A couple of grammar questions?

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LimpyLionel | 18:25 Sun 17th Jul 2011 | Jobs & Education
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When you're saying something on tv, should you capitalise the TV??

Do you capitalise Mom and Dad, Grandad and Grandma, and Brother and Sister?


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I would say for the second, if you're using the terms as a sort of substitute name, then use capitals - eg Mom and Dad said that...

If using more generally - eg I am going to visit my mom and dad tomorrow, then I would not use capitals.

Not very well explained I'm afraid - but do other people agree?
Yes, Beckersjay, quite right.
Yes I agree with beckersjay. Though I can't think of any occasion when I'd use caps for brother and sister - not normally used as name substitutes (not in UK anyway - may be different in US?)
You're right about brother and sister , tearinghair, - I hadn't thought it through that far!
They could be used as titles (in the religious context) - Brother Patrick, Sister Joan etc.- and I think St Francis referred to Brother Sun and Sister Moon, but I don't think that's what LimpeyLionel meant.
Re the first question: I always use caps for TV, but I'm not sure whether there's any hard-and-fast rule about it.
Relations only require capitals when you're using their names. For example, the following correctly uses both a lower case 'm', and a capital one, for 'mum/Mum':
David smiled at his mum and said, "You do that I was only joking, don't you, Mum?"

The first use of 'mum' there isn't a name. It's simply short for 'mother'. (So no capital is required). But, the second time it occurs, it's used as the name by which David refers to his mother. (So a capital is needed).

TV should always be in capitals.

As TearingHair points out, 'Brother' and 'Sister' require capitals when they're used as titles (and hence part of someone's name).
So we write
"The TV programme about art history will be presented by Sister Wendy Beckett"
"The Chairman of the local Communist Party invited Brother Grimwade to address the AGM".
normally you'd capitalise an abbreviation like TV if you actually say the letters one by one, but not if it's pronounced as a whole word. So BBC is all capitalised because you say bee bee see, but Nato isn't because you say it nayto.
I agree with all the above.

Re the TV, I would probably capitalise it if I had to write it, but only because it looks odd in lower case,
Question Author
jno - What about NASA? Surely that applies to both?
No, NASA is an acronym of a proper name (the name of the organisation) so always appears in capitals when abbreviated. Same for the BBC or BSkyB, they are acronyms of the name of the actual organisation.
^ I disagree re NATO, it's an acronym again, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, always in capitals.
So is NATO and I've only seen that written in capitals
and you even capitalise it in French, OTAN
The style guide used by the journalists of The Times newspaper prefers (indeed, demands!) 'Nato':

On the same page, you'll see that 'Nasa' is how Times writers are instructed to refer to that agency.

'TV' (with capitals) is accepted by The Times as a valid abbreviation:
Interesting Chris - these are not versions which I would ever consider using.
Maybe that's to save on ink
.. or 'coz they don't know any better...
it's because a group of capital letters hit you in the eye a bit, making it slightly harder to read a sentence through.

The Guardian also requires Nato and Nasa

as do other medi groups. But you could go with NATO and NASA if you want, there's no law.
I will, jno, I'm old-fashioned ;-)

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