Word Confusion: catholic versus Catholic

Posted November 30, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

Actually, I gave up being Catholic with a big “C” and shifted over to a greater love, catholic with a little “c” in this capitonym. Yep, I much prefer the flavors of being a lowercase catholic, after all, I am very catholic in my tastes, as I prefer the pleasures of this world with its books, travel, wine and foods, music, and more.

Nooo, it does not mean you’re a bigger/better Catholic than me…!

It’s not to say that being Catholic is a bad thing. It’s just a different preference. More churchgoing and bible reading with an emphasis on the scriptural. I’d say that both big “C” and lower “c” are a spiritual love; only, they’re going in different directions.

It’s a rare word confusion as most people aren’t aware of it. The most useful point of this particular post on Word Confusions is simply to make writers aware of it as the difference between them could have such repercussions in how people perceive the sentence.

Word Confusions…

…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.

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catholic Catholic
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com
A collage of wine, cake, a bicycle, a junk, a rock band, and best of all, a bookshop.

I’m a woman of catholic tastes with a love for a wide range of what’s possible in the world.

A church filled with worshippers for Mass

“Bethlehem Catholic Mass_1633s” by James Emery from Douglasville, United States, [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Sunday morning mass at the Church of St. Catherine, next to the Church of the Nativity.

Part of Grammar:
Adjective Noun
Plural: Catholics
Especially in reference to a person’s tastes, including a wide variety of things


A wide ranging or inclusive attitude

Member of the Roman Catholic Church

Of or including all Christians

Of or relating to the historic doctrine and practice of the Western Church

He certainly has some catholic tastes.

He was known for his catholic tastes in music.

Father Joseph is a Catholic priest.

It’s Catholic doctrine.

The French are still primarily Catholic.

The Catholic Church is under siege for poor choices in the past.

Adjective: supercatholic
Adverb: catholically, catholicly, pseudocatholically, supercatholically
Noun: catholicity, catholicalness, catholicness
Adjective: anti-Catholic, non-Catholic, pro-Catholic, pseudo-Catholic
Noun: anti-Catholic, Catholicism, non-Catholic, pro-Catholic, pseudo-Catholic
History of the Word:
First known use 14th century.

Late Middle English from the Old French catholique or late Latin catholicus, from Greek katholikos meaning universal, from kata (with respect to) + holos (whole).

C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves? Also, please note that I try to be as accurate as I can, but mistakes happen or I miss something. Email me if you find errors, so I can fix them…and we’ll all benefit!

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