There is a particular type of corrosion called 'stress corrosion cracking'.

Is this a proper or common noun?

  • 1
    To be pedantic. It isn't a form of corrosion, it is a form of cracking caused by corrosion. – Chenmunka Oct 28 at 18:28
  • If it were a proper noun, you would have spelled it "Stress Corrosion Cracking". – Ray Butterworth Oct 29 at 0:24
  • Try it without the qualifier words. Is `cracking' a noun? – puppetsock reinstate Monica Oct 30 at 18:51

You have a noun phrase built up of a base (cracking) and an attributive noun phrase (stress corrosion). Stress corrosion itself is a combination of the base corrosion and the attributive noun stress). Attributive nouns describe the nouns they're paired with, so stress corrosion describes the cause of the cracking (ThoughtCo).

It is not a proper noun, defined as

a noun belonging to the class of words used as names for specific or unique individuals, events, or places, and may include real or fictional characters and settings (ThoughtCo),

because stress corrosion cracking does not refer to a specific event by name (ex. The Battle of the Bulge) but rather to a general physical phenomenon (ex. a pitched battle). Even if you decide to make an acronym out of it, like SCC (which the Wikipedia article uses a lot), it's still a common noun phrase. (Ex. ATM, or automated teller machine, is a common noun phrase referring to the kind of machine, not the trademarked name of a specific design like a Nixdorf ATM.)


No, it is a descriptive term. The only terms for conditions or materials that are proper nouns (and therefore capitalized) include actual names, such as "Stockholm syndrome" or "Venetian plaster."

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