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  1. #1
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    Question Capitalize Dear?

    Rhett says, "Frankly, my dear...."

    I've read published "Okay, Kiddo..."

    So if Rhett had said, "Frankly, Dear...." would dear be capitalized?



  2. #2
    Administrator Wickett's Avatar
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    Yes. Same as "Father" and "My father". If the title is used in place of the name it becomes capitalized. "Come look my dear," would become, "Dear, come look,".

  3. #3
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    Hate to disagree, but "dear" is not a legitimate title, but a term of endearment, like "sweetheart" or "poopsie". It's never capitalized unless it's at the beginning of a sentence, even if a character addresses another character directly as "dear". Of course, if someone had the nickname "Dear", that's another matter.

  4. #4
    Administrator Wickett's Avatar
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    Interesting, so in this instance "dear" does not apply to the same rules as "father" or "mother"?

  5. #5
    Rogue Mutt
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    Wow, I agree with John! I wouldn't have capitalized "kiddo" either unless that's a proper nickname.

  6. #6
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    Father is a legitimate title. Off the top of my head, a legitimate title for a person indicates either a person's legal position in a relation or a job or their identity. If I remember right, titles of job or identity are always capitalized and titles of relation only with a direct address or if using it as a title of identity, so:

    "Are you okay, Father?"
    I asked Father if he was okay.

    but

    I asked my father if he was okay.

    I'm pretty sure that's the way it goes, but dead sure about terms of endearment.

  7. #7
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    Jeanne should chime in on this - she's the Grammar Goddess, lol.
    Last edited by John Oberon; 03-12-2013 at 12:06 PM.

  8. #8
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    Talking

    Fair enough. If you use the word as a formal address (as a nickname or substitute for a name), then it's capitalized.

    So in the phrase..."Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn," the word "dear" is not capitalized because it's prefaced by a possessive.

    Change that to: "Frankly, Dear, I don't give a damn," and you capitalize. The word has now become a form of address. The same is true for things like Dad and my dad. Hope that helps clarify.

    (And on a side note, did you know that that quote from Gone With the Wind was considered scandalous in its day? It was so scandalous that there was serious discussion about changing "damn" to a less, uh, risque word!)

    Jeanne

  9. #9
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    Cool Soooo.....

    John and Jeanne seem to disagree. My common sense agrees with Jeanne: substitutes for names are capitalized.

  10. #10
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    Yeah, we disagree on a lot of grammar. This is just the latest. But...she IS the Grammar Goddess, lol. But just as a little rebuttal, I'll say that prefacing a title with a possessive pronoun has nothing to do with whether a title is capitalized:

    Oh, my Father, Who art in heaven...
    Obama is my President as well as yours.

    I think it's unfortunate we've lost all sensitivity to the scandalous in today's world.
    Last edited by John Oberon; 03-13-2013 at 03:08 AM.

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