1. Rumwriter
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    Rumwriter Active Member

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    The lord

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Rumwriter, Apr 19, 2014.

    In my screenplay I've got a lord whom I want characters to refer to. Sometimes they refer to him by name, as "lord so-and-so," but to mix it up, it seems like sometimes they would also say "the lord" as in "I think it was the lord, in the kitchen, with the candlestick."

    The problem is that "the lord" feels too much like "the Lord," as though the characters are referring to God, and because this is a screenplay, the words will never be seen by an audience, only heard.

    Do you have suggestions on how to work around this? Or do you even think it's a problem at all? Maybe it's just in my head.
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    why not just use his name in a previous sentence, then 'him/he' and wording that makes it clear who is being referred to?

    you can also switch to 'nobleman' as that's what a titled person would be referred to as...
     
  3. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Depending on the relationship of the lord to the speaker, the speaker could say "m'lord"- which would never be mistaken for God.
     
  4. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    'Lord' needs to be capitalized. It doesn't mean a god or the Christian god. Lord and god are capitalized when they substitute for a name. They are not capitalized when they are used as a common noun: there were many lords and ladies there, Lord Duncan and Lady McBeth stood out.

    I don't think readers will be confused. It should be clear from the context of the sentence and the story you are referring to a noble lord.
     
  5. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    You said it was a screenplay, right? That'd it would only be heard? I think you're OK, because people will see that the 'lord' in question is not God, or any god, but a nobleman of high status.

    But yes, Lord has to be capitalized, because it's someone's title. Lord Vader, Lord MacBeth, Lord Voldemort, etc. Doesn't mean the other characters think any of them are God. It's just a title to indicate this person's status in life.

    There are many ways you can reference him. You can use "the lord" or "Lord [name]". Others can address him as "m'lord/my lord" or "Lord [name]". Trust me, the readers aren't going to confuse this lord with the Christian god.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2014
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    in script dialog, when addressed by a character as 'M'lord' the 'm' would be capitalized, since it's being used in place as a name...

    in the action/description element, only the character's name would be used [Lord Whoever]...
     
  7. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I see!

    But what if you were trying to write something like, "The lord of the castle was very busy these days...", would you capitalize the 'L' or leave it as such?
     
  8. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    The proper forms of address for nobility are actually not that simple. This link might help.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forms_of_address_in_the_United_Kingdom#Nobility
     
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  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    no capital, because you're not using 'lord' as a name there, are you?... if 'the/a/an' precede the word, it's a common noun, not a proper noun, so has no capital...
     
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