Hi! I’m Kathy Ide. In addition to being a published author, I’m a full-time professional freelance editor. For CAN, I’m blogging about tips for writers based on the manuscripts I edit.
Pronouns for God
Today, most book publishers, even religious ones, prefer that pronouns referring to God or Jesus be lowercased. Several Bible versions lowercase pronouns for deity, including most of the newer translations. Therefore, capitalizing such pronouns can make a book seem old-fashioned and may give modern readers a sense that the book is irrelevant to their daily lives.
Some authors resist this, feeling that capitalization of deity pronouns shows respect for God. But in the English language, capitalization is mainly used to distinguish specific things from general things. We capitalize both God and Satan, Gandhi and Hitler, because they are all proper names, not because we respect them.
In general, capitalize pronouns for deity if:
you want your book to have a deliberately old-fashioned tone,
you quote extensively from a Bible version that capitalizes deity pronouns, or
you’re writing for a publisher who currently uses the capitalized style.
If you have a strong preference that differs from the publisher’s, ask if they’ll allow it. Be prepared to decide whether this is going to be a deal-breaker for you.
Whichever style you choose, make sure you are consistent throughout the manuscript.
NOTE: If you capitalize pronouns for deity, do not capitalize who, whom, or whose.
But do capitalize You, Your, Yours, Me, My, and Mine.