1. Rumwriter
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    Rumwriter Active Member

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    The War

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Rumwriter, May 9, 2013.

    If you are writing about World War II (or any war for that matter), and you refer to it as "the war" throughout your story, should you capitalize The/War?
     
  2. squishytheduck
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    squishytheduck Senior Member

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    No. Unless the war is called The War, or is otherwise unnamed.
     
  3. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes you would, as it is the name of that conflict. This site discusses it further, and includes examples, but here is an excerpt:
     
  4. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    Whilst I agree with your excerpt, I disagree with it in this context: The Great War (WWI) can obviously be capitalised as it is often referred to as that, but the Second World War was not referred to as 'The War', and thus cannot be capitalised.
     
  5. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    Correct, WWII was not 'The War', it was the war. But WWI, that was The Great War (because it was so much fun, no doubt).
     
  6. squishytheduck
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    squishytheduck Senior Member

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    Isn't that what I said? Sorry if I didn't phrase it well.
     
  7. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    You may have. I misunderstood you with the "or is otherwise unnamed" bit.
     
  8. squishytheduck
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    squishytheduck Senior Member

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    Well, I was thinking that if in the book nobody ever says the actual name of the war, then The War is the name of the war by proxy.

    Like how He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named becomes Voldemort's name if nobody in the Wizarding World utters his actual name.
     
  9. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    I suppose it depends on the context. If the story set in the year 2525 and mentions that a character just got home from fighting in the war, and that is the only reference made, it wouldn't be capitalized. But if his mother asks which war, and he tells her, "The War", it would be (because now its a proper noun that references a specific war, versus the earlier reference to an unspecific one).
     
  10. squishytheduck
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    squishytheduck Senior Member

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    OK cool, thanks!
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it depends on the context... if that's how the characters would refer to ww2, then it should be capitalized... otherwise, it would not...
     

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