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  1. #1
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    Smile Proper Noun vs Countable Noun

    Is a proper noun countable?
    Do we add an article before proper nouns?

    Is MA a proper noun or it is countable??

  2. #2
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    Re: Proper Noun vs Countable Noun

    A minor complication arises with some abbreviations. Do you write, "He received a M.A. degree" or "an M.A. degree"? Do you write, "a N.Y. Central spokesman" or "an N.Y. Central spokesman"? The test is how people say or read such designations. "M.A. registers with most people as alphabetical letters, not as "Master of Arts"; hence, "an M.A. degree" is proper. On the other hand, "N.Y. Central" is instantly translated by the mind into "New York Central"; it would not be read as "En Wye Central." Therefore, a "N.Y. Central spokesman" is proper."

    (Theodore M. Bernstein, The Careful Writer: A Modern Guide to English Usage, Simon & Schuster, 1965)


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  3. #3
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    Re: Proper Noun vs Countable Noun

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    A minor complication arises with some abbreviations. Do you write, "He received a M.A. degree" or "an M.A. degree"? Do you write, "a N.Y. Central spokesman" or "an N.Y. Central spokesman"? The test is how people say or read such designations. "M.A. registers with most people as alphabetical letters, not as "Master of Arts"; hence, "an M.A. degree" is proper. On the other hand, "N.Y. Central" is instantly translated by the mind into "New York Central"; it would not be read as "En Wye Central." Therefore, a "N.Y. Central spokesman" is proper."

    (Theodore M. Bernstein, The Careful Writer: A Modern Guide to English Usage, Simon & Schuster, 1965)


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    So, MA is a countable noun and not a proper noun, as you are adding an article before it?

  4. #4
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    Re: Proper Noun vs Countable Noun

    Quote Originally Posted by anupumh View Post
    So, MA is a countable noun and not a proper noun, as you are adding an article before it?
    Yes. It's considered as such.

  5. #5
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    Re: Proper Noun vs Countable Noun

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    Yes. It's considered as such.
    How will you count MA?
    Can MA be never used as a proper noun?

  6. #6
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    Re: Proper Noun vs Countable Noun

    Quote Originally Posted by anupumh View Post
    How will you count MA?
    Can MA be never used as a proper noun?
    Count: She has two MAs.

    I'm not sure about the answer to your second question. I'd have to test it--now's not the time. Sorry.

    In "MA is an acronym for Master of Arts" a determiner is not required. The reason being, the sentence is short for, say, "(The designation) MA is an ... . "

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