Holy Grail as an expression

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Rivka1212, Apr 7, 2011.

  1. Rivka1212 New Member

    Israel
    English, Russian
    If Holy Grail is used as an expression, should it be capitalized and does it need quotes around it?
    The sentence is:
    obfuscation is considered to be one of cryptography’s “holy grails”.
    I feel like it should be lower case because we are not dealing here with the title of something but rather an expression. I also think it doesn't need quotes because it is an expression that has become part of the English language.
     
  2. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    Colorado
    English-US
    I agree with you, Rivka. As long as you are using "holy grail" as a generic term for something that people are eager to find, I see no need to capitalize it.

    I found both uppercase and lowercase versions of "holy grail" in TMC*:

    The Lost World, creating digital humans of similar believability remains the industry's Holy Grail.

    This was the holy grail of interactive television: true video on demand.

    *Time Magazine Corpus
     

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