On the capitalisation of “Go”

I’m going to follow up on the congress after the Czech Go Camp:p

So far I’ve been busy with a commissioned translation of a couple Chinese Go videos. I absolutely had to finish them before I leave, which I barely accomplished.

I reckon that soon they will be plastered everywhere, so you will find them eventually. Some of the conversation was a pain to convey accurately. The Chinese language is quite efficient at expressing stuff in few words, especially when talking about Go. (A topic I hope to touch upon one day.) I hope that not too much is lost in translation. An excerpt:

K: Does it turn now?
F: Yes, it would turn.
K: I thought about this turn.
F: It would turn. Yes.
F: It turns now.


Doing this kind of stuff, as well as writing about Go, brings me to a fundamental question:

Should you write “Go” or “go”?

If you were attentive, you might have noticed that I use the capitalised version.

But this usage is not evident at all. Most prominently, the Euro Go News keeps this noun in lower-case letters. (Except in proper names such as “Euro Go News”.) I feel that the main reason was the following message from a respected Go book author whose permission I did not get to share it, but who I hope wouldn’t mind:

In most of the English literature, you will find that games, such as poker, bridge, baseball, football, and checkers, are rarely capitalized. The rule seems to be that names of games and sports have evolved to convey the idea of a general activity and, as such, are treated as common nouns, not proper nouns, which are always capitalized.

Using this as an analogy, I use small small letters for go in my own publications. However, there is a feeling that without capitalization “go”, as a two-letter word, does not stand out, so in advertisements that may reach those who are not familiar with the game, “Go” will stand out. I sometimes do this. […]

Although this Goes against what I’m doing, it is the only reference I have. And I’m not planning on changing my habit. “Go” is a hard enough term to google, so I think it should stand out more. (Since a certain motion to change the spelling to “Goe” has failed.)



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s