Hey everyone it’s GRUESDAY again!
To mark the second week of my doing Gruesome Grammar Tuesday, I have decided to go back to the basics and discuss each part of speech. It may surprise you to know (it surprised me) according to the 16th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style, modern grammarians today cannot agree on how many parts of speech there are. Some say that there are as few as three when others say there as many as fifteen. I’m sure you’re thinking what I am—please dear lord do not let there be fifteen parts of speech! And since I refuse to consider that as a possibility, lol, I am going to take the next seven weeks (eight including today) to delve into each of the eight basic parts of speech.
I often find, when I’m writing, that it’s the simple rules I seem to fudge up on the most. Going back over the basic parts of speech will be hated, lol, but very beneficial.
So, since I’m going with the order of things, today is going to be all about those nosy nouns.
Nouns generally. A noun is a word that names something, whether abstract (intangible) or concrete (tangible). It may be a common noun (the name of a generic class or type of person, place, thing process, activity, or condition) or a proper noun (the formal name of a specific person, place, or thing).
It’s become a little more complex since I learned about it, haha, but the general rule makes sense to me. I have found that nouns are usually the easiest part of the sentence to pick out, though it is not uncommon for nouns to come out the woodwork and do other things such as: being appositives, adjectives, and verbs. I’m going to delve into each of these today to make it easier to figure out when those nosy nouns get sneaky.
Appositive nouns. An appositive is a noun or noun phrase that immediately follows another noun or noun phrase in order to define or further identify it.
ex 1 noun appositive. The insect, a grasshopper, jumped on my shoulder.–in this instance a grasshopper is an appositive of the noun insect.
ex 2 noun phrase appositive. The insect, a large grasshopper of green coloring, jumped on my shoulder.—in this instance a large grasshopper of green coloring is the appositive of the noun insect.
Nouns as adjectives. A noun-to-adjective transfer takes place when a noun modifies another noun. (A helpful way to pick out which is actually the noun and which is the “adjective noun”—the “adjective noun” always comes first.)
ex 1. The morning newspaper.—morning is the “adjective noun” that modifies the noun, newspaper.
ex 2. A shoe shop. –shoe is the “adjective noun” that modifies the noun, shop.
Nouns as verbs. This is a fairly common occurrence that evolves with time and is often one that grammarians have trouble agreeing on. Here are some examples, though it is advised to be careful when using nouns as verbs because it can be a very touchy subject, lol. Some have even named this practice “verbing” and call it a “filthy habit”.
ex 1. I accessed.—access is the noun that is being used as a verb in this instance. Many people prefer this: I gained access.
ex 2. More school districts are mainstreaming pupils with special needs.—mainstream is the noun being used as a verb in this instance.
This concludes my exploration of the nosy noun. Though we are NOT by any means done with nouns. They will forever haunt us and you will definitely see them again in my future posts.
Happy Nouning! (Grammarians all over the world are cringing right now. Filthy habit, haha.)
This post would not have been possible without:
Chicago Manual of Style 16th ed.