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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When did it become correct to add an “s” to a singular possessive already ending in “‑s”?

According to my grammar book, but at variance to the answer to this question, the correct singular possessive if a word ends in ‑s is: James’s car The grammar book allows exceptions for ...
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How do you capitalize a proper noun such as “iPhone”?

I was always taught to capitalize the first letter of the first word in a sentence, and also the first letter of proper nouns. In the last few years it's been common for certain firms to name their ...
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Where should the comma be placed in the salutation of a letter?

Sometimes I see a comma after the proper name: Hello Mr. Black, In order to give you.... But my native language is not English and I think that the comma in this phrase should be placed ...
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Family name pluralization

When pluralizing family (last) names that also happen to be common English words, does the pluralization follow the same rules as the common word? For example, "the Smith family" can be pluralized as ...
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Use of definite article before phrases like Heathrow Airport, Hyde Park, Waterloo Station, Edgware Road and Parliament Square

In this related question (Definite article with proper nouns, titles followed by a common noun), the OP asks if it is grammatical to use the definite article before phrases like Advanced programming ...
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How to handle a name that includes an exclamation point (or other punctuation)?

Certain brands, such as Yahoo!, insist that the exclamation is part of their name. In writing about such a brand or company, is the inclusion of the vanity punctuation right, wrong, or optional? I ...
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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 ...
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Store names & possessive

Observation: It seems that it's common to turn a store name into a possessive, for example a store named "Palisade" gets transformed to possessive in speech like, "Hey how about going to Palisade's ...
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Definite article with proper nouns, titles followed by a common noun

Over time I developed this rule where if a title or a proper name is followed by a common noun that represents the class of the entity I am referring to, then I use the definite article. In Example 1, ...
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Capitalising a sentence whose first word is explicitly lowercase [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Capitalization of names that begin lowercased, at the beginning of a sentence Let's say that you have a word that should be typed with leading lowercase letter. Perhaps ...
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1answer
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Capitalization of names that begin lowercased, at the beginning of a sentence [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: How Should Trademarks be Written? How do you capitalize a proper noun such as “iPhone”? Many products these days have names that intentionally begin with ...
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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 ...
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Why are the United States often referred to as America?

People often refer to the country US as America and to the people from the US as Americans. As far as I know, that's the only case in the world where a continent's name is used for a country's name ...
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City names with articles

Typically we don't use articles with city names, e.g. "Seattle" and not "the Seattle." I know at least one exception though which is The Hague. Are there any other city names which we use with the ...
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Jones's or Jones'? [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'? I've always heard that ...
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Do I need “the” before the name of my university in the header? [duplicate]

Do I need "the" before the name of my university in the header? Header: Politechnika Wroclawska - name of university in my language (the Wroclaw University of Technology) - translated name ...
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Etymology for Mc and O' in names

There is clearly a prefix in names like McDonald, McChrystal, O'Brian, O'Neal What does this Mc and O signify? Looks like Donald, Chrystal, Brian, Neal are perfectly fine names on their own so why is ...
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How would you spell “Tehran” in English for it to be pronounced “correctly” (i.e. as in Persian)?

Native English speakers do not pronounce the h in Tehran so it is pronounced like "Teran". But in the original pronunciation in Persian the h is pronounced, resulting in /tehˈɾɒːn/. Is there any ...
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Are particular seasons proper nouns?

Should fall be capitalised in the following? If yes, is it because Fall 2011 is a proper noun? Where should an app be released in Fall 2011? Context. In a Wikipedia article, Avatar (2009 ...
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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 ...
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About definite article before “Earth”, “Moon” and “Sun”

In what cases do we have to put the definite article the before each of these words: Sun Moon Earth and in what cases do we not need to?
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Why are days of the week proper nouns?

Is there any particular reason why days of the week are proper nouns?
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Is the game, “go,” a proper noun? What about “checkers” or “chess”?

The game of Go is... or The game of go is... Apparently the International Go Federation capitalizes it. Its dictionary entry doesn't appear to be (from what I have seen). It seems to fit ...
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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.
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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 ...
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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: ...
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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?
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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 ...
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Is “Thank god”, as opposed to “Thank God”, acceptable?

People are quite stingy lately about anything with religious connotations, so I'm worried that the phrase "thank God" might tick some people off. Is "thank god" acceptable? Would that offend people ...
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Why is the “ph” pronounced like a “v” in “Stephen”? Is this the only word like that?

While I know how my name is pronounced, I've run into many non-native english speakers who have stumbled over this unique exception to English. Even in the female name, "Stephanie", the ph is ...
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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 ...
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How do you spell Muammar Qaddafi?

This name, which is spelled القذافي in Arabic, is spelled in so many different ways in the Latin alphabet: Gadafi, Gadaffi, Gaddafi, Gaddaffi, Gadhafi, Gadhaffi, Ghadafi, Ghadaffi, Ghaddafi, ...
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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., ...
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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, ...
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“Are” vs. “is” for proper nouns which sound plural (such as band names)

I was trying to explain to a friend that someone is no longer available on Spotify earlier today so I said the sentence: The Avalanches are no longer available on Spotify. Immediately after ...
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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 ...
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Can I use the “ll” contraction with proper names?

Can I contract "will" as "ll" when preceded by a proper name? For example: John will visit you tomorrow John'll visit you tomorrow I am inclined to think this is not acceptable in standard ...
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2answers
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Capitalization of “School” as an adjective

I am working on a research poster, and the teacher supervising wrote the following language. It doesn't seem to me like "School" is a proper noun, but he tells me it is when referring to a specific ...
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Yoga (proper-case) or yoga (lowercase)?

I've seen it written in both ways. I'm tempted to use the proper case, because I was under the impression that it is also a form/name of religion. What do you think?
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Why does Germany's English name differ from its German name?

Germany in German is Deutschland and the language is Deutsch. I'm used to words being anglicized, but why is there a complete replacement in this case?
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What is the first recorded appearance of the mistranslation “Red Square”?

Does anybody know when the mistranslation "Red Square" made its first recorded appearance? Have there been any noteworthy attempts at establishing the correct translation "Beautiful Square" at some ...
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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 ...
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What does “Clyst” mean?

I live in the south west of England and there are many villages and roads that feature the word "Clyst". For example, Broadclyst, Clyst St Mary, Clyst Honiton and so on. What does clyst mean, and ...
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Should Philip have P. or Ph. as an initial?

In the context of scientific articles and technical white papers, references to other publications typically include the author’s surname with, depending on the format of the specific publication, ...
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Why does English have city/country names that differ from the local language?

For example: Italy = Italia Florence = Firenze Rome = Roma Venice = Venezia Munich = München Different reasons for different cities? Anglicised for pronunciation? The name changed and English ...
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Plural of “iPod Touch”

What is the plural of iPod Touch? Should it be iPods Touch or iPod Touches?
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Why is god, a common noun, capitalized? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should the word “God” be capitalized? I thought god is a common noun, but many people capitalize it when it is not the first letter of a sentence or a ...
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Which expression is older: “London Royal Parks” or “London's Royal Parks” ? And why is it Hyde Park and not Hyde's Park?

London Royal Parks and London's Royal Parks Both phrases are used, and I understand that "London" in the first example is acting as an adjective. Whereas in the second, "London", is used ...
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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 ...
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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" ...