Capitalizing Stoic

I’m never sure when to capitalize Stoic and when not to. It is a tricky one:

For the noun: Chambers dictionary says that you capitalize when talking about a disciple of Zeno, but not when referring to a stoical person. So, someone who takes part in Exeter’s Stoic Week is living like a Stoic, but someone who is resigned about the effects of  old age is a stoic.  That means that I try to live as a Stoic and as a stoic.  Hmmm….

For the adjective the same distinction applies. Stoical is of the Stoics, while stoical is of indifference to pain or pleasure.

Then it gets more complicated: uncapitalized stoicism is the philosophy of the capitalized Stoics.  The adverb stoically is uncapitalized.

As well as stoicism, there is a noun stoicalness.  In my opinion there shouldn’t be.

To hell with all this!  From now on I’m capitalizing Stoic and Stoical, in the same way I would Christian, regardless of context.  I will also capitalize Stoicism in the same way I would Aristotelianism.  I’m undecided on what to do with stoically.


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