The Chicago Manual of Style -- Nouns have a lot of naming to do

The Chicago Manual of Style -- Nouns have a lot of naming to do

When I set out to study The Chicago Manual of Style, I knew it would mean some detail work. But would you believe I have 11 pages of notes on nouns alone?

It’s true: Nouns, generally; Common nouns (concrete, abstract, and collective); Proper nouns; Mass nouns (sometimes called noncount nouns); Properties of nouns; noun case; noun number; noun person; plurals, including “Tricky anomalies of the plural.”


It’s a long way from saying that a noun is a person, place or thing.

So what’s an anomaly? Here’s one to consider: “Strangely enough, person forms two plurals — persons and people — but people also forms the plural peoples (the peoples of the world).”

Personally, I rarely see (or use) “persons” — most people (ahem) seem to avoid it.

Sometimes the heavy lifting with The Chicago Manual of Style isn’t just fitting it on my desk or my lap.

Margaret Serious has a page on Facebook.


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  • There is "person or persons of interest" as they say on the news...

    Thank you for taking on this intimidating project!

  • In reply to Weather Girl:

    You're welcome. Thanks for reading along. The plural of "person of interest" does turn out to be "persons." Good catch!

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