Letters to My Kids, Parenting

odd use of capital letters are a Really Good Thing sometimes.

When I write (or used to write) papers for class, I like to differentiate between grace and Grace, faith and Faith, and the church and the Church. You may not fully appreciate what I’m saying here. You may not get it, and it may not make sense at all. And that’s ok, because you might be six years old. (If you’re in high school and you don’t get capital letters yet, we need to talk.)

There are lots of different ways to show grace, but only God gives us Grace. We can have faith in many things, but our Faith leads us to Christ. I work at the church, but I am a part of the Church.

See, words are beautiful things. Words are sometimes very specific. I hope that some day I can help you appreciate the difference between calling someone “mean” or calling them a “vengeful harpy.” I hope that you’ll notice that when someone capitalizes something when there’s no *real* reason to do it, it’s because that thing is really important and there’s nothing else quite like it. It’s like how you should always capitalize Mom. Maybe not someone else’s mom, but your Mom is special and deserves the status brought on by a capital M.

Details matter. Quirky things are interesting. Small things that are easy to ignored are usually the best places to look when you’re bored. Learn to express yourself using words that are Just Right so that you’ll always be able to explain that when we don’t let you stay up past 9:00 we are forcing you to become a malcontented rabble-rouser. You’ll find a girl or boy you like and you’ll have just the words to say so you can express how you feel. You’ll read a book filled with big words and see opportunities to understand new things instead of giving up and going away.

Language and communication are a Big Deal. Words and expression are essential. You’re special, and you need special ways of sharing yourself with others. Words can help.


2 thoughts on “odd use of capital letters are a Really Good Thing sometimes.

  1. PK says:

    Depends on the professor. Using arbitrary capitals is a Really Bad Idea if you want to keep a decent grade. Generally words like Faith are not capitalized regardless and mixing capitals will lose you even more points than being consistent. American English is way more strict on this than British English is, to my knowledge.

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