of the King James Bible, then that is a proper noun, but there is no "the Bible", unless you're proscribing that there is one and only one bible that is valid. --Eira omtg! The Goat be praised. 19:23, 7 May 2008 (EDT)
No one is proscribing anything. The capitalised word "Bible" referring to a particular book is an established convention, not something you can revise based on opinion. All figments of modern language have roots in the prevailing dogmas of the past, but looking at them like that is utterly futile.
But thanks for playing! — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 19:32, 7 May 2008 (EDT)
If you are not proscribing, then why are you telling me that I'm wrong? From googling "define: proscribe": "prohibit or condemn, as in: Most cultures proscribe stealing." By prohibiting me from uncapitalizing the word "bible" you are proscribing. But thanks for playing. --Eira omtg! The Goat be praised. 20:13, 7 May 2008 (EDT)
More sophistry. Despite the numerous differences between the many Bible versions, there is no doubt that it is fundamentally the same work. To illustrate: At this very moment, I have before me three different translations of Sun Tzu's "The Art of War." They're very different translations, in style, vocabulary, sometimes even in meaning. Should I start referring to that work as "the art of war"? And what should I tell my colleagues when they laugh at me for making such basic writing errors? --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 19:35, 7 May 2008 (EDT)
Considering your colleagues are bartenders, I wouldn't worry about them noticing it. SHahB 19:39, 7 May 2008 (EDT)
Shabby you are not helping. Which makes you pleasantly reliable, really.— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 19:43, 7 May 2008 (EDT)
I found that genuinely funny. Thanks Henry, or whatever you call yourself these day. :D --AKjeldsen[[User_talk:AKjeldsen |Cum dissensie] philisophical] 19:45, 7 May 2008 (EDT)
I just wanted to sign my name in this section of the discussion. humanUser talk:Human 19:52, 7 May 2008 (EDT)
I sympathize.— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 19:53, 7 May 2008 (EDT)
You offend the Goat by saying that joking around isn't helping. Do you think this is a serious argument? One that will actually have impact upon even this webpage? Consult my page for the quote "Don't take yourself so seriously..." --Eira omtg! The Goat be praised. 20:29, 7 May 2008 (EDT)
Ah, but would you talk about "The English Translation of the Art of War"? Why would you do that. No, you would talk about the english translations of the Art of War. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but Sun Tzu's "The Art of War" is actually a single book written by Sun Tzu in Chinese ideographs. Thus there exists a single "correct" Art of War. To talk about the English Translation as if that made it specific enough, is ridiculous. Now, the Christian bible is based on a number of entirely separate works, who's authorship is diverse and many times unknown. The source documents even for the books in the Christian bible are still under dispute, where the King James Bible uses specific texts that others reject as being simply variations from older versions, and thus reach to older versions of the Christian bible's books in order to translate. Sometimes, just changing the source will result in vast differences. However, Sun Tzu's "Art of War" has but one true translation. Much like the Islamic Qur'an. There is a known an indisputable authorship and source. "The Bible" is a generalization of not only translations, but origins and sources, and authors. There is no "The Bible", there are only a wide variety of bibles, each citing different sources, and different authors. It would be stupid to talk about Sun Tzu's "The Art of War" as an art of war, but there are many English translations of "The Art of War" (which refers specifically to the original book), if they vary in meaning, that is attributed to translation error, not source error. Why are you so quick to defend "The Bible" when it doesn't even exist... unless you're a KJV-only advocate... --Eira omtg! The Goat be praised. 20:26, 7 May 2008 (EDT)
You are really too far from reality here. Again, while it is correct that the Bible is made up of many different sources, and that many different translations and versions exist, the fact is that taken together, these constitute a corpus of materials that we collectively label as "the Bible." For the average person, this label is sufficient to identify the work. If greater detail is required, then you can identify the version in more precisely, such as the "King James Bible" or the "Luther Bible" or the "American Standard Bible." --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 20:41, 7 May 2008 (EDT)
How can you say that I'm too far from reality? I am speaking about reality, and describing a model that works perfectly fine within empirical studies, and is a logically valid, and sound argument. That you disagree with me, and contend for the propagation of convention for the sake of convention, is beside the point of if I'm speaking about reality or not. From my point of view, your argument and defense is irrational, unsound, and logically flawed. No better than those silly Christians who insist that their god wrote their bible with his own hand. --Eira omtg! The Goat be praised. 20:48, 7 May 2008 (EDT)
Let me rephrase that: You are pretty far removed from they way the vast majority of English-speaking people use their language. But of course, if you feel a need to redefine the way proper nouns work, knock yourself out. Just remember that what you reject as "convention" actually exists for a reason: The sake of utility and ease of communication. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 20:57, 7 May 2008 (EDT)
"you would talk about the english translations of the Art of War." Are you sure about that? I usually capitalize "English", is that yet another bow and scrape to The Man? Oops, there I go again... humanUser talk:Human 21:04, 7 May 2008 (EDT)
*paints herself into a corner* True enough.. but then there are many englishes, just like there are many spanishes... They all kind of loosely clump together in a collective group... I mean, I suppose that there is justification for using the proper adjective English as capitalized... Much in the same way, I suppose that it would be correct to talk about Biblical events with a capital letter. No matter which bible you're talking about, that event is still Biblical. No matter if a group says "the bank is" or "the bank are" it is still English... And "The Man" is capitalized as a satirical parody. --Eira omtg! The Goat be praised. 21:12, 7 May 2008 (EDT)
What be the meanin' of convention fo' the ease of communication? We already be talkin' differen', usin' differen' grammar, usin' differen' words, usin' differen' rhetoric. Why you gots to be hatin' on me jus' 'cause I wants to be differen'? Convention, he define a window, where anytin' in between be awright. To go an' be limitin' us to only one right way, you be killin' us, da individuals. Why can'ts you be mo'a undastandin'? Convention in electronics be dat dere be +/-5V, but you start lookin' deepah, an' you fin' dere be no +5V evah. Da best you fin', he be anytin above +2.5V or so... fluxuation be normal. Variation be normal. You ain't need be goin' aroun' and stompin' him jus' cause you got sometin agains' 'im. Forge a new way, yeah? Fin' a new pat. Don' be stuck in what need to be... dat what make zealots work. He make a zealo' outta yah, an' you no' even see 'im. Dis worl' ain't be black and white... he be grey, yeah? Learn to accep' oter ideas, o' mebbe you en' up jus' like the fundies... hypocritical to a fault... you gonna condemn oters 'cause dey be differen' den you, but who be carin'? Let da world be differen'. Need to stop pigeon-holin' e'eryting. Blind convention, he be makin' you a zealot. --Eira omtg! The Goat be praised. 21:26, 7 May 2008 (EDT)
See, this, for instance, was approximately over 9000 times as difficult to read as it could have been with proper grammar. I'm not even sure I parsed all of it correctly. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 21:30, 7 May 2008 (EDT)
You fail... that was correct grammar. --Eira omtg! The Goat be praised. 21:32, 7 May 2008 (EDT)

AKjeldsen: You said: The proverbial 'reasonable person' would never doubt that "Bible" in this context, by means of centuries of usage, refers to a particular book,. How do you square this with the argument we had some time ago when you said the bible should never be regarded as "one book"?--Bobbing up 03:12, 8 May 2008 (EDT)

Once again, I must apologize for my inexact use of language. When I wrote "book" in the above context, please read "collection of materials which come from widely different origins and time periods, but which is nevertheless usually published, anthology-like, in a single physical volume for the sake of convenience." --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 04:39, 8 May 2008 (EDT)
To further elaborate, I believe my original argument - or at least the argument that I hoped to convey - was that the Bible should not be textually analysed as one would a single book or document by a single author, not that it should not be regarded as a book at all. It is clear that for the greater part of its histoy, the Bible has indeed been treated as a single collection of materials or, if you will, one book. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 04:49, 8 May 2008 (EDT)
I suspect revisionism in your argument! I'm trying to find the original. :-) --Bobbing up 06:04, 8 May 2008 (EDT)
Good luck. Following time-honoured academic tradition, I make sure to spread my comments out as much as possible in order to avoid exactly this kind of situation. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 06:35, 8 May 2008 (EDT)
Indeed, his statements are revisionist. At the original point, I was not attempting to argue that the bible was a multitude of books, and had no reasonable position to be refered to as a single proper noun. It was not until Human gave reference to that multiple bibles would be uncapitalized but a singular bible would be capitalized. At that time, I developed my sophist argument to be supported by the fact that there are a hojillion and one source documents that all different bibles treat with varying levels of authority. Until that time, I was never attempting to make the argument that "the Bible" was wrong except based on an immature lashing out against Christians. --Eira omtg! The Goat be praised. 18:12, 9 May 2008 (EDT)
The revisionism to which I referred has now been made explicit here. :-) --Bobbing up 18:25, 9 May 2008 (EDT)
Your argument however fails. While it is true that history has treated "the Bible" as a singular book, this analysis fails in the modern light. During the Roman Catholic Church's heyday, there was only one translation of the Bible, and all others were heretical (or translated from that Vulgate). But now in this day the King James Version uses greatly different sources than the New International Version, or even the New/Revised King James Version. An anthology quite accurately describes the original use of "biblia"... "books". To present "the Bible" as if it were one book, you end up with problems like in Revelations, a curse any who alter or change "this book". Modern revisionists interpreting this in modern context are mislead by the assumption that the bible is one book, rather the bible are many books, and it should be taught and shown that way so that people understand the true purpose of the bible, and what they have to say. The whole idea that there is one and only one bible is what has caused so much confusion and chaos of people rejecting other translations that are just as valid as the one that they prefer. This revisioning of the original bible, and what they mean, has lead to the same effect as revisioning "the United States of America" to be singular. Americans no longer view themselves as citizens of their independent and sovereign state, but as part of a singular government. Looking back on history, we are then promoted to assume things about the past that simply are not true, like believing that patriots were fighting for the United States of America, rather than for their particular states. A patriot was a Virginian first, and then a citizen of the United States. We forget the strong intra-state bonds that were so strongly held at first, only to be erroded with time, such that only "Texans" are really the only state that consider themselves as citizens of their state before the federal government (and this is perhaps arguable). Why put up with revisionism that has declared that there exists a "Bible", which is singular, whole, and complete... perfect. No wonder people believe that the Christian god came down and wrote "the Bible" himself... they forget that the bible are a large number of books, edited, revised by man, with censorship, cannon, and apocrypha. It lends very term itself an authority that it does not deserve. --Eira omtg! The Goat be praised. 18:29, 9 May 2008 (EDT)
The ridiculous thing here is that, as Bob's diligent research has brought to light, I happen to agree with your analysis to a certain extent, but not with your conclusion. You are way overthinking this thing. The simple fact is that "The Bible" is a proper noun and that proper nouns are capitalized in English. If you don't agree that it is a proper noun, then it must be a regular, non-specific noun and that means that we could in principle be talking about any "biblia" we like. Lord of the Rings? Gone with the Wind? Huckleberry Finn? Which one is it? --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 19:09, 9 May 2008 (EDT)
Of course I'm overthinking this thing. It wasn't that big of a deal to me, until you started debating me. By playing devil's advocate, I forced myself into overthinking the situation. I understand your argument perfectly, however as I have noted to you before... it's only convention that keeps your way in place. Are "Gone with the Wind" and "Huckleberry Finn" both a collection of books? Because "biblia" is actually plural. I believe that it's sufficient to say that "bible" refers to a specific set of books involved in the Christian faith, that it can be used generically to refer to that content, you have given a very good argument that time has made it fairly specific. However, I stand by my notion that there is no "The Bible", such a thing is fictional in this world, but would refer to the one true bible. This works for KJV-only advocates, who believe that the King James Bible are "The Bible". Anyone else however... From Wikipedia[1]:
The King James Version (or Authorized Version) was based on the Textus Receptus, an eclectic Greek text prepared by Erasmus based primarily on Byzantine text Greek manuscripts. There are far more copies of the Byzantine text-types, so much so that it is termed the "Majority Text". Although the majority of New Testament textual critics now favor a text that is Alexandrian in complexion, especially after the publication of Westcott and Hort's edition, there remain some proponents of the Byzantine text-type as the type of text most similar to the autographs. These critics include the editors of the Hodges and Farstad text and the Robinson and Pierpoint text. For example, the modern World English Bible translation is based on the Greek Majority (Byzantine) text.
In America, "The Bible" is taken to exclude the apocrypha, however most European protestants carry reading guidelines for the apocrypha, and many bibles are considered incomplete if they do not have the apocrypha. Deciding on "The Bible" means first deciding which source texts are the one true texts, then which method of translation, then etc etc etc... So many variables go into defining each bible that declaring that "The Bible" says anything at all is nearly preposterous. In my example above, does "The Bible" say stump, or trunk? What does "The Bible" say in Isaiah 7:14[2]? Was it a virgin alluding to the virgin birth of Jesus, or was it simply a young woman, refering to a woman in close proximity? These are both just simple and some of the most clear examples, but rather there are millions? Does "The Bible" say the fourth horseman rides a pale horse, or a green horse? Hm? All of these questions must be resolved before there is a "The Bible". --Eira omtg! The Goat be praised. 17:05, 11 May 2008 (EDT)
I must admit that while your points make sense as individual points, I am having a bit of trouble parsing them together as a coherent argument. However, just to address one point, I am not suggesting that any one or more Bible editions are superior to any of the others - in fact, I don't think I have ever once referred to the KJV or to any other Bible edition in this discussion (although I am sure that Bob will be happy to dig it up if I have.) Generally speaking, however, I would submit that the different versions are sufficiently alike - for everyday, non-analytical purposes - to identify them through the collective proper noun "The Bible." After all, they all contain more or less the same textual material, with the exception of a few apochrypha that few people really care about (and probably even fewer have read.) Similarly, with regard to translations, in spite of their differences, they all refer to the same basic textual material.
As another point, contrary to what seems to be the assumption here and elsewhere, the use of capitalization in this case does not in any way imply any kind of moral superiority or prominence - it is simply a convenient, non-ideological writing convention to make the proper pronouns easily identifiable in the text. Conversely, the present suggestion that it should be de-capitalized seems mostly based on pure ideology which I must admit, being a semi-professional writer, makes my teeth ache.
Finally, I really thought that I was the one playing the devil's advocate here, so I'm feeling a little confused now. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 18:17, 11 May 2008 (EDT)

Edit button, for your convenience[edit]

(reseting indention to fit) Sometimes the greatest arguments are had by two people playing Devil's Advocate. :) Anyways, while you continue to assert: "Similarly, with regard to translations, in spite of their differences, they all refer to the same basic textual material." I disagree. As I already stated above, sometimes the translation or meaning fundamentally changes the religious significance of a particular verse. Given as a whole, many stories are given that are Biblical (with caps) as they are a part of every bible, and are presented generically, and non-analytically. However, each bible present that story and information differently. At a level of generic talking about "Biblical Sodom and Gamora", you're perfectly apt to speak of them as being "Biblical" because if "the Bible" were to exist then it would certainly contain accounts in parallel to Biblical Sodom and Gamora. However, saying that "the Bible" condemned them for homosexuality, belies that the meaning of the words are unclear, and that historical analysis likely suggests that they intended to use the angels for heterosexual rituals, not homosexual rituals. (After all, the Christian god doesn't just despise homosexuality, but rather frivilous heterosexuality as well!) While saying that the "Biblical destruction of Sodom and Gamora was for sexual sins", saying that the "Biblical destruction of Sodom and Gamora was for homosexuality" is wrong. However, saying, "some biblical destructions of Sodom and Gamora were for homosexuality" is right.

I am actually a firm believer that within the Christian theology, that the Christian god is not the authority of the bible, (disregarding his theological omniscience.) As the Christian god doesn't need the bible to justify his acts. Rather, to him, the bible is simply a reflection of his will. The only person who would be seeking to claim that there is a "the Bible," whose authority is absolute, and inerrant would be the Christian devil. This devil by placing a proxy between the will of this god and this god's peoples serves as an ultimate chance to justify anything. A Christian believing in the inerrancy of "the Bible" cannot dispute a Biblical argument. To do so would be to violate their fundamental belief in the inerrancy of "the Bible". Instead, the bible should be seen as loose guideposts not strict guidelines. That by reading the various bibles, that one can grasp the general intentions of the bible, and not insist that their actions are justified by Biblical passages, but rather, that Biblical passages provide us a good guideline to suggest a course of action. By all Biblical accounts, Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge, who's fruit gave them the ability to recognize what was right and what was wrong. This spark of divinity begins the bible but is somehow lost later as people refuse to take their own responsibilities and expect some god to dictate to them what they should do or not do...

By advancing the idea of a "the Bible" who's authority is final, you present the ultimate example of "devil's advocate" in that you are preaching the line that the Christian devil wishes to see come to pass. He need not convince us that "bad is good", but rather by convincing us that "good is bad" he can destabilize us against the Christian god's will. Should we protect these Christians against your actions to dismantle their religion? Actually, no. Asserted before my idealistic belief is that Christians are wrong. Let us continue to lead them away from what they should believe is right, and lead them down the path of confusion and destruction of the Christian faith. Let us preach the words of The Bible as the one true way, and one true truth. The more we can get to believe The Bible literally the more we corrupt them and spin them against their goals, and spurn them as hypocrits. :) You win... I would rather destabilize Christianity, than be logically and rationally correct. --Eira omtg! The Goat be praised. 19:06, 11 May 2008 (EDT)

Honestly! This argument, to the extent that I am able to follow it, seems absurd. The use of capitalization does not advance or promote any particular idea about the Bible, just as capitalizing "Mein Kampf" does not show any support for Nazism (or should that be nazism?) In fact, should we start writing "adolf hitler" or "josef stalin" just to really show how much we dislike these people? The mind boggles. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 19:20, 11 May 2008 (EDT)
Speak for yourself, anders. --מְתֻרְגְּמָן שְׁלֹום
"Mein Kampf" is the title of a book, given by the author. "Adolf Hitler" and "Joseph Stalin" are both historical people known to have existed. The fictional name of "Huckleberry Finn" is still the proper name of a person. However, "The Bible" is not the title of a book. Note, I've never messed with the capitalization of the "King James Bible", as this is a proper noun. However, there is no "The Bible" there is no single authoritive book that we can go back to and say, "This is The Bible!" Parallels should not be drawn between singular items given proper nouns, and a collective set of works that are collective sets of works themselves, all of which have many parallel notions, but disagree on the finer details. Using a crucial piece of dogma that Jesus's birth by a virgin was foretold in Isiah 7:14, you fail in that bibles state that it was simply a "young girl" and not "a virgin", following parallels that were extant in the time that there existed no word for a "young girl" that was not also homophonous with "virgin". (e.g. in German the word for young girl is "junge Frau" or condensed "Jungfrau", and the word for virgin is "Jungfrau"... by nature of being a young girl, it is presumed that she is a virgin.) When so many widely varying texts disagree on fundamental points that are relied upon as the foundation for a biblical-literalist's faith... when proponents of the sacredness of those texts even reply that any other version but their version is wrong.
Why are you so resistent to refering to the collection of bibles as a collective noun, "bibles"? Why are you so insistent that your view be the only correct one, and that my view is "absurd". I am not making absurd claims, but rather simply stating that the most common convention of refering to "the Bible" as if there were one singular book from which all bibles flowed... such a reference is fundamentally inaccurate. Should we continue to talk about how "centrifigal force" pulls you into your door when you make a sharp turn in a car? Or should we accurately portray things as "centripidal force" pushes your door into you when you make a sharp turn? Should we lift up inaccurancy and error simply because it's convention? Should we return to the idea that the Earth is the center of the Universe? I have made no claims that my argument could apply for anything else (except maybe "the torah", the sanskrit holy texts etc, where such texts are so old that there is debate about proper sources, with no single source extant or know) however your argument that convention simply for the sake of convention leads to notions that we should continue to refer to things as they were all along, simply because we want to keep it the way it had "always been" (to use a notion of revisionism going on). --Eira omtg! The Goat be praised. 20:13, 11 May 2008 (EDT)
But it does not imply anything of the sort! You have 27 books in the New Testament and some 40 (I forget the exact number) in the Old which for all intents and purposes are present in all Bibles. True, some Bibles have more books, while other present them in a different sequence, but for practical purposes, the basic material is the same. You won't find a Bible without e.g. Exodus, the Book of Daniel, or the Acts of the Apostles.
This means that the average person would realize that when we say "the Bible," we are talking collectively about this material - . Sometimes we wish to be more specific and say "the Catholic Bible," in which case we also include the deuterocanonical books, or the even more specific "1969 edition of the New American Standard Version" in which case we of course refer to a certain version and a certain translation. This level of detail is necessary when discussing specific questions regarding translation or interpretation. In everyday usage, however, it will usually not be necessary, and would often only unnecessarily complicate communications.
Or let me put this in another way: Assuming we are not discussing detailed points of theology of philololy, but just having a discussion on a reasonable, everyday level - when I say "The Bible," is there any doubt in your mind as to which general group of materials I am talking about? Do you suspect that I might in fact be talking about the Qur'an or perhaps the I Ching? Or do you realize that I am probably talking in general terms about the collection of those about 70 texts which together form the basis of Christianity.
If the latter is the case, then we are talking about a proper noun - perphaps we might call it a "collective proper noun" - which in writing merits capitalization. Not to promote any idea about content or anything else, but plainly and simply for the sake of convenience and ease of writing. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 21:10, 11 May 2008 (EDT)
How is "Bible" easier or more convenient to write than "bible"? In fact, the later has one less stroke to write, on a keyboard, the former requires pushing the shift-button in order to type it. If you want to go so far as to declare it as collective proper noun, then it should be treated as such, "The Bibles all say..." or "Most of the Bibles say..." By presenting "The Bible" as a singular noun, you refute your own assertion that it is being used as a "collective proper noun". --Eira omtg! The Goat be praised. 18:15, 12 May 2008 (EDT)
Sorry, I meant to say "ease of reading," in that the capitalization makes the proper nouns stand out from the rest of the text and easier to identify. Also, collective nouns do not have to be plural, as their purpose is to describe a collection of objects as a group - consider for instance a group, a team, a collection. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 18:36, 12 May 2008 (EDT)
Also, "bible" tends to mean other books that are considered received wisdom in their field, as a latterday comparison to the Bible (eg, "Izaak Walton wrote what many consider to be the anglers' bible"). humanUser talk:Human 19:51, 12 May 2008 (EDT)
Capitalization of proper nouns only makes them stand out and "easier to read" because that's how they are. In German, where all Nouns are capitalized, much of the Sentiment is that by capitalizing Nouns it makes them stand out more, and thus makes Texts easier to read. Dutch did the same thing in their Language for awhile, but then stopped using capitalization for their nouns, because they wanted to be more like English (or some other reason). THERE WAS A STUDY ONCE INTO READING ALL-CAPS SENTENCES, AND FOUND THAT THEY WERE READ AT A SLOWER RATE THAN MIXED CASE SENTENCES, INITIALLY THEY THOUGHT THAT IT WAS BECAUSE READING ALL-CAPS WAS SOMEHOW HARDER, BUT THEN THEY FOUND THAT THE MORE AN INDIVIDUAL READ ALL-CAPS SENTENCES, THE FASTER THEY GOT AT READING THEM, UNTIL THEY WERE READING AT A COMPARABLE SPEED AS MIXED CASE. IT TURNS OUT, WE DON'T READ ALL-CAPS SENTENCES AS EASILY, BECAUSE WE DON'T DO IT THAT OFTEN. as well, the same results can be found with no-caps sentences. just with a bit of time working at it, you learn to distinguish the necessary boundaries, etc, that you previously used capitalization to notice. however, when you think about it, why capitalize the first letter of a sentence anyways? was there not a sufficient indicator in the first place? why use punctuation if you capitalize the first letter of a sentence, or why capitalize the first letter of a sentence when you use punctuation? All of these things point to one thing: grammar nazis (or proscriptivists around politer company) are pushing an entirely arbitrary set of rules that they believe make things "easier to read", when in actuality, things are easier to read in a format that you are comfortable with, not by whatever silly rules you come up with. Infact,withenoughpractice,youcanlearntoreadsentenceswithabsolutelynospacesinthematall. It's all just what people are used to... a subjective point, not that there is an empirical reason why one is better than the other, which would be objective. The fact that you can read my text talking about the bibles and not stumble and fall shows that capitalization of that specific word isn't anything special... just tradition. Why buck tradition? Because we can is one answer... because there's no logical reason for a lot of traditions being the other. There was a woman who when she grew up always cut the ends off of roasts to cook them. She did this because her mother always did it. One day, when the mother noticed her daughter cutting off the ends of a roast before cooking it, she told her daughter, "I only cut the ends off because my oven was too small... it's not actually necessary to do that." Traditions need be challenged from time to time... it's the only way to keep us from looking like idiots. --Eira omtg! The Goat be praised. 13:10, 13 May 2008 (EDT)
You have no idea how entertaining this discussion is. --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 13:38, 13 May 2008 (EDT)
Well, I certainly wish you the best of luck in your one-person crusade against current grammar. However, as a bit of advice, I'll note that attempting any such initiatives when dealing with most publications or publishers, should you ever have the opportunity to write for such, will usually only result in having your stuff kicked back in your face with a stern note from an irate editor. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 14:48, 13 May 2008 (EDT)
When I'm writing for a publisher/publication then I'll obviously use better grammar and proofread stuff before I even send it to an editor. Personally, I doubt that an editor would get all huffed up over a personal preference to write "bible" instead of "Bible". He may comment about it, but with a response of "this is my style of writing, and I will not change it." It's likely that they would let it go. Bad "grammar" isn't bad when it's intentional. OMG! I misspelt something in my colloquial speech! Anyways, since when did this site become a professional publication anyways? I thought we were simply an angry mob having fun... it's odd to see people get so serious about things. --Eira omtg! The Goat be praised. 15:31, 13 May 2008 (EDT)
I fear that your confidence in the understanding nature of editors, for as a rule, they are hate-filled and not given to feel tolerant towards their writers' creative ideas. And yes - I must confess that I do take such things seriously. Language is my primary tool of trade, and I do get somewhat defensive when it is being used for overly ideological purposes. Although looking at the word counts in this discussion, at least, I do not seem to be the only one taking it seriously. ;-) --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 17:14, 13 May 2008 (EDT)
Meh, I understand that they're hate filled, however I'm a cold-hearted bitch, who's willing to argue even the silliest points at length and great verbosity, even if I don't take it that seriously... as for your second comment... see the previous sentence. *laugh* I'm not taking this seriously, I'm just bored. --Eira omtg! The Goat be praised. 15:25, 15 May 2008 (EDT)