A proper noun or proper name is a capitalized noun representing a unique entity as opposed to a common noun, which represents a class of entities or nonunique instances of that class.

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Should a “dorito” always be capitalized?

I had a bag of Doritos, so I gave him a dorito. Should the word "dorito" be capitalized? Why or why not? Or should I use italics?
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25 views

Parenthetical plural of unique examples

Sometimes media announcers, especially sports and business reporters, will make their examples plural, or parenthetically plural, even though those examples are obviously unique. For example, an NPR ...
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157 views

Trouble with translating (and specifying) foreign proper nouns into English

I'm translating a tourist guide book from Czech to English and it turns out I have yet to grasp some of the grammatical structures possible. I want the English translation to be quite simple and ...
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1answer
40 views

Why can't you use the word me before a proper noun

As per the title, i dont understand why it is grammatically incorrect to say "me and John went to the park" as opposed to "John and I went to the park" looking for any help on this available
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52 views

Why is there an indefinite article before “London”? [duplicate]

Two years after his reported Reichenbach Fall demise, Sherlock, who has been cleared of all fraud charges against him, returns with Mycroft's help to a London under threat of terrorist attack. I ...
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253 views

British and Canadian but not Coloradan?

In the May 11 issue of this year's New Yorker, the ever-excellent Atul Gawande wrote (emphasis mine): Among those which caught my eye: a British case report on the first 3-D-printed hip implanted ...
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31 views

Use of articles with adj.+country name

Often in writings, I see use of the articles "a", the" with country names preceded by adjectives: a strong China, a friendly Cyprus, the rich Paraguay, etc. What rule is that?
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340 views

How do names of heroes in comics sound to the native? [closed]

For example, names of heroes are: Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Spiderman, Wolverine, etc. Also names of villains can be included: Joker, Bane, Magneto, etc. (Sorry if I put heroes in villains and ...
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1answer
63 views

Should we always capitalize Christians, Muslims, etc.? [duplicate]

A christian and a jew went into a bar.... or A Christian and a Jew went into a bar... The former is marked incorrect by microsoft word.
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42 views

Skullcandys or Skullcandies? [closed]

'Skullcandy' is a plural noun but can also refer to a product, so will the plural be Skullcandys or Skullcandies?
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1k views

When would “mom/dad” require capital letter in writing? [duplicate]

I understand the capitalization rule for nouns, proper nouns require a capital letter. Also, I should begin a new sentence with a capital letter. When & why "mom/dad" requires a capital letter ? ...
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1answer
71 views

Writing and speaking duplicated words

A recent workplace conversation prompted this question. Red Hat, the software company behind a popular Linux distribution, came by the office and everyone got some random trinkets, including a number ...
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43 views

Title for student organization

I'm updating the website for my student organization. Link. Officially, we are the Texas A&M University Student Branch of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. The banner at the ...
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2answers
105 views

Proper ways to refer to New York City [closed]

Excluding the myriad nicknames of the city, I've seen it called both "New York City" and "New York" in contexts where it was not ambiguous that the city, and not the state, was being referred to. I ...
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1answer
421 views

Why do the names of so many places end in -ia?

Many countries, continents, states, and cities have an English name ending in ‘-ia’: India, Indonesia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Asia, Alexandria, Philadelphia, California, … What ...
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1answer
57 views

How to mention a course name in an essay? [closed]

I searched this online, and I found only a single site with information regarding how to mention a course name in an essay. There were two conflicting answers: If you prefer to (or need to) ...
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0answers
72 views

Were points of the compass always written with capital letters?

@bamboo has indicated that in the 1960s in Britain teachers insisted that points of the compass - North, South, East and West always be written with capital letters irrespective of context. From my ...
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2answers
123 views

In the UK which of the following regions should have capital letters? [closed]

In the UK, which of the following regions, none of which have any administrative significance, should be given capital letters? I have arranged them according to my own inclinations. With capitals ...
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1answer
2k views

Why is Lord Alfred Tennyson often written as Alfred Lord Tennyson?

Why is Lord Alfred Tennyson often written as Alfred Lord Tennyson? This occurs with and without a comma after Alfred: Alfred, Lord Tennyson and Alfred Lord Tennyson. Should Lord precede the entire ...
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1answer
220 views

Why is 'Middlesbrough' so spelled?

Why is the English town of Middlesbrough so spelled, and why is the first 'o' of borough missing, as it is not with such as Scarborough, Peterborough, Knaresborough, etc. I note that there are towns ...
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1answer
76 views

Is the name of Google's design language “material design” a proper noun?

Material design is a design language developed by Google. A design language is an overarching scheme or style that guides the design of a complement of products or architectural settings. Now is ...
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1answer
403 views

Guidelines for adding 's after name of company ending in s [duplicate]

How about adding 's to the name of a company that ends in s for a possessive? Is it the same guideline (go by how it would be pronounced)? Thanks.
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2answers
260 views

Why 'the' in front of a company name [closed]

The sentence I have written is "IBM team uses CVS for storing the source code of the project". Should I add "The" in front of the the word "IBM". I am advised to do like that. Is it correct?
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1answer
275 views

Should I capitalize “bible” in “the Christian Bible”? “the Discordian Bible”?

"The Bible" is typically used to refer to the collection of holy books of the Christian faith. It's a proper noun and it gets capitalised. However, "bible" can also be used as a common noun, in ...
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1answer
113 views

If you called someone named “Shelly” “Shels” for short, would you spell it “Shels” or “Shells?” [closed]

Or Kelly -- "Kels" or "Kells?" Is there a rule for this? If it's just a judgement call, I'm inclined to go with one "l" as both "Shells" and "Kells" have potentially confusing homonyms. I'm talking ...
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103 views

How to handle non-standard capitalization in formal letters

I am writing a letter to apply for entry into a graduate-level university program through my company. I am struggling on how to write the name of the company in the letter. The company's trademark is ...
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83 views

noun adjunct order with proper noun

Given a proper noun, "Widget", should a noun adjunct come before or after the proper noun? Consider: "Windows" operating system and a noun adjunct applying to it: Enterprise Windows This, to ...
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58 views

Mars orbits Sun [duplicate]

Why do we call the star in our solar system "The Sun" when all other celestial bodies are addressed simply as Jupiter, Neptune, or Sagittarius A Star? Ex: The Saturn has many rings. Incorrect Ex: ...
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2answers
47 views

Plural possessive of a family name [closed]

If I want to say that I spent the night at the house that belongs to the Johnsons, which of the following structures is correct: I spent the night at the Johnson's. or I spent the night at the ...
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1answer
95 views

19th C forms of address

In the early 19th C. when the eldest daughter married, did the second oldest daughter become the "Miss Whatever," or did she continue to be identified as "Miss Whoever Whatever?'
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81 views

Is there a term for a grammatical construction like “Exhibit A”?

Is there a term for names that consist of a noun or noun phrase followed by an ordinal letter or numeral? For example: Exhibit A The Land Before Time IV Patient Zero Perhaps ordinal proper noun or ...
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2answers
2k views

Why “Jesu” rather than “Jesus” in this carol?

Why does this bit of O Come, All Ye Faithful use Jesu rather than Jesus? Yea, Lord, we greet thee Born this happy morning Jesu, to thee be glory given Am I right in my thinking that Jesus is ...
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1answer
75 views

indefinite article plus proper name in organizational (i.e. business or bureaucracy) contexts

The use of the indefinite article with a proper name occurs often in business or organizational speech-contexts: We're lucky to have a Bill Jones to get the job done. The article plus proper ...
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1answer
668 views

Why do we use the article “the” with the Matterhorn (a mountain)?

The rule is that we don't use an article before the name of an individual mountain, only with the name of a mountain range. So why do we say "the Matterhorn" (a mountain in the Pennine Alps)?
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Odd possessive form of a proper name: Why does Dryden write “Lord Nonsuch his” instead of “Lord Nonsuch’s” but “Bibber’s” instead of “Bibber his”?

While researching a question posed on EL&U, I came across this list of the characters in John Dryden’s The Wild Gallant (1663), from a 1735 collection of Dryden’s works: DRAMATIS PERSONAE. ...
2
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1answer
53 views

Referring more than one proper noun

When we are referring more than one proper noun, then do we need to capitalize the first alphabet of it. For example: which one of the following is correct? 1) By Theorems 4.2 and 4.3, we can prove ...
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2answers
2k views

Do military titles get capitalized?

I'm pretty sure "Commander Shepard" is preferable to "commander Shepard," but I'm less sure about "the Commander" vs "the commander." On one hand, I'm pretty sure "commander" is a common noun in this ...
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1answer
71 views

Are roller coasters proper names?

I want to write a sentence like this: I look up at the new roller coaster they built called Superman. Superman is the name of the roller coaster. Do I need to do anything special with the name? for ...
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4answers
221 views

Is there a rule of thumb when to use “the” in front of universities? [duplicate]

I am writing biographies for some of my doctors. I have asked several people and have received several different answers. Here are a couple examples: Lee is a 2005 graduate of the University of ...
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1answer
146 views

Is it correct to say “the Congress”? [duplicate]

Why is Congress used without the definite article the?
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2answers
94 views

using “the” when referring to languages

When should one use "the" when referring to a language and when is just the noun appropriate? e.g. At the end of a quote one may see "Translated from the German." What about, "Joe translated the ...
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2answers
228 views

Is it correct to have 'a' before a proper noun? [duplicate]

According to my knowledge, the indefinite article 'a' must never be used before a proper noun. But I recently heard the English sentence: "Every civilian should be a Mahatma Gandhi to his society". ...
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2answers
559 views

Capitalization: 'rivers'

In the following sentence, is rivers capitalized or not? The Delaware and Potomac rivers are beautiful.
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2answers
794 views

How to abbreviate in an essay the title of a work that consists of a name and a surname?

I am writing an essay on the short story "Harrison Bergeron." How should I abbreviate the title if I don't want to write out the whole name? Would it simply be "Bergeron" or Harrison?"
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1answer
227 views

When do I use the possessive with “Tiffany & Co”? [duplicate]

Is there a grammatical reason for Tiffany & Co being made possessive in Breakfast at Tiffany's?
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1answer
132 views

Is an implied proper noun *really* a proper noun?

With reference to the following sentence: I am returning to University in a few weeks. Given that the person stating this is referring to a specific university through implication (for example, ...
2
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1answer
323 views

Why are names considered proper nouns?

Names are supposed to be proper nouns because they refer to a unique entity, right? But what about when the condition of specificity is not applicable? Take the word "Albert". It's supposed to be a ...
2
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1answer
84 views

Adjective of proper noun containing “and”

A person from The Turks and Caicus Islands is known as what? Likewise with Trinidad and Tobago, St Kitts and Nevis, São Tomé and Principé, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. http://www.un.org/en/members/ ...
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1answer
180 views

Use of “the” in front of an application name [closed]

I am currently writing my thesis. It is based upon an application that I developed. My question is that should I use the in front of my application's name in my thesis. In this example suppose my ...
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3answers
634 views

Is the word language in this context a proper noun?

My phrase is "Spanish language TV spend" with respect to advertising on Spanish language TV ads. In this context, should the l in language be capitalized?