O Muse / O love of my life [capitalization]

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Senior Member

I understand that O is used poetically, but is the word following it capitalised or not?

Some passages I have read capitalise it (O Muse, for example).
Others don't capitalise it (O love of my life etc.)

I assumed even if it's NOT a proper noun we need to capitalise the word following O?

Is this wrong or just a matter of style?

  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "O" is used to indicate what would be called the vocative case in some other languages - the following noun is the person or thing you are speaking to.
    (O) John, please open the door for me.
    Because the following noun is someone or something that is being treated as enough of a person that he/she/it can be spoken to, it is often, but not always, a proper noun with a capital letter.


    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    In other words we need to look for another reason why "Muse" was capitalized; following "O" is not sufficient.
    On the other hand, "O" is capitalized in its own right—like that other one-letter word "I".
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