By "family words", I mean exactly what it sounds like: words such as "mom" and "father" and "grandmother" and "cousin".
Paricularly, let's talk about capitalization. I see a lot of these, both of which are wrong:
- Bob waved to his Mom across the room.
- I handed mom a napkin.
- Bob waved to his cat from across the room. That seems perfectly reasonable, and therefore, the correct sentence is: Bob waved to his mom from across the room.
- I handed cat a napkin. Not only is that silly, but "I handed cat" just doesn't sound right, unless "Cat" is the cat's name. In which case, this is being used as a name and it should be "I handed Mom a napkin."
- Bob waved to his Uncle Dave from across the room.
- I handed Cousin George a napkin.