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Talk:In God We Trust

Criticism Section's Missouri ExamplesEdit

I tried to clean up the references to the two activist here. It appears someone removed the original for using the Ballwin meeting's minutes as a primary source. As these are simply a record of what is being said in a public meeting, I do not think it was appropriate to remove that section. Someone else independently added the section about Sally Hunt after this was removed, which was not quite the same situation. Looking at articles on the subject of both cases, I think they give a good example about cases are being won and lost on this issue even recently. Yet the second case makes it clear that attempts by the government to stop the criticism, even when it is unsuccessful violate the First Ammendment. If someone wants to clean this up forward, that's understandable, but everything here is now using multiple sources. I don't think the section should be removed soley on the idea that the section is not properly sourced. If we want to discuss a different way of expressing how these cases relate to modern criticism, I'm up for that. — Preceding unsigned comment added by RobRook (talkcontribs) 00:52, 17 February 2019 (UTC)

Lowercase of In God we trustEdit

I made the manifestly appropriate change to the title yesterday, which was reverted, based on reference to a previous RN. Where, if I may ask, can I look at that RN? Thanks. Geographyinitiative (talk) 22:21, 12 May 2019 (UTC)

Above on this page. Please check out the links in the discussion which back-up the close. Randy Kryn (talk) 22:32, 12 May 2019 (UTC)
Oh yeah, I see that. Let me know what you think of my edits now. Geographyinitiative (talk) 22:33, 12 May 2019 (UTC)
That's OK, but we really ought to move it to fix the over-capitalization that Randy likes so much. Dicklyon (talk) 22:36, 12 May 2019 (UTC)
I came to the request too late, but wanted to add my 2 cents. Concurrent Resolutions are simply measures addressing sentiments of the chambers, are not submitted to the president, and do not have the force of law.[1] The U.S. Code is literally the codification of the laws of the United States and, as such, should be easy to interpret here. 36 U.S. Code § 302 reads: "In God we trust" is the national motto. Capitalizing the entire phrase is done for titles or in ignorance of the law. Earthsound (talk) 08:27, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
George W. made a proclamation at the same time, so both houses of Congress eventually signed on with the president's concurrence. But the main reason for upper casing comes from n-grams which show the upper case as common name, and the governmental resolutions and proclamations were just further acknowledgement of this fact. Randy Kryn (talk) 09:21, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
The argument was made numerous times that it was now law due to the proclamations, but it isn't. Proclamations state all sorts of sentiments but never change the law and can be ignored. IMO, overcapitalization of a phrase should be listed as the alternative, whether it comes from a Presidential/Congressional aide or other random writers. Ignorance of what the motto is shouldn't be copied. It isn't a common name or a title and (other than God) doesn't have proper nouns. The ALL CAPS (e.g. on currency) and alternate capitalization in other uses doesn't change the official motto form. I think we should emphasize and follow the official motto's capitalization as it's clearly the main subject of the article (not Florida's or Nicaragua's use). Earthsound (talk) 17:50, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
The n-grams tell the story of sourced upper-cased common name. Randy Kryn (talk) 05:06, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

Requested move 12 May 2019Edit

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review after discussing it on the closer's talk page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The result of the move request was: No consensus to move after over 2 weeks and a relisting. Cúchullain t/c 15:19, 28 May 2019 (UTC)



In God We TrustIn God we trust – The official national motto of the United States is "In God we trust", according to the cited law. There's no reason to over-capitalize here. Looks like it was right during 2012–2016, but then got flipped in a thinly-attended discussion. Dicklyon (talk) 22:39, 12 May 2019 (UTC) --Relisting. bd2412 T 04:06, 21 May 2019 (UTC)

@The Evil IP address, Jafeluv, Calidum, Kauffner, Baseball Bugs, LtPowers, Andrew Gray, Dr. Eye V. Buy, SmokeyJoe, Andrewa, Deisenbe, Randy Kryn, and Huwmanbeing: since you commented on this question before, it would be good to hear your current position on the question. Dicklyon (talk) 03:33, 13 May 2019 (UTC)

  • Neutral I moved the page to 'In God we trust' earlier on because I was ignorant of the fact that later legislation had used the 'In God We Trust' form. So now I'm not really sure if it should be moved to 'In God we trust' or not. I added both spellings into the lead. No idea what should happen. Geographyinitiative (talk) 22:50, 12 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. What makes this difficult is that a lot of uses seem to use all caps ("IN GOD WE TRUST") such as on U.S. currency or in the House of Representatives chamber. But the use of all caps implies to me that the first letter of each word should be capitalized when not using all caps. Perhaps that is a tenuous assumption to make, but the 2011 congressional resolution seems to bolster the case for the current title capitalization being the correct one. Rreagan007 (talk) 23:07, 12 May 2019 (UTC)
    How does the all-caps usage have any bearing at all on the question at hand? Dicklyon (talk) 03:15, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Ngram makes clear that "In God We Trust" is the dominant case form as Randy Kryn pointed out above. The proposed move would violate WP:LOWERCASE "Titles are written in sentence case. The initial letter of a title is almost always capitalized by default; otherwise, words are not capitalized unless they would be so in running text." The current title form occurs in running text more often than the lower case form. Mitchumch (talk) 23:29, 12 May 2019 (UTC)
    What the n-grams show is that "In God we trust" was at 100% for a long time, then dropped and maintains at 20%. This is partly (largely?) due to the large number of adoptions of the phrase for other purposes, such as titles of shows and books, and use in title-case article and book titles about the motto. The motto is a sentence; treat it as a title doesn't make sense in this context. It is also clear that the 1956 act that Randy talks about had no apparent effect. Dicklyon (talk) 03:48, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Your selected n-grams left out the upper-case version, so here it is. The upper-casing is not because of films or books (many of which came out after n-grams ended in 2008), it is because the upper-cased wording is the motto of the United States. Randy Kryn (talk) 01:08, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
    Nice that since 1870 the percentages of each add to 100%, which I assume was your point. But how to do you explain the widespread lowercase (like in the law stating that this is the national motto) if as you claim "the upper-cased wording is the motto of the United States"? How does a motto come to have a style of over-capitalization if not by careless use like yours? Dicklyon (talk) 02:26, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Neutral still My only question is: what is the motto? That's the only question that concerns me. If it can be proven that the motto has the lowercase letters, then it has the lowercase letters PERIOD. If it can be proven that it has the uppercase letters, then it has the uppercase letters PERIOD. No "commonly seen" nonsense. Give me the motto. That's all I want. But honestly, I am now of the opinion that the motto has two official forms, so I'm okay with either one being the title (still). Geographyinitiative (talk) 01:41, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
    I guess I should have copied the sources to here to avoid just hearing all those opinions. Thanks for asking. § 302. National motto – ‘‘In God we trust’’ is the national motto. according to the law as published by the Gov Printing Office.. Dicklyon (talk) 03:14, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
    IF the US Code is determinant of what is and what isn't the US motto, then I would advise changing the title of this page to 'In God we trust'. IF the US Code is only kinda sorta determinant of what is or what isn't the US motto, then I am neutral on the issue.Geographyinitiative (talk) 03:45, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
    Well, I don't know how determinative it is, but why would one capitalize these words? Is it the title of a composition (see MOS:CT), or a trademark (see MOS:TM)? Or what? Dicklyon (talk) 03:54, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
    I think there must be some kind of grammar logic from the 19th century that would impel us to write it with the two lowercase letters. If you look at Theodore Roosevelt's article on the issue, he writes it as 'In God we trust' (if I transcribed it correctly). Geographyinitiative (talk) 04:14, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
    Caps for nouns were more common in earlier centuries, but for things like "we trust", not so much. It's a sentence; not a composition title, not a trademark, not a proper name, not any of the things that WP style uses caps for. And it's lowercase in the law that establishes it as the motto. Dicklyon (talk) 04:16, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
    Oh whoops, he seems to have both versions in his article https://www.nytimes.com/1907/11/14/archives/roosevelt-dropped-in-god-we-trust-president-says-such-a-motto-on.html Geographyinitiative (talk) 04:17, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
You make a convincing argument, I would like to see some push back against Dicklyon's arguments Geographyinitiative (talk) 04:19, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
Requested push back: Per this 2011 New York Times article in 2006 the US Senate reaffirmed "In God We Trust" as the national motto (boldfacing per we seem to be boldfacing in this section), followed in 2011 by the US House of Representatives. The only way to close this RM as moved would be to ignore the n-grams (n-grams before 1956 don't count, the year the national motto was made official), ignore the common name, and go the "Ignore all rules" route. Ignore all rules calls for common sense and for the issue to be an obvious common sense exception to the guidelines when it improves the encyclopedia to do so. The requested move fits none of these criteria. As both the common name and the official name are already used in the upper-casing of the title of the article it should, by all Wikipedia criteria, be kept. Randy Kryn (talk) 10:49, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
here's a bit more history, routed from Wikileaks for some reason. Randy Kryn (talk) 11:01, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
And here is US President George W. Bush's 2006 reaffirming proclamation on the 50th anniversary of the motto, which uses upper case. Randy Kryn (talk) 00:08, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
Geographyinitiative, here's more push back and something that myself and most of us discussing this topic here have completely forgotten: the upper-cased version is also the motto of the US state of Florida and of the country of Nicaragua. The lower-case use by the United States is historical, as it was officially changed to upper case, which also makes upper-casing consistent with the mottos of Florida and Nicaragua. Randy Kryn (talk) 03:18, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
Randy, Nicaragua's motto is not even in English, and Florida's is "In God we trust" according to this site about state mottos. I'm sure opinions vary there, too, and it's all-caps in their seal. I don't see how you've concluded that the decided to cap extra words in their motto sentence. That site you cite seems to have rewritten the 1868 history; look at a source closer to that time; no caps there. More. Dicklyon (talk) 03:29, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
The site I cited is the Florida Department of State, which cites the year, 2006, in which the motto, in upper-case, was legally affirmed. Randy Kryn (talk) 04:28, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
My point is that since they got it wrong in claiming "In God We Trust" was adopted by the Florida legislature as part of the state seal in 1868, why would you assume they got the caps right in In 2006, "In God We Trust" was officially designated in state statute as Florida's motto? Dicklyon (talk) 04:01, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Randy Kryn. This is the capitalization that is WP:COMMMONNAME, fits WP:CRITERIA. -- Netoholic @ 06:38, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. The capitalization is just a title case style choice. It is not a composition title. I think the usual style seen is "IN GOD WE TRUST". Wikipedia titles in sentence case. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 07:11, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The motto, capitalized, has become a de facto proper name. There is no reason to under-capitalize it. Jmar67 (talk) 11:23, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I was pinged as the closer of a previous RM that decapped the title. There was at the time consensus to do this, but consensus can change and hopefully has. I think English usage favours caps here, as it does with God Save the King for example. But it's no big deal as long as we preserve the redirect. Andrewa (talk) 15:09, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
    Wrong. "God Save the King" or "God Save the Queen" is a composition title, capped per MOS:CT. There are works known as "In God We Trust", but those works are not the subject of this article, which is why we ought to fix it. Dicklyon (talk) 04:16, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. It seems that official sources use both forms (1, 2), or indeed fully uppercase. I don't think it makes sense to try and set them up against each other, or argue about which one's more important or more relevant - rather, we should acknowledge that these indicate there probably isn't an official capitalisation in the way that you would expect for eg a brand name - if there was one, we could reasonably expect it to be explicitly stated, and more or less consistently adhered to. (The ngrams are probably not very meaningful as they include cases of works using the same title, which would be expected to skew the results substantially.) At that point, it becomes a question of "how do we normally title articles on phrases". And the answer to that seems to be if in doubt, use sentence case. Andrew Gray (talk) 19:24, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Support: This is a motto, not a composition title, and Wikipedia generally avoids unnecessary capitalization. God Save the Queen (the redirect target of God Save the King) is the title of an anthem (i.e., a composition title). That's different. —BarrelProof (talk) 21:45, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
  • The common name is upper cased. The official name is upper cased. N-grams vastly favor upper casing. It is the national motto of the United States. So there is literally nothing for Wikipedia to unnecessary avoid in the present capitalization. Randy Kryn (talk) 23:25, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
    • Please don't confuse the name with the styling of the name. Changing the case of the first letter of a couple of words does not change the name. That is mere typographical conformity to the local style guide, which can differ from publication to publication. All well-regarded reliable publications have some sort of internal style guidance that is applied to produce a consistent and professional result. Reputable sources such as the New York Times do not choose their capitalization by simply surveying popularity in other publications – they apply their own style guide. —BarrelProof (talk) 00:45, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
      • Of course the styling of a name is the name. Changing the case of letters changes the name, in some instances dramatically. The name/styling of a national motto should eventually get the correct casing, which this one did in 2006 and 2011, and which Wikipedia eventually got right. By the way, since you mention the New York Times, it upper cases the motto. Randy Kryn (talk) 00:56, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
        • As I said, the New York Times applies its internal style guidance, and we apply ours. There is no need for them to be the same, since reputable sources do not choose their capitalization by simply surveying popularity in other publications. Wikipedia's basic rule about capitalization, expressed in the first sentence of MOS:CAPS, is "Wikipedia avoids unnecessary capitalization." —BarrelProof (talk) 01:05, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
          • The same paragraph goes on to say: "Wikipedia relies on sources to determine what is conventionally capitalized; only words and phrases that are consistently capitalized in a substantial majority of independent, reliable sources are capitalized in Wikipedia." The n-grams and the sources and references on the page fit that criteria, so the present name fits MOS:CAPS to a "T". Randy Kryn (talk) 01:14, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
            • It mostly says to use sources to determine whether something is a proper noun or not. This is a slogan, not a proper noun. It later goes on to say "Use sentence case, not title case, capitalization in all section headings. Capitalize the first letter of the first word, but leave the rest lower case except for proper names and other items that would ordinarily be capitalized in running text. … The same applies to the titles of articles, table headers and captions, …" This is not a proper name. In my view it is also not something that would ordinarily be capitalized in running text. For article titles specifically, WP:NCCAPS starts, in boldface letters, with "Do not capitalize the second or subsequent words in an article title, unless the title is a proper name." This is a slogan, not a proper name. It is simply a sentence, and a sentence should use sentence case on Wikipedia. —BarrelProof (talk) 01:23, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
              • The n-grams adequately show that the motto is ordinarily capitalized in running text. And the n-grams end before the 2011 US House of Representatives affirmation of the 2006 US Senate clarification and George W. Bush's 2006 proclamation, which all use the present title of this article. I'll stop replying to you, as the "case" (in both uses of the word) has been made. Randy Kryn (talk) 01:38, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
                The n-grams have no way of restricting their counts to running text. You keep ignoring that whenever there's a capitalization discussion. Click through to the books and see tons of uses in titles and heading, capitalized, which are actually much of what's being counted. Usage in running text is not nearly consistent. Dicklyon (talk) 02:30, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The current capitalisation is the one used in a substantial majority of reliable sources, so is the one to stick with. Thanks  — Amakuru (talk) 22:04, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Support: It's a phrase. It's the motto of several places. Wikipedia has its own style of how to capitalize sentences and phrases. We follow our style. Lots of people like to capitalize things because they are important to them. That's not our style. If other sources indicated that it was a proper noun and capitalized for that reason, we could listen to them, but there is no indication that it is a proper noun. SchreiberBike | ⌨  22:31, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
Further information: I have a well-educated American friend, and I thought I would ask him what the correct way to write the US motto was. He is probably so smart that I tipped him off to what I was looking for, but whatever the case, he did write "In God we trust" in cursive- amazing-- someone wrote in cursive without specifically being asked to! Geographyinitiative (talk) 11:23, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
Cursive? Obviously a witch. Take precautions. The re-education unit is on its way. Randy Kryn (talk) 11:46, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Support, since it's lowercase in the actual law. This is a WP:ABOUTSELF matter; there is no more authoritative source on what the United States motto is than the US law codifying it. Lowercase also per the first rule of MOS:CAPS: if the capitalization is not consistent in sources, use lower case. What's happened here is the usual confusion that special cases of capitalization, as found in signage, headings (as on the US dollar bill, which capitalizes pretty much everything written on it), adverts and other marketing material, and so on, are somehow normative. They are not; they're the exceptions, not the rule. We've been over this about a million times already: WP:COMMONNAME is not, never has been, and never will be a style policy, for obvious reasons (e.g. MoS could never be applied to title questions at all if that were the case, yet we apply it every single day). COMMONNAME has nothing to do with what capitalization to apply.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  12:34, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
  • The 2011 congressional upper-casing] affirmation of the 2006 Senate upper-casing and President George W. Bush 2006 upper-cased proclamation show that it's upper-cased in the law. No, there is no confusion, the vastly upper-cased n-grams, laws, upper-casing use by Florida as its official motto, plus the affirmed upper-casing of the United States official motto. And yes, common name applies as case often changes the meaning of the name, sometimes with dramatic Wikipedia results. Randy Kryn (talk) 12:45, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Support per SMcCandlish & BarrelProof's convincing arguments. Happy days, LindsayHello 13:41, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Since the selective arguments are swaying some editors I'll formally ask the closer, if they are inclined to lower-case the title, to apply the common sense exception rule highlighted at the top of each guideline article in the guideline template. "Ignore all rules" really shouldn't have to be applied here, as the n-grams, common name, page sources, page references (please look those over well, thanks), the Florida state motto, and the many upper-case affirmative uses by the United States government regarding the motto of the United States would apply to keeping the present name of the article. Randy Kryn (talk) 14:39, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Randy Kryn & Amakuru. Capitalized form does appear to be the most prevalent one in sources. SnowFire (talk) 18:52, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per COMMONNAME, Amakuru and esp. Randy Kryn's refutation of SmCClandlish's WP:ABOUTSELF argument, supported by actual law usage. --В²C 18:22, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. As a native English speaker and American citizen, I believe that changing the title back to 'In God we trust' is not only more correct in terms of what's written in the US Code, it is also more elegant as an English language phrase. The 'In God We Trust' form seems crude by comparison. Geographyinitiative (talk) 11:34, 25 May 2019 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

more elaborately described: In the supposed cosmogonous bearer of personhood we trust; actually by deifying the concept of personhood itself being personocrats at the cosmological levelEdit

The less you elaborate and expand its specifics, the more parentally compatible it gets (most people accept their parental metaphysics). — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:2149:8266:AA00:1D2F:CD04:7DB:3621 (talk) 23:20, 25 September 2019 (UTC)

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