1. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Capitalization Confusion

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by HorusEye, Sep 13, 2010.

    "It is up to His Majesty to decide."

    "Yes, my lord."

    Paraphrasing here, but I saw these two examples in the same piece of writing. Why is "my lord" lower case?
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    it is lower case when it is being used as a common noun instead of a proper noun. Basic rule is if you can replace it with the persons name then it is capitalised. Without seeing the context of my lord I don't know why.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    in the first sentence, 'his majesty' is used in place of a name... in the second, 'my lord' isn't...
     
  4. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    But isn't it?

    "Yes, my lord."
    "Yes, Charles."
     
  5. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    it is because of the my. Yes my Charles doesn't work. Yes, Lord would be a capital but Yes my lord isn't.
     
  6. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ah, I see. So it would be capitalized in:

    "Yes, Lord."

    But then that makes me wonder a bit about the "His Majesty" again. Here you have two words replacing the name, too.
     
  7. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    When you address a king your never say Yes Majesty - it Yes Your Majesty - those words come as one.

    Please excuse posts holding baby.
     
  8. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Don't "my lord" come together as one as well, unless you're referring to the Abrahamic God?

    The above "Yes, Lord." sounds to me like someone who thinks he's having a conversation with his deity. Wouldn't a servant address his master as "my lord" or "his lordship" always?
     
  9. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    It is English so My Lord would be a judge in the UK system.

    my lord could be an obselete term of affection.

    yes Lord would probably be followed by a name. It is unlikely in the UK with the honour system unless talking to a judge it is referring to someone as their proper name.
     
  10. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ok, thanks. To be honest it's still not perfectly transparent to me what the rules are, but if it's the correct way of doing it, I'll do that.

    In a story set in ye olden days, a servant would address his master as "my lord" and "his lordship" in lower case, always. Right?
     
  11. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    yes - it is a term like yes sir. It is a term of respect rather than a name. It would have also been used in a romantic sense
     
  12. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ok, that does seem pretty clear. Thanks again.
     
  13. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    To clarify thinhs a litle further, it might be handy to think in terms of titles.

    ..my lord, is not a title. Lord Beaverbrook is.
    His Majesty is a title.

    Confusion is understandable. Though perhaps the waters are muddied here by
    deferential instincts. I can't imagine many would think 'my servant' should be capitalised.
     

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