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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

2
votes
1answer
348 views

Use “the” before a scientific method name? [closed]

I'm writing a paper about an algorithm that I have developed. Just for illustration, I will say that the method name is "quicksort". My question is about the usage of the in the following context: ...
2
votes
5answers
302 views

How should one pronounce “Brichester”?

I know that there is this issue where Worcestershire and Leicester are pronounced as "Wustersher" and "Lester", so I wonder how Brichester is pronounced. Also, is there any special rule which could ...
0
votes
2answers
268 views

How to pronounce “Zoubin Ghahramani”? [closed]

Zoubin Ghahramani is a computer scientist and statistician. I tried Google translate but it sound a little weird. Does anyone know the pronunciation of his name? Is it from another language other than ...
3
votes
5answers
2k views

Indefinite article and people's names

Sometimes, on the internet, particularly in online games, I see people using the indefinite article before someone's name: "I see a Joey" or "I hug a Polly". I know some of these people and I'm ...
1
vote
1answer
98 views

Using “the” with name of research center

The name of our research center is Southeastern Transportation Center, STC is the acronym, of course. In writing, I use STC, not 'the STC' but our director says 'the' is needed so that it reads well. ...
3
votes
2answers
488 views

Using articles before titles beginning with articles

What are the rules for the use of articles before titles beginning with articles? Which of the following sentences is correct? I went to the The New York Times office this morning. I went to The New ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Why did Obama use “a” in “… to hear a King proclaim that …”

From Obama's second inaugural speech: We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our ...
6
votes
2answers
549 views

Why is “a” necessary before “Mr. X” and “Mrs. Y”?

There is the following sentence in the scene a reputed lawyer, Thomas Cohen gives advice to 16-year old client William Kane, the son of deceased bank owner on the issue of inheritance of his father’s ...
1
vote
2answers
394 views

“Al” as a reduction of “Alexander” [closed]

Can I use Al as a reduction of the name Alexander? Is this reduction clear to native English speakers?
6
votes
3answers
706 views

Words based on the names of gods [closed]

While the word christen means "to baptise" or "to make Christian", in another sense, it has shed its religious connotations to simply mean "to name" or even "use for the first time". Is there any ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Use of proper noun District Attorney's Office or D. A.'s Office vs district attorney's office

Is it correct to use the lowercase for district attorney's office when a particular office (e.g., Shelby County District Attorney's Office) is not included? Even if you're referring to a particular ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

Upper or lowercase letter if name at the start of the sentence? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do you capitalize a proper noun such as “iPhone”? Capitalization of names that begin lowercased, at the beginning of a sentence I have a product that is called ...
1
vote
2answers
138 views

Is “a” mandatory in “I'm a whole new (Name)”?

Let's say, your name is Kate and you say "I'm a whole new Kate!" Now, can you drop "a" and say "I'm whole new Kate!"? Or is it mandatory to keep it?
5
votes
1answer
22k views

Do you capitalize the names of holidays?

I always thought the names of holidays were proper names, and should thus be capitalized "Christmas", "Thanksgiving", etc. However, I recently made a typo when talking about Christmas (Christmsa), and ...
3
votes
2answers
916 views

Why there is an “h” in proper names like Afghanistan, Baghdad and Lamborghini?

An "h" may be used to prevent the "g" from being soft, as in spaghetti, but there is no need for an "h" in the mentioned proper names.
3
votes
1answer
780 views

Pronunciation of “Nevada” [closed]

People in the state of Nevada insist that it should be pronounced /nəˈvædə/ (with the vowel of TRAP)—this "issue" always comes up during campaigns—while much of the country typically pronounces it ...
-3
votes
1answer
660 views

What is the origin of the nickname “Money Making Manhattan”? [closed]

What is the origin of the nickname "Money Making Manhattan" for the borough of Manhattan in New York City?
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Capitalising the definite article in names

When I was a youngster some mumble-mumble-mumble decades ago, I was taught that, in the instances of names of persons, places, and things which carried the definite article the, the article wasn’t ...
-1
votes
1answer
5k views

significance of “The” before country name [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Using the definite article before a country/state name I am from India, and I do not say that I am from “the India”. But someone from USA would say “I am from the ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Pluralization of proper nouns: regular or irregular? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Family name pluralization If a proper noun is a homograph of a common noun, is the proper noun subject to the same usage and form rules as the common noun, especially if ...
11
votes
10answers
842 views

Is it grammatical to say “the batmen”?

As far as I know, the five actors to have played the role of Batman in films are Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, and Christian Bale. Is it grammatical to call them "the batmen"? ...
0
votes
1answer
21k views

Company names, use of “have” and “has” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are collective nouns always plural, or are certain ones singular? Should company names be followed by "has" or "have"? It depends on whether a company is treated as a ...
-1
votes
5answers
273 views

Still More Syntactic Confusion [closed]

I sometimes encounter sentences like this Mussolini ordered the Italy invaded Albania. It seems incorrect to me but I want native speakers to prove. UPDATE. The sentence above is taken from ...
5
votes
6answers
440 views

The name of “Scientific American” — two adjectives without a substantive?

Does the name Scientific American consist of two adjectives? What is the substantive?
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Accurate British English term for an oblong deck from shore out into a lake where you tie your rowing boat

This is a typical image of the structure in question: There are also some variations, shown in this Google image search. But I'm after the often not very wide, some 20-30 feet long wood ...
12
votes
3answers
5k views

Does the abbreviation for Saint in a church name require a period?

In referring to a local church, does the name "St Giles" require a period after the "St"? I was told that to add a period confuses it with the abbreviation for street.
4
votes
1answer
241 views

Capitalization of software terms--design pattern [closed]

I'm editing a software blog, and the author is describing a design pattern called the "abstract factory pattern." He capitalizes the 'A' and the 'F' in some places and not in others. The Wikipedia ...
1
vote
2answers
701 views

Capitalizing “U” in “United States” [closed]

Is it true that until the Civil War we did not capitalize the U in United States?
1
vote
3answers
8k views

Pronunication of “Dijkstra”

I am a computer professional. I have heard the pronuciation of the word Dijkstra from various sources as di-kstra diji-kstra dik-stra Which is the correct way of pronouncing it?
6
votes
7answers
9k views

Can I say “Do you have a facebook”?

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.
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Why are nouns sometimes pejorative when used attributively?

Certain nouns can often be used as noun adjuncts in place of a corresponding adjective, with no change in literal meaning, where: The noun is not pejorative when used nominatively by itself. Nor is ...
1
vote
3answers
5k views

Is there any convention for pronouncing proper nouns?

Is there any convention as to how proper nouns with origins outside English should be pronounced? I have heard claims to the effect that "a proper noun can be pronounced however you wish"; is that ...
0
votes
3answers
7k views

Are names of games proper nouns? [closed]

Are names of games such as "cricket", "football" considered proper nouns? And should the first letter of these words be capitalized?
5
votes
4answers
509 views

Why is “Rosen Plevneliev” pronounced with a /z/?

As I have told you in my previous question, I have heard the CBS news about the Bulgarian president visiting the US here. I don't know why, but the way the reporter has pronounced his name makes me ...
19
votes
6answers
4k views

How do I pluralize a name ending in “y”?

Frequently when I refer to or address a family, I do so by pluralizing their last name, e.g., The Smiths, or The Ramones. But suppose I want to address a family whose last name ends in a "y", e.g., ...
1
vote
1answer
464 views

Formal definition for a specific type of concrete noun involving entities?

I am looking specifically for a list of proper concrete nouns that represent entities or categorizations of entities that can be used in place of the proper noun, however this is not what I am asking ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Is it grammatically correct to use “baby” as a proper noun

A lot of baby books and products use the word baby as you would a proper noun. For example "when lying baby down in the cot" instead of "when lying your baby down in the cot". Another example from a ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

Do Americans pronounce “Ellen” and “Alan” in the same way?

Do Americans pronounce "Ellen" and "Alan" in the same way? I am especially concerned with the first vowel. EDIT: Here is a quote that may be a case in point: Being a Brit also, the names "Ellen" ...
2
votes
0answers
162 views

How to handle the possessive case of the name Franks [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the correct possessive for nouns ending in s? When did it become correct to add an 's' to a singular possessive already ending in 's'? Hey guys ...
2
votes
1answer
243 views

Capitalisation of “Hall effect”

How should I capitalise Hall effect? I am using this in a brochure and want to get the capitalisation right. I am certain that Hall is capitalised, as this phenomenon (concerning the behaviour of ...
7
votes
4answers
18k views

Why there is “the” before some names but not others

Is there a rule beyond the common "no the with proper nouns and names" for the following problem? I saw the Empire State Building. We went to the White House. We saw the Golden Gate ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Using 'the' in front of proper nouns?

This may be an incredibly stupid question but I'm having a bit of trouble with it. If I want to write: I transferred flights at the airport. Then I know I need to use 'at the' as 'airport' is ...
6
votes
1answer
71k views

What does “instagram” mean?

I'm talking about the name of the popular internet photograph service. I guess the first part of the word (insta) means instant, but I couldn't figure out what it means when it's colligated with gram. ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

What does the most common usage of 'Korea' mean in modern-day English-speaking world?

On Meta.Travel.SE, we have a debate whether our 'Korea' tag should be mapped to 'South Korea'. One of the answers - from the moderator who made the synonym mapping - is that common usage of the word ...
4
votes
1answer
5k views

Are software titles italicized?

The titles of freestanding works (books, movies, plays, albums, etc.) are italicized; smaller parts within these works (chapters in a book, articles in a magazine, songs within an album) are not (they ...
7
votes
3answers
43k views

Does one capitalize “communism” and “communist”?

Suppose I have the following sentence: I lived in a communist country during the fall of communism in 1989. Should "communist" and "communism" be capitalized?
2
votes
1answer
636 views

Plurals, Possesives, and Proper Nouns ending with 'S' [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the correct possessive for nouns ending in s? I just took a grammar quiz in 10th grade English Honors, and one of the questions was very interesting to me. In ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Are the names of game tokens capitalized?

Are the names of game tokens considered proper nouns, and hence need to be capitalized? Apparently not for chess, as king, queen, bishop etc. are written in lowercase. But what about games whose terms ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Capitalization: when does a phrase become a proper noun?

This is a question on capitalization. Proper nouns are capitalized. But how can I tell which parts of a term constitute a proper noun? Take, for example, the nickname for traveler's diarrhea (sorry, ...
28
votes
3answers
5k views

Why we capitalize all race names but our own

This question about alien species and planets brought up something I've been thinking about on and off for years. We capitalize names of alien races like Vulcan, Timelord, Cylon (well, maybe not ...