English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Should it be

Our company is renown for

or

Our company is renowned for

share|improve this question

closed as general reference by FumbleFingers, Kit Z. Fox Mar 13 '13 at 16:36

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I need to ensure you are not confusing renown with the past perfect of know => known.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/renown:

[Middle English renoun, from Anglo-Norman, from renomer, to make famous : re-, repeatedly (from Latin; see re-) + nomer, to name (from Latin nminre, from nmen, nmin-, name; see n-men- in Indo-European roots).]

With that hope, I would then otherwise advise that a verb used as an adjective is usually a past-perfect participle. e.g.

  • painted door (vs paint door)
  • broken vase (vs break vase)
  • renowned person (renown person)
  • burnt-in product (burning-in is quality control methodologies to test a product to its extremities to qualify its release).

Compare to present participle /gerund form (using the present continuous verb as adjective)

  • closing door
  • breaking bad
  • burning house

However, IMO, the following formal speech is erroneous to turn a noun into a verb and then into an adjectival particple.

  • white-tailed deer (why not white-tail deer?)
  • red-haired girl (should be red-hair girl, shouldn't it?)
  • green-eyed monster (unless considering movie-makers' placing green eyes into monster as legitimate participatory effort)
  • chickened rice (shoule be chicken rice)
  • pepperonied piza (has always been pepperoni pizza)

When we say, "painted door", someone "participatorily" painted the door to put it into a state of being "painted" to let us say "painted" door.

But, in the case of a red-hair girl, no one "participatorily" turned her hair red, as her hair is naturally red, neither had anyone needed to consciously attached red-hair on her scalp, nor anyone had to turn a deer's tail naturally white tail white. You cannot chicken a plate of rice to make it chickened rice or pineapple a pudding to make it pineappled pudding.

But, a problem has to be subjected to participatory efforts by people to know it, to make that a "known problem", or a person a "renowned person".

share|improve this answer
1  
+1 Food for thought! I accept that "red-hair girl" has a claim to validity, but here's another consideration: The participatory quality you describe is not be the only reason to use the more familiar construction. "Red-haired" girl conventionally indicates that she possesses red hair, as opposed to her being a seller of red hair, a devotee of red hair, a collector of red hair, a person who talks about red hair incessantly... you see my point. – John M. Landsberg Mar 14 '13 at 2:13
    
To fix the typo in the above comment: "The participatory quality you describe is not the only reason to use the more familiar construction." – John M. Landsberg Mar 14 '13 at 6:50

Renowned. Definitely. As an example: "He has worldwide renown" as opposed to "He is renowned worldwide."

share|improve this answer

"Renowned" is the adjectival form, and "renown" is the noun form. "X is renown" is therefore an identification of X as being renown itself (just as "A cloud is water vapor" equates "cloud" and "water vapor")

You couldn't be saying that your company IS renown, because your company is a company; it is not A RENOWN.

The correct usage here is "renowned."

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.