49 votes
Accepted

Why is quixotic not Quixotic (a proper adjective)?

In a comment posted years ago to the question Why is "biblical" the only proper adjective to not use upper case? I listed some other exceptions to the general rule that the first letter of ...
Sven Yargs's user avatar
  • 164k
28 votes

Why is quixotic not Quixotic (a proper adjective)?

As you correctly say, technically words associated with a proper noun should be capitalized. However as time and usage goes on, these words tend to become words in their own right, not associated any ...
DJClayworth's user avatar
  • 25.9k
27 votes

What does "Moth" mean here in Agatha Christie's Peril at End House?

The de Havilland Moth was a line of airplanes manufactured in the 1920's and 1930's. Since they are talking about airplanes, and the book was published in 1932, that may be the answer. According to ...
jejorda2's user avatar
  • 5,776
25 votes

'The Kukhtarev's model' or 'Kukhtarev's model' ('John's car' or 'The John's car')?

In short: The supervisor's edit is ungrammatical because it uses two Determiners within the same immediate noun phrase. As shown below, this is ungrammatical in modern English: *the my car The full ...
Araucaria - Him's user avatar
24 votes

Does the word “uzi” need to be capitalized?

Why is Uzi capitalized? It comes from a name, and people haven't frequently used it in lowercase in publication. First, the name is derived from a person's name. These usually retain their ...
TaliesinMerlin's user avatar
21 votes

Should "japanese" be capitalised when used as an adjective

Generally speaking, nations and nationalities are capitalized. This is always the case with things, like cuisine or history, that are closely associated with the the country. Thus Japanese cuisine (...
deadrat's user avatar
  • 44.7k
21 votes
Accepted

Should apartheid be capitalised?

I would not capitalize "apartheid". None of the dictionaries I have checked capitalize it as a headword (MW, AHD, Collins, Oxford). Capitalization, like punctuation, is one of the less settled areas ...
herisson's user avatar
  • 81.9k
19 votes

'The Kukhtarev's model' or 'Kukhtarev's model' ('John's car' or 'The John's car')?

Short answer - you are right, your supervisor is wrong. However he could have said "Here, we will use the Kukhtarev model to describe the ..." The possessive is not used in this version. So it'...
Peter Jennings's user avatar
19 votes
Accepted

Is "Black" correct, incorrect, or could it be used as either "Black" or "black"?

Since you are quoting from what appears to be a U.S. newspaper article, its decision to capitalize black as Black when the word is used as a racial term probably reflects Associated Press style. That ...
Sven Yargs's user avatar
  • 164k
15 votes

Pronunciation of "Azure" in "Microsoft Azure"

How about, how does Microsoft pronounce it? Introducing Microsoft Azure Stack (YouTube) I'm not an expert in IPA, so I'll go with what Marthaª said: "AZH-uhr" is the pronunciation used as of ...
Simon Woodside's user avatar
15 votes

In English, are words like 'English,' 'Monday,' and 'January' considered common nouns or proper nouns?

Since you asked for a linguistics answer, here goes. First of all, it's incorrect to assume that linguistics assumes that there are proper noun and common noun categories to begin with, that all ...
Azor Ahai -him-'s user avatar
14 votes

Etymology of proper nouns

The Wizard of (the land of) Oz, actual name Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkle Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs (shortened to OZ exc. pinhead ) hailed according to the story from America not ...
K J's user avatar
  • 3,169
13 votes

Should apartheid be capitalised?

In the context you have, I would capitalize it, because it refers to a specific period in history. However, if you were to use the word not as the name of a period, but to refer to the phenomenon, ...
Logophile's user avatar
  • 525
10 votes
Accepted

"Internet" or "The Internet"

I would never use it without "the". Note that your counter example may well not be one. It appears to be parallel to phrases like "by train" and "on foot", which don't use an article that would ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
  • 77.2k
9 votes

Etymology of proper nouns

All words come from somewhere. Where that is depends. Things can be made up out of thin air, or they can be passed down from previous speakers, changing or not from one generation to the next. Both ...
Mitch's user avatar
  • 71.5k
8 votes

use of capital C in the word 'Century'

Here are some style recommendations from various more-or-less influential style guides. From The American Heritage Guide to Contemporary Usage and Style (2005): centuries Centuries may be expressed ...
Sven Yargs's user avatar
  • 164k
8 votes
Accepted

Is a pluralized proper noun (Russias) the grammatical plural of that proper noun (Russia)?

"Russias" is certainly plural, but I think you're right about there being a possible objection to calling it "the" plural of "Russia" because "Russia" is a proper noun (and therefore semantically ...
herisson's user avatar
  • 81.9k
8 votes

Why it is "the Grinch" but not just Grinch as it's his personal name?

The Grinch is not his name. Although it’s not shown in The Grinch, “Grinch” is the name of whatever beast the Grinch is. Were he something else, we might call him the Sasquatch. But other Grinches are ...
Laurel's user avatar
  • 66.4k
8 votes
Accepted

Are names of chemicals not proper nouns?

It's convention. Take a few similar sentences: I gave it to a person called Michael. The 79th element is called Gold. I put it on the thing called Table. There are many Tables in that room. There are ...
Andrew Leach's user avatar
  • 102k
7 votes

Does "Ethernet" need to be capitalised?

Short answer: The word ethernet is capitalized because Ethernet is the currently accepted convention. Longer—but still not entirely satisfying—answer: The reason Ethernet is the current convention ...
cpit's user avatar
  • 514
7 votes

The Earth vs. Earth

There's really two questions here: when to use the article "the", and when to capitalize the word ("Earth" vs "earth"). The first example ("around the Earth") technically should be either "around ...
mick's user avatar
  • 372
7 votes
Accepted

What would you call people who attend conferences?

"attendee" is the common term unless you're referring to a legislative conference: Compare a google news search for "attendee" vs. "conferee"
De Novo's user avatar
  • 1,458
7 votes

Etymology of proper nouns

The etymology of proper nouns (i.e.) names is formally called: onomastics (a) The study of the origins and forms of proper names. (b) The study of the origins and forms of terms used in ...
Lambie's user avatar
  • 14.9k
7 votes
Accepted

What did the word "Ade" mean in the English of a hundred years ago?

English Etymology: The surname derives from medieval forms of Adam or Adrian. Proper noun: Ade A surname​. (rare) A male given name – Wiktionary From Graham's comment: As an ...
Decapitated Soul's user avatar
6 votes

Why is "Thailand" spelled with an 'h'?

Like many languages outside Europe, Thai distinguishes between aspirated and unaspirated plosives (eg [tʰ] and [t]). These both occur in English, but they are not treated as distinct sounds, so it is ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
  • 77.2k
6 votes

Are capital letters used for terms of endearment like "Honey" and "Sweetheart"?

Both "Grammar Girl" and the Chicago Manual of Style recommend capitalizing nicknames, not capitalizing terms of endearment, and being consistent in grey areas. GG: "Click" and "Clack" are ...
2540625's user avatar
  • 597
6 votes
Accepted

What is the plural form of 'Achilles' when referring to the Achilles tendon?

Why should you want "the plural of Achilles"? Nouns (common or proper) used as the non-final element of compounds don't usually take a plural ending; and if they do, they always take it. ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
  • 77.2k
6 votes

Does the word “uzi” need to be capitalized?

Proper noun or not, this is an item that borrows its name from a person. That person's name is capitalized, therefore the item named after him is likewise capitalized. Similarly, you would ...
David M's user avatar
  • 22.5k
6 votes
Accepted

Why isn't a "litmus test" a proper noun?

The word "Turing" is a person's name, so the word is capitalised in "Turing test". The word "litmus" refers to a chemical; it is not a proper noun and it is not ...
Peter's user avatar
  • 5,026

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible