Take the 2-minute tour ×
Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Throughout many passages in the NWT (Jehovah's Witness specific New World Translation), all instances of of the pronoun "you" are written in all capitals. Here is an example from Acts 2:38:

Peter [said] to them: “Repent, and let each one of ​YOU​ be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for forgiveness of ​YOUR​ sins, and ​YOU​ will receive the free gift of the holy spirit.

What is the reasoning behind this capitalization? I am familiar with the practice of capitalizing He/Him and similar pronouns when referring to God or Christ, but this appears to be quite different and I have no idea what the rational is.

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 8 down vote accepted

The capitalized YOU is used to disambiguate singular vs. plural usage. While unclear in English, the difference between singular and plural usage is clear in the original Greek sources of these texts.

It also makes a distinction between the singular and plural in the 2nd person personal pronoun: "you" is singular, and "YOU" is plural. In English, the word "you" is both singular and plural; in Greek, however, there is a clear distinction. The NWT has used this method to try and preserve this distinction. -- THE NEW WORLD TRANSLATION; A Critical Analysis by Al Maxey

share|improve this answer
4  
"Y'all" might have worked too ;-) –  aceinthehole Dec 6 '12 at 15:53
    
This is actually pretty cool. I'd be neat to see the convention more widely adopted. –  Joel Coehoorn Dec 6 '12 at 16:37
2  
I find it incredibly distracting. Capital YOU generally means emphasis, "Let each one of you be baptised" (rather than them in that group over there). –  Andrew Leach Dec 6 '12 at 16:43
1  
I'm a big fan of "y'all." Most languages distinguish between 2nd person singular and plural. We down in the south just give everybody else the right word to express it in English. –  Yuletide Geek Dec 6 '12 at 17:18
2  
It's actually in small block caps, which makes it a little less distracting. And @AffableGeek, y'all does not form part of my vocabulary: in the Irish midlands, we say ye. And in Northern Ireland, Dublin, and parts of Scotland, they say youse. Originally, of course, you was the plural form. –  TRiG Dec 7 '12 at 21:25

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.