Why are Jews so meticulous about not saying/writing "god"? I see all sorts of words around, like "G-d", "lord", etc., but they all mean exactly the same thing. It's not like the halacha has a list of words meaning "god" in all foreign languages, which are to be avoided. "God" is an English word, synonymous with many others. Why avoid it and not the others, or why not avoid them all?
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When we were writing the soc.culture.jewish FAQ we used the following question. Many people use the number '0' rather than substituting '-' for the letter 'o' (such as in JewishWorldReview.com for its columnists) in order to prevent the various editors from putting the letters g and d on separate lines.
See the Mishna Berurah 85:10
In discussing saying or referring to G-d in the bathroom, the Mishna Berurah says that the prohibition to mention G-d's name also applies to names in foreign languages such "God", although there is no prohibition to erase these names, nonetheless it is still considered disrespectful to say these in the bathroom or places which are filthy.
I have heard that out of extra stringent piety, many Jews took upon themselves to use great care when referencing these names of G-d even in non filthy places.
Thus, in deference to these references to G-d's name in foreign languages, many Jews add a dash so as not to fully reference the name.
I cant actually cite exactly where but there is a disagreement between the Chayei Adam and the Shach on the kedusha status of Hashem's name written in other languages.
From what I was told this is a disagreement that was never really settled upon so people just follow the stricter opinion. But even according to the stricter view, if it isnt referring to "our" G-d but merely to an idolatrous god then we neednt worry about the kedusha of it.
Source: All information was gathered from a correspondance that I had with a Rav around a year ago.