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Questions tagged [proper-nouns]

A proper noun or proper name is a noun representing a unique entity as opposed to a common noun, which represents a class of entities or non-unique instances of that class. Proper nouns are usually, but not invariably, capitalized in English.

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Does capitalisation change when a word moves from proper noun to adjective?

For the sake of this question I'll use the word Linux as an example, but I really want to ask about the principle generally. The word Linux started as the name of an operating system kernel written by ...
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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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Should apartheid be capitalised?

In an attempt to prevent an edit war over on Skeptics.SE, I'll defer to here. Which is preferred - or are both correct?: Was South Africa better run during apartheid? or Was South Africa ...
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Should proper nouns be hyphenated if used as compound adjectives?

Which of the following two is correct, if any? I watched a Six Nations rugby match. I watched a Six-Nations rugby match. Is there a general rule for the use of hyphens in compound adjectives when ...
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Capitalise or not foreign demonyms when original language uses lower case and English has no equivalent?

In English we capitalise demonyms. Someone from Paris is a Parisian. When we insert words from other languages we indicate the non-English nature of the word with quotation marks or italics. "He ...
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Are the names of historic events treated as proper nouns?

When writing about famous events, how are they capitalised? As a proper name? It is obvious that World War 1 and the Second World War are capitalized. But what about, for example, the Cuban Missile ...
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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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3answers
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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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Should "State" be capitalized on its own?

Say we had the following: Higher Education spending, clout, and influence in New York State is substantial. Within the State’s borders... Should the latter instance of State be capitalized or not?
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Why isn't the word "white" capitalized when referring to the race? [duplicate]

I was surprised to find that there's a growing convention of capitalizing the word "black" when referring to the race, i.e.: A Black person. I thought this was wrong, because I thought it ...
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Capitalisation when talking about a proper noun [closed]

So when I write a sentence like for example: The word europe originated from ... should the word be capitalised or not? It seems logical not to capitalise because in this sense it's not talking ...
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Referring to a specific instance of a common noun [closed]

Let's say I am planning an as of yet unnamed wall at the back of my garden, which I will build using gabion baskets. If I temporarily refer to the wall according to its construction, should I write it ...
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Does "Ethernet" need to be capitalised?

Microsoft Word insists that it should be but I don't know why.
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Are there English toponyms that are pluralia tantum? [closed]

There are toponyms that are pluralia tantum in a few languages. What come off top of my mind are Mediterranean cities in classical languages, such as Athenae and Pompeii. A modern example I can come ...
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use of capital C in the word 'Century'

I know if you are referring to 'centuries' in general, you don't use a capital letter. I know that if you are talking about a particular century, like 'the 20th Century', it's a capital letter. If ...
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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. MEN. ...
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When to put "River" before or after its name and why?

Unlike mountain names, where "Mount" always precedes its name, e.g. Mount Everest, I've noticed that some rivers have "River" before its name, e.g. the River Nile but others have it after, e.g. the ...
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When should types of cheese be capitalized?

Does this recipe call for Cheddar cheese or cheddar cheese? Does pizza have mozzarella or Mozzarella on it? Heck, I'm not even sure if this sandwich contains Swiss cheese or swiss cheese. Is there a ...
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Should "japanese" be capitalised when used as an adjective

Which one of these is the correct usage: 1) Your favourite Japanese restaurant 2) Your favourite japanese restaurant (being an adjective in this case, it should be in lower case)
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Should I Capitalize the Word "mom" in This Specific Context [duplicate]

In the book Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing is says the word "mom" is a proper noun in the following context and should be capitalized: "How's Mom these days"...
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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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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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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.
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Is "Black" correct, incorrect, or could it be used as either "Black" or "black"? [duplicate]

I was reading an article that I was assigned by my professor, and I came across the following: “We’re the ones getting killed,” Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who is Black, said in an ...
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Why is it 'the Corona virus' not 'Corona Virus'?

Corona is the name of a virus and hence is a proper noun. Please tell me why this exception arises. Also if there are other similar cases when 'the' is used before proper nouns, please let me know. ...
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Can capitalization be considered as a marker of definitness in proper nouns

Proper nouns are always definite (i.e. are names of people or names of places). They are also always capitalized. Does that mean that the capital letter is considered a marker for definiteness? Do we ...
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1answer
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"I see myself as" with personal names of well-known individuals [closed]

I'm not sure how to use articles when using personal names of well-known characters in this particular case. For example it would be "I see myself as a nice person" or "I see myself as ...
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1answer
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When referring to a specific person by title only within a specific office, should the title be capitalized?

When referring to a specific person by title only within a specific office, should that title be capitalized, as in: "XYZ University's Board Chairman and Office Manager shall provide the ...
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Is there a linguistic term for using a common noun as a proper noun?

In some situations, a common noun in a specific scenario is treated as a proper noun because it refers to a specific entity that satisfies the common noun. Is there a special term for this ...
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Should "the" or "el" appear before a Spanish proper noun placed in an English text

I have a textbook that refers to the Spanish royal road that linked Mexico City and Santa Fe as "El Camino Real", though the full name in Spanish is "El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro&...
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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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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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2answers
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Hydrophobic, hydrophobized, or hydrophobicized?

I found three adjectives which can be used in the following context: "velour (HYDROPHOBIC / HYDROPHOBIZED / HYDROPHOBICIZED) with alkenyl maleic anhydride composition". Which one should be ...
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Article before newspaper name

Suppose the name of a newspaper is Pirate Times, without an article. Which of the following is then correct, and why? During the recent General Assembly, Pirate Times met… During the recent ...
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1answer
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Should this name for an organization contain an apostrophe?

We're looking to start a small brewery and have decided to call it "Loons Landing". I'm wondering if perhaps it would be more correct to call it "Loon's Landing". I know that, as a business, we're ...
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1answer
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What did the word "Ade" mean in the English of a hundred years ago?

Saw this in the news today and think I see the word Ade, but have never seen it before. Is it Ade? Or Ode? Wde? What does it mean? Is it an abbreviation?
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When should we use "the" before the name of a university or institute?

Should I write "at Higher Institute for Applied Sciences and Technology (HIAST)" or "at the Higher Institute for Applied Sciences and Technology (HIAST)", and should I write "HIAST" or "the HIAST" in ...
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1answer
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Capitalization of "tribe" and its derivatives in the United States

In these examples, when should "Tribe" or "Tribal" be capitalized? "This rulemaking will preempt State, local, and Tribal requirements but does not propose any regulation that has substantial direct ...
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Hyphenating proper noun rules

Is there any special rules for hyphenating proper nouns? I've seen information like "never split a proper noun", but in numerous scientific papers these words are hyphenated.
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Capitalization of "Gothic" as a genre descriptor

In the context of genres such as Gothic literature and Gothic music should "Gothic" be capitalized? Although names of genres are generally not capitalized, these happen to share the name of a historic ...
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2answers
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What is the plural of the name Jess? [duplicate]

I understand it's grammatically correct to use apostrophe s for the plural of letters. Dot your i's and cross your t's. But not for proper nouns that end with s. Here come the Jones's Joneses. ...
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Why does English use definite articles before certain proper nouns, such as the names of ships?

Over on English Language Learners, a non-native speaker asked a question about adding "the" before movie titles. I wanted to tell him or her that the rule in English is not to add a definite article ...
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When creating an initialism of a country's full name, should the "o" in "of" be capitalized once initialized?

When creating an initialism of a country's full name, should the "o" in "of" be capitalized once initialized? For example, should Republic of Ireland be "ROI" or "RoI"?
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1answer
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Can we use There is + proper noun?

We know that we can say: There is a play at the theater tonight. But can we say: There is Hamlet at the theater tonight. The last sentence sounds a bit odd, but it's not clear why. Is this ...
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Capitalization and hyphenation of proper noun declensions [duplicate]

I'm transcribing some speech and I came across One of the accusations that certain non-Orthodox Christians level against the Orthodox is that we worship idols. However, I am not certain on how to ...
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How do I refer to multiple people with the same name

My daughter now has her own bedroom. She doesn't want her sister to come in. She has made a sign. "No Paiges Allowed!" What is the correct apostrophy use on "Paiges" when I want to refer to ...
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1answer
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Is the object in "Eighty-six forty-five." a proper noun?

The object in the sentence "Eighty-six forty-five." refers to the 45th president of the US, as in Bush 41 vs. Bush 43. The meaning of the verb eighty-six – eject, bar, reject, discard, cancel (...
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Possessive function of a business name which is made with a possessive

Garner's fourth edition, page 714, states regarding the name McDonald’s It is quite defensible to write McDonald’s dinner combos (the name functioning as a kind of possessive) On what grounds ...
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Is "Underground" a proper noun or a common noun?

The definition on the Oxford Dictionary is a little bit confusing for me. The dictionary doesn't call it a proper noun, but the first letter is capitalised in the example. Since I know the ...
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In English, are words like 'English,' 'Monday,' and 'January' considered common nouns or proper nouns?

In English, are names of languages (English, French), days of the week (Monday, Sunday) and months of the year (November, January) considered common nouns or proper nouns? I know they're all ...

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