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Plot Device
03-31-2018, 09:31 PM
Okay so this is slightly more complicated than it initially looks. I am talking here about using someone's proper name as a common noun to describe them. (Such as Eddie Haskell or Salieri.)

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EXAMPLE #1 -- MAKING A PLURAL OUT OF THE NAME KENNEDY

SINGULAR: "There was a Kennedy at my tea party yesterday."
PLURAL: "A total of five Kennedys showed up at my tea party yesterday."

Was that okay? Should I have tinkered around with the letter "y" at the end of the word there? Should I have written it as "Kennedies"?

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EXAMPLE #2 -- MAKING A PLURAL OUT OF THE NAME MULDER (yes, from the X-Files TV show)

SINGULAR: "My friend believes in UFO's, but he's very emotional about it. So he's much more of a Mulder than a Scully as far as his leaps of logic go."

Was that okay? In this example, the word "Mulder" is being used as a label for another person's outlook, invoking a character from a TV show. (Kind of like saying, "That kid over there is a real Eddie Haskell." It's instantly understood by anyone who understands who the fictional character of Eddie Haskell was in the old TV show.) And as an additional question: SHOULD THE NAME "MULDER" BE MADE LOWER CASE seeing as how I am reducing the name to the status of a common noun?

PLURAL: "That particular team of UFO researchers are just a bunch of thick-headed Mulders. I'd rather hang out with a more discriminating group of Scullys."

Did that work with making a plural out of "Scully" with the letter "y" at the end? And again, should it be lower case since the proper noun is now being forced to act as a common noun? Do we make Salieri into a lower case when we invoke the character named Salieri from the play/movie "Amadeus"? EXAMPLE: "That guy is a real Salieri --a total mediocrity."

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So that's my question. I want to write a brief essay on the difference between UFO believers who can be described as Mulders vs. UFO believers who can be described a Scullys. But I am not sure how to make a plural out of the name/word "Scully."

Zombie Fraggle
03-31-2018, 10:05 PM
Okay so this is slightly more complicated than it initially looks. I am talking here about using someone's proper name as a common noun to describe them. (Such as Eddie Haskell or Salieri.)

------------
EXAMPLE #1 -- MAKING A PLURAL OUT OF THE NAME KENNEDY

SINGULAR: "There was a Kennedy at my tea party yesterday."
PLURAL: "A total of five Kennedys showed up at my tea party yesterday."

Was that okay? Should I have tinkered around with the letter "y" at the end of the word there? Should I have written it as "Kennedies"?

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Just add the -s, unless the family name ends in an s, x, ch, sh, or z. In those cases, add -es. Never use an apostrophe, and never use -ies.




EXAMPLE #2 -- MAKING A PLURAL OUT OF THE NAME MULDER (yes, from the X-Files TV show)

SINGULAR: "My friend believes in UFO's, but he's very emotional about it. So he's much more of a Mulder than a Scully as far as his leaps of logic go."

Was that okay? In this example, the word "Mulder" is being used as a label for another person's outlook, invoking a character from a TV show. (Kind of like saying, "That kid over there is a real Eddie Haskell." It's instantly understood by anyone who understands who the fictional character of Eddie Haskell was in the old TV show.) And as an additional question: SHOULD THE NAME "MULDER" BE MADE LOWER CASE seeing as how I am reducing the name to the status of a common noun?

No. Mulder is a proper name and should always be capitalized, including in your example.



PLURAL: "That particular team of UFO researchers are just a bunch of thick-headed Mulders. I'd rather hang out with a more discriminating group of Scullys."

Did that work with making a plural out of "Scully" with the letter "y" at the end? And again, should it be lower case since the proper noun is now being forced to act as a common noun? Do we make Salieri into a lower case when we invoke the character named Salieri from the play/movie "Amadeus"? EXAMPLE: "That guy is a real Salieri --a total mediocrity."

Same rule applies as in #1. Simply add -s unless the name ends in as s, x, ch, sh, or z, in which case you add -es.
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(Reference: Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition, Section 7.9 "Plurals of Proper Nouns")

Plot Device
03-31-2018, 11:10 PM
Thanks! :) That was my hunch. But I needed to make sure. :e2headban

Zombie Fraggle
04-01-2018, 02:11 AM
Thanks! :) That was my hunch. But I needed to make sure. :e2headban

Happy to help!

Also, it occurred to me just now that if you're worried "Scullys" looks weird, you could always rephrase the sentence, e.g.: "That particular team of UFO researchers are just a bunch of thick-headed Mulders. I'd rather hang out with a more discriminating group of Scully-types."