Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What is common noun?

5. A common noun is a name possessed by any one of a class of
persons, animals, or things.

Common, as here used, is from a Latin word which means general,
possessed by all.

For instance, road is a word that names any highway outside of
cities; wagon is a term that names any vehicle of a certain kind
used for hauling: the words are of the widest application. We may say,
the man here, or the man in front of you, but the word man is
here hedged in by other words or word groups: the name itself is of
general application.

Besides considering persons, animals, and things separately, we may
think of them in groups, and appropriate names to the groups.

Thus, men in groups may be called a crowd, or a mob, a
committee, or a council, or a congress, etc.

These are called COLLECTIVE NOUNS. They properly belong under common
nouns, because each group is considered as a unit, and the name
applied to it belongs to any group of its class.

6. The definition given for common nouns applies more strictly to
class nouns. It may, however, be correctly used for another group of
nouns detailed below; for they are common nouns in the sense that the
names apply to every particle of similar substance, instead of to
each individual or separate object.

They are called MATERIAL NOUNS. Such are glass, iron, clay,
frost, rain, snow, wheat, wine, tea, sugar, etc.

They may be placed in groups as follows:--

(1) The metals: iron, gold, platinum, etc.

(2) Products spoken of in bulk: tea, sugar, rice, wheat, etc.

(3) Geological bodies: mud, sand, granite, rock, stone, etc.

(4) Natural phenomena: rain, dew, cloud, frost, mist, etc.

(5) Various manufactures: cloth (and the different kinds of cloth),
potash, soap, rubber, paint, celluloid, etc.

7. NOTE.--There are some nouns, such as sun, moon, earth,
which seem to be the names of particular individual objects, but which
are not called proper names.

The reason is, that in proper names the intention is to exclude all
other individuals of the same class, and fasten a special name to the
object considered, as in calling a city Cincinnati; but in the words
sun, earth, etc., there is no such intention. If several bodies
like the center of our solar system are known, they also are called
suns by a natural extension of the term: so with the words earth,
world, etc. They remain common class names.

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What is noun
Common nouns
Abstract noun

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