Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I am reading The day that changed the world by Stephen King and in the beginning he mentions that there is a correct usage of and as a noun. Unfortunately, he only mentions it.

I Googled for a long time but phrases with such common words as noun or and gave me various amounts of unnecessary web sites.

Can and be used as a noun? If so, in what way?

share|improve this question
2  
Any word in your question can be used as a noun. The and, the of, the a, the that — really any word. –  RegDwigнt Mar 20 '13 at 22:30
4  
If ifs and ands were pots and pans there'd be no need for tinkers. That shows it clearly - no ifs, ands or buts. –  StoneyB Mar 20 '13 at 22:46
3  
Of course, that's mention, not usage. Strictly speaking, it doesn't count. There's a logical usage of AND as a verb, but even in logic any noun AND is mention, not usage, because it's a functor, not an argument. –  John Lawler Mar 21 '13 at 0:03
    
The answer/ clarification is in John Lawler's comment. –  Kris Mar 21 '13 at 14:21
    
By the way, searching Google with the term and is pointless. You did the right thing by asking on ELU. Check out ELL: ell.stackexchange.com -- the right place to ask these Qs. HTH –  Kris Mar 21 '13 at 14:22

1 Answer 1

Mostly I'd agree with John Lawler, but his comment does raise one other possibility - use of AND in computer logic. Processor instruction sets (like x86) include binary operations, such as AND. In most contexts where you'd refer to one, it could probably be called an "AND gate" or an "AND operation", but I've heard people refer to just "AND" or "ANDs" as nouns. (And yes, binary operations are usually all-caps.) Kind of a stretch, but it's something. I would guess King was either referring to what JL calls "mention", or just being enigmatic.

share|improve this answer
    
Ahem. I could swear I saw a guideline saying that you should comment when voting down, so the 'downvotee' knows what the problem was. –  hunter2 Apr 1 '13 at 12:48

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

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