• anonymous
Hey everyone/anyone, Interesting question I can't seem to answer: What do you call a common noun being used as a proper noun? (i.e. when you refer to someone as "Dad/Father"?) Is it some kind of pronoun? Thoughts?
  • jamiebookeater
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  • anonymous
A common noun names general items. It is broken down into common or proper. Saying Dad is a proper noun, whereas using something general like parent, would be considered a common noun. dad and Father can both be considered not-so-general titles, thus it may be classified into proper nouns. Just my thoughts, might want to research it a little more.
  • anonymous
Thanks for the thoughts, my question is should we classify those "not-so-general" titles that are standing in for proper names. I did a bit more research but have only found a [presumably new] idea called 'capitonyms' - complete homonyms that only have different meanings because one is capitalized. (god/God, jack/Jack, etc..) Couldn't find a formal definition of such a thing. My actual question is if this is still a proper noun or should be viewed as a new classification of common noun. A 'capitonym' can only be defined in written word, as you can't capitalize a spoken word. I have dubbed it, in my confusion, an 'eponoun'. (Eponymous noun) In that we are putting a name on someone or something - an eponym - based on the noun we know them by. An eponym is a specific kind of proper noun. However, an eponym is actually a noun made from someones name - which is the opposite of what I'm think of: calling someone a name made from their noun. This 'eponoun' may in truth be just a reverse eponym. But then eventually we would using names, about nouns we made up, based on names we made up. (See Illustration 3 below) Illustrations: (aka Word Calculus) 1.We name an object a "fred" (common noun) because the object was invented by a guy named "Fred" (proper noun). {This is an eponym.} 2.Instead of calling someone by their actual name, "Frank", we call him "Tank" because he reminds us in some aspects of a tank - which is an object. {This is my 'eponoun'.} {[Use: "Hey, Tank, what's up?"]} ((It is a proper noun because we are using it as his name, but it is not actually his name! So is it still a proper noun? If so what kind?)) 3.Finally, what if that 'fred' object that Fred the person made (in Illustration 1.) becomes a household item. Now 30 years later Frank (in Illustration 2) has a son named Tobias or something. But all of Tobias's friends think he looks like or acts like a 'fred' that all those friends know because they use one in their house often. So Tobias's friends start calling him "Fred" as a joke - and maybe it sticks. Now, WTF just happened!? We have three words that all came from one made up syllable/sound. We have Fred the name, then fred the object, then Fred the name based on a similarity to the object made by the original person named Fred that wasn't based on anything. An eponym has been turned into a eponoun, that later might be turned back into a different eponym that means something entirely different! AND THEY'RE ALL HOMONYMS (same spelling, same sound, different meanings) As you can see, Illustration 3 (above) is a recursive thought that can keep building. So we need a way to clarify each idea along the way :/

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