First and foremost, I have a pretty good idea how and when to capitalize words, at least in the English language.
I explain in The Physics of Success what I mean by capitalizing the “U” in universe, but I’m aware that not everybody has read the book (you should fix that).
Here’s the deal. Today, both astronomers and physicists are coming to realize that when we look in the heavens and see the trillions upon trillions of celestial bodies out there in the vastness of spacetime, we are only looking at one out of an infinite number of whatever it is we’ve been looking at. We’ve been calling it the universe. “Universe” by definition means the whole enchilada. Actually, it’s considerably bigger than an enchilada, but it does mean “the whole body of things.”
Unfortunately, they printed the dictionary before we realized that it isn’t the whole body of things, but really just a speck. A damn big speck, mind you, but still just a speck. So recently scientists have been discussing what we see as the universe, and everything else as the multiverse.
This bothers me a bit, because it makes it seem like there’s a universe over here, and another universe over there, and so on, and they don’t really have anything to do with one another. I don’t think it is that way at all. I think all these universes are made out of the same fabric, and are closely intertwined with one another. To me, there is still a universe in the classical way of thinking, it just happens to be infinitely bigger than we thought it was (which is a good trick, seeing as how we thought it was virtually infinite in the first place).
So, when I refer to everything, I capitalize the “U” (Universe). When I refer to any limited frame of reference, no matter how large, I do not capitalize the “U” (universe).