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.