Can I say "Do you have a facebook" to ask if someone has "a Facebook account"? I know it is not grammatically correct. I just wanted to know if people say that or not.
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And note Facebook should be capitalised.
Finally, the website Facebook was named after the face book or facebook, a university directory of names and photos. The original question could possibly be misinterpreted to refer to these.
It's nothing to do with grammar, it's simply about the meaning of the word.
I am not familiar with "Facebook" used in that way, but it would not surprise me at all to hear it.
Similarly, on the Wikipedia help desk, I have often encountered people using "a Wikipedia" to mean "an article in Wikipedia".
Languages change as their speakers and writers innovate (whether consciously or unconsciously).
Leaving aside the grammar, I have never heard anybody say "Do you have a facebook?", so the people in my life don't say it. There could be regional aspects to it though, in the mobile/cellphone/handphone way.
I have heard "Do you have facebook?", "Do you use facebook?", or "Are you on facebook?", but never 'a facebook'.
This problem comes from conflating the underlying technology (specifically, its branding) with its instantiation. But to answer your question, people definitely say "do you have a Facebook." Usually neophytes.
I don't think it's a question of grammar but rather semantics.
So if you have a Facebook that doesn't make sense, unless you've mirrored the site somehow.
You may have a Facebook page, or account, but you can't have a Facebook.
Sometimes these conflations are very cleverly managed/avoided. For example, Twitter has most people correctly distinguishing between Twitter and tweeting.
The kind of Facebook that you are referring to, there's only one such, that is the Facebook. (proper noun: use an uppercase F). You therefore cannot use the indefinite article. Rest is fine.
Facebook here can and does mean a Facebook account, per usage.
This is slowly driving me insane. I don't know if there is a linguistic term for this, but the trend is to drop the noun from an adjective-noun pair and treat the adjective as the noun.
The contrary would be when an acronym/initialism becomes an adjective and is redundantly added as a noun.
protected by RegDwigнt♦ Jun 21 '12 at 20:48
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