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Is there a word to describe when a noun is treated as a person, usually in marketing prose, e.g. "iPhone is capable of..." (rather than "the iPhone is capable of...")?

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Are you sure the missing the in the example was on purpose and not by mistake? It sounds strange to me. –  b.roth May 4 '11 at 9:22
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up vote 5 down vote accepted

From Wikipedia:

Anthropomorphism is a term [used] to refer to any attribution of human characteristics (or characteristics assumed to belong only to humans) to non-human animals or non-living things.

See also: Wiktionary.

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I don't understand your example, but personification is the word I would use.

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"personalising" comes to mind.

In what context would you want to use a single word? Noun, verb, adjective?

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Didn't necessarily have to be a single word, just a phrase to describe what's going on. I thought of personalising, but it sounds too much like something you would do to make something your own. –  funkybro May 4 '11 at 9:19
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