om. Ma. Mommy. Momma. Mother. Mama.
Each one of those names conjures up a very different image. My current WIP takes place in the 50s with a formal and formidable mother-in-law who is called Mother. A past piece I wrote took place in the south, but I couldn’t bring myself to type ma or momma. My main character was unnaturally formal when talking about and to her parents…it was weird and forced me to take another look at my word choice.
And while I was looking at all those options, I started thinking about all the trouble I used to have (and sometimes still do) with Mom (Dad) vs. mom (dad). Mom — with the capital m — is used like a name, while mom — with a lower case m — is used like a title, a designation of her job (i.e. your mom).
If President Obama walks into a room, you use upper case because it’s his name. But, if the president walks into a room, you use lower case because it’s his title.
Same principle, except, President Obama or Doctor Spock or Commissioner Gordon (upper case) denote respect and formality while uppercase Mom denotes familiarity and a close relationship.
I have no deep insight as to why…no conclusions to draw. I just thought it was odd and wanted to share. Have you ever noticed that?