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The Rat
2001-Dec-01, 04:15 AM
Over on Jim Randi's website at;

http://www.randi.org/jr/113001.html

there is a section regarding whether names of planets, stars, etc. should be capitalized. I do it, as it just 'feels' right, despite convention. I mean, moon could refer to any old chunk of rock, but Moon means our lovely neighbour.

Any thoughts?

DStahl
2001-Dec-01, 05:36 AM
I'm with you. I capitalize Moon (Earth's), Sun, Universe, and proper names of heavenly bodies (Cindi, Monique). I don't capitalize any old universe, a distant sun, Jupiter's largest moon, etc. Just seems proper, as you say.

Mr. X
2001-Dec-01, 06:32 AM
On 2001-12-01 00:36, DStahl wrote:
I'm with you. I capitalize Moon (Earth's), Sun, Universe, and proper names of heavenly bodies (Cindi, Monique). I don't capitalize any old universe, a distant sun, Jupiter's largest moon, etc. Just seems proper, as you say.


There's a joke in there I believe... would you care to explain it? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

David Hall
2001-Dec-01, 03:13 PM
On 2001-12-01 00:36, DStahl wrote:
Just seems proper, as you say.


That's it in a nutshell right there. Proper names. The names of specific objects are all proper names, and therefore should be capitalized. If it's just a generic term, then there are no capitals. I find it hard to believe there's any controversy over this.

(Waitaminnit, what am I saying? Humans will argue over anything and everything. It's only natural that such a small thing would develop controversy. ...Hey, look! I'm involved in it too. See? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif)

ToSeek
2001-Dec-03, 03:53 PM
On 2001-11-30 23:15, The Rat wrote:
Over on Jim Randi's website at;

http://www.randi.org/jr/113001.html

there is a section regarding whether names of planets, stars, etc. should be capitalized. I do it, as it just 'feels' right, despite convention. I mean, moon could refer to any old chunk of rock, but Moon means our lovely neighbour.

Any thoughts?



Actually, he's specifically talking about whether to write "Earth" and "Moon" or "earth" and "moon." I've been dithering on this myself but have decided to stand with Randi and NASA (http://nodis3.gsfc.nasa.gov/library/displayDir.cfm?Internal_ID=N_PG_1450_010C_&page_name=AppendixG) in using capitals.

Wiley
2001-Dec-03, 04:18 PM
IMHO
"Earth" is the "pale blue dot" we live on and "earth" is the stuff I garden with.

The "Moon" is Selene, Luna - we capitalize those names, don't we? - and "moon" is something teenage boys do through car windows.

GrapesOfWrath
2001-Dec-03, 06:22 PM
Isn't the only moon of Earth called the Moon?

David Hall
2001-Dec-03, 06:27 PM
On reflection, I seem to remember hearing about this debate a long time ago (in a misty corner of my mind far, far away). I think the argument I heard went that it would be an act of arrogance to capitalize our own planet, so we show humility by keeping the earth in lower case. I don't know if I'm remembering it right, and I don't recall ever hearing anything about the moon.

Personally, I think that's bunk. A proper name is a proper name. I don't go around spelling my own name in lower case just to show how humble I am. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_razz.gif

Remember, this is just my memory talking, and I may be completely wrong on the whole thing.

CJSF
2001-Dec-03, 07:04 PM
For what it's worth, the National Geography Standards specify that our planet is "Earth", capitalized and with out "the" in front of it. "The earth" is the ground outside.

As far as I know, our planet's companion is called "the Moon" (capitalized), to distinguish it from other planets' moons. It's a shame it is so generic sounding, though... Do other languages have a proper name for the Moon?

CJSF

_________________
"Be very, very careful what you put into that head, because you will never,
ever get it out."
--Thomas Cardinal Wolsey (1471-1530)

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Christopher Ferro on 2001-12-03 14:05 ]</font>

Azpod
2001-Dec-03, 08:13 PM
On 2001-12-03 13:22, GrapesOfWrath wrote:
Isn't the only moon of Earth called the Moon?


Yes, and no. Luna is also known as the Moon. Terra is also known as the Earth. Sol is also known as the Sun. Humans have a tendancy to redundantly name objects.

CJSF
2001-Dec-03, 08:15 PM
Just for the record - well MY record. I have hardly ever seen or heard of the Moon called Luna until reading messages on this board. Most English speakers don't use that name, nor Terra nor Sol... even in scientific publications.

CJSF

_________________
"Be very, very careful what you put into that head, because you will never,
ever get it out."
--Thomas Cardinal Wolsey (1471-1530)

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Christopher Ferro on 2001-12-03 15:16 ]</font>

brianok
2001-Dec-03, 08:18 PM
As any scrabble player knows, moon and earth are legal words, but words that are capitalized are illegal. words such as Canada, Saturday, Jupitor etc.

Kaptain K
2001-Dec-03, 10:15 PM
Words that "can" be capitalized or not are legal in Scrabble. Thus Earth (name of planet) vs earth (stuff plants grow in), Moon (satelite of Earth) or moon (generic satelite), Polish (of Poland) or polish (make shiny), etc.

ljbrs
2001-Dec-04, 01:12 AM
Good. Finally somebody admitted the word *moon* being generic (and applicable to all of the other major satellites of our other planets.

Just to be snotty, I am limiting reference to Charon as a *satellite* of Pluto whenever Pluto is being studied as a Transneptunian Object (TNO), and as a moon when Pluto is being observed as our 9th/8th (?) planet. Then again, I guess that Transneptunian Objects are like asteroids and if asteroids can have *moons*, then TNOs can have them also.

Whatever...

ljbrs /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif

GrapesOfWrath
2001-Dec-04, 07:26 AM
On 2001-12-03 17:15, Kaptain K wrote:
Words that "can" be capitalized or not are legal in Scrabble.

Yep. Will, mike, bill, tom, and joe are all legal Scrabble words. Wait a minute, did we just use the Scrabble dictionary as an astronomy reference?

Are Jupiter and Saturn legal in Scrabble?