“It’s too easy for theological writers to sling around Abstractions with Capital Letters, as if with each stroke of the pen they’re tapping into Plato’s realm of changeless, ineffable Forms. Or at least that they’re writing in German, where all nouns start with caps.” So begins John Zmirak, who tells a delightful story about one of America’s premier Catholic newspapers.
“A friend of mine used to write weekly for the estimable investigatory journal The Wanderer. Founded by German-Catholic immigrants, it was published auf Deutsch well into the twentieth century. As my friend recalled, ‘The editors were, I think, waiting for the rest of the country to catch up with them. At last they admitted that this was unlikely, and agreed to translate the paper. But they kept on as their typesetter someone named Uncle Otto, who for years insisted on capitalizing every noun.’”