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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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Using the definite article before a country/state name

The Punjab is a rich state. Is it correct to use the before Punjab?
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Should “Hell” be capitalized?

I am of the belief that Hell should be capitalized because real or not, it is the name of a place, and thus a proper noun. It should be capitalized correct? I have seen it written without ...
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When did we stop translating proper names?

It used to be that one would just translate a proper name that was in another language into English when referring to that entity. For example, William the Conqueror, Christopher Columbus, King ...
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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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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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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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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 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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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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“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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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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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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What is the difference between 'Muslim" and 'Islamic'?

I have seen 'Muslim' and 'Islamic' both used as adjectives to describe things relating to Islam. Is there a nuanced difference between the two words? I know that 'Muslim' can also be used as a noun, ...
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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"? ...
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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.
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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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Come on, don’t be such a nimrod!

According to the OED, the word English Nimrod is derived from the Hebrew, where in Genesis 10:8–9 he is described as ‘a mighty one in the earth’ and ‘a mighty hunter before the Lord’. It is ...
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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 ...
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Pronunciation of “Azure” in “Windows Azure”

This is not a techie query. I am just unclear on how to pronounce the word "Azure" which is brand name for Microsoft's cloud service offerings.
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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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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 ...
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What part-of-speech would a vehicle's year/make/model be?

Suppose I were to say this sentence: "I own a 2003 Ford F-150." Would 2003 Ford F-150 be a compound proper noun? Would Ford F-150 be a compound proper noun and 2003 be an adjective? Would F-150 be ...
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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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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 ...
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Capitalization of “Internet” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Should the words “internet” and “web” be capitalized? For the most part Internet is capitalized, less frequently it occurs uncapitalized. Is ...
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When referring to a specific war (or other named event), should the word “war” be capitalized when it appears alone?

The Cold War instilled a fear of nuclear war in the public; additionally, the [war] was responsible for an extreme anti-Communist sentiment that lingers to this day. Should the bracketed instance ...
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When did presidents start using their middle initial (e.g. JFK)? Was that common of the general population?

For example John F. Kennedy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson (and hence JFK, FDR, LBJ). How did this styling originate? It seems to have ended with Nixon. I don't when it started, but there ...
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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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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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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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What do the American nicknames 'Dutch' and 'T-Bone' mean?

Does the nickname Dutch have any significance? I know it was Reagan's, and I'm sure I've come across it in other books/films. Also T-Bone, as in T-Bone Walker, T-Bone Burnett: what does that mean? (I ...
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Argentine or Argentinian?

I was taught in my school days that Argentine was the correct adjective for something relating to the country Argentina. However, these days, even in common speech (but moreover in formal English on ...
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Is “Mecca” capitalized when used figuratively?

Waleed made his pilgrimage to Mecca. This is a given. But I would write: Bombay is India’s entertainment mecca Is this correct, or is Mecca capitalized in its figurative use, as well?
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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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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. ...
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Is it “Greetings from The sunny Hague” or “Greetings from sunny The Hague”?

If I were writing a postcard home from a sunny city, I would normally put the adjective just before the proper noun like "sunny Berlin". What should I do when it's The Hague?
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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?
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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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How do I perform presidential proper noun declension?

I'm unfamiliar with how one approaches the declension of proper nouns, especially as it pertains to presidents, e.g., Jeffersonian. I suspect it's kind of a black art. I need to do this with Coolidge ...
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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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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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Is the word “Galapagos” transferable into adjective and verb to mean “outdated, fossilized” in English?

We have a word “Gala-kei-ガラ携” which is an abbreviation of “Galapagos (shortened as Gala” and “mobile phone (shortened as “Kei”) meaning outdated mobile phone as opposed to advanced smart-phones in ...