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Old 06-26-2004, 02:48 PM
mangeorge mangeorge is offline
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Should terms of endearment be capitalized?

You know, like babe, honey, or sweatheart for example.
Bonus;
Do young lovers (teens, early 20's) still use such terms?
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mangeorge
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  #2  
Old 06-26-2004, 02:58 PM
FatBaldGuy FatBaldGuy is offline
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If you're using it in place of their name, such as "I love you, Honey," or "Come over here, Sweetheart," it should be capitalized. If you're just using it in a sentence, for example "I went to the movie with my sweetheart last night," it shouldn't be capitalized.
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Old 06-26-2004, 03:02 PM
mangeorge mangeorge is offline
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Thanks, FBG, that's exactly what I wanted to know.
Now, what do you call your 19 year old girlfriend?
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Old 06-26-2004, 04:46 PM
Splanky Splanky is offline
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I do call my girlfriend by various terms of endearment, but sometimes jokingly (like "Come here, hon", cliche Baltimore speak) and I'm a teen
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Old 06-26-2004, 05:42 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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Any term of endearment used as a salutation in direct address or as a form of nickname becomes a proper noun -- while a variety of people may be a variety of sweethearts, each to their beloved, saying, "Would you bring me a beer, Sweetheart?" is using "Sweetheart" in lieu of the name of the person so addressed, and would therefore function in loco nominis as a proper noun. However, it does not carry this attribute over when used in more generic contexts, unless it fully functions as a nickname. E.g., "Thank you, Love" is using "Love" as an endearment in a name-stead situation, but "My love is like a red, red rose" is not, even though the referent might be to the same person. However, any student of the higher forms of mass entertainment will be aware that the effectively universal appelation of Mrs. Thurston Howell, thought to have been lost at sea on a small excursion boat with a crew of two, in the company of her husband and three other tourists, was "Lovey" -- and any use of that term in reference to her will function in a name-stead situation and be capitalized.

This of course also goes for any term used in loco nominis out of friendship or affection or merely as a common epithet. My wife was christened "The Twerp" by an old friend in her early 20s, and that term has stuck, as an affectionate nickname used by her same-age intimates. And it takes the proper noun capital when used with reference to her, having taken on the characteristics of a nickname by now. Likewise, all the youths of 40s and 50s juvenile novels which involved characters addressed by their buddies as "Stinky" have been effectively nicknamed that, and its use as an appelation for them, as opposed to a description of the state of their hygiene, would be capitalized.
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Old 06-26-2004, 08:04 PM
RM Mentock RM Mentock is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polycarp
Any term of endearment used as a salutation in direct address or as a form of nickname becomes a proper noun -- while a variety of people may be a variety of sweethearts, each to their beloved, saying, "Would you bring me a beer, Sweetheart?" is using "Sweetheart" in lieu of the name of the person so addressed, and would therefore function in loco nominis as a proper noun.
Not necessarily. It depends upon the relationship, and intent. This is illustrated by the parallel construct: "Would you bring me a beer, kid?" In that, no one is calling someone "Kid," they are calling them a kid. The same could happen with "sweetheart."
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Old 06-26-2004, 11:40 PM
mangeorge mangeorge is offline
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What about a multi-word term, like "Light of My Life", or "My Dearest Darling"? Or even "Spawn of My Loins"?
Same rules, right?
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Old 06-27-2004, 01:46 AM
Aeschines Aeschines is offline
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I don't agree

There can be exceptions. Things that really become names for people, such as Poly's example of "Lovey," should probably be capitalized.

Yes, "dad" is capitalized when you say, "I love you, Dad," or, "Dad's going to the store," but not when you say, "My dad is great."

I don't think the analogy holds for "dear," "hon," "sweetie," or generic ToE such as these. "I love you, babe." NOT, "I love you, Babe."

I have the following reasons for thinking this:

1. I have not seen such use of capitalization in print. I invite cites on the matter. I can easily give two counter-cites:

A. Lady Chiltern: Good night, dear! (Oscar Wilde, An Ideal Husband).

B. "Good night, old sport.... Good night." (F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby)

2. These terms are not used like "mom" and "dad" as pronouns or alternate names. One does not say, "Dear [Hon, Sweetie, etc.] are going to the store together." But if indeed Mr. Howell would say, "Lovey and I are going to the store," then "Lovey" shold be capitalized.
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  #9  
Old 06-27-2004, 02:01 AM
Dahnlor Dahnlor is offline
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"Terms of Endearment" should only be capitalized when referring to the 1983 movie starring Shirley MacLaine and Jack Nicholson.


D
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