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From: Ardith Hinton (1:153/716)
To: All
Date: Fri, 29.06.12 00:12
Earth or the Earth
Hi, mark! Recently you wrote in a message to alexander koryagin:

ml> i hope that makes sense... but it is also twisted because
ml> Earth and earth are not the same things... we live on Earth
ml> and dig the earth to plant trees... maybe one day we'll be
ml> able to say that we live on Mars and dig the martian earth
ml> to plant trees, too Smile

The fact that the same word is used in reference to the name of our
planet *and* in reference to the locally available mixture of gravel & sand &
clay & decaying organic matter we tend to think of when we want to grow trees
etc. is confusing at times, even to native speakers of English... [wry grin].

Here's what FOWLER'S MODERN ENGLISH USAGE has to say:

earth. Freq. with initial capital (Earth) when considered
as a planet of the solar system. In such contexts, like
Mars, Venus, etc., it is normally used without the definite
article (but _the planet Earth_).

And here's what Psalm 24 (KJV) has to say:

The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof; the world,
and they that dwell therein.

IMHO it is helpful though not always required to capitalize "Earth"
when we're referring to our planet as a whole. In a book about astronomy the
writer's intent is obvious... but in everyday conversation it may not be.

I can make allowances for people who lived in an era when the known
world didn't extend very far beyond the Mediterranean Sea. Nowadays, when we
routinely exchange electronic mail between places they were unaware of, I try
to make allowances for others too & express my ideas in a manner I think will
convey whatever I'm attempting to convey to the greatest number of them. Smile

--- timEd/386 1.10.y2k+
* Origin: Wits' End, Vancouver CANADA (1:153/716)


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