Archive for July, 2017

She is an adjective

[Post updated 4/16/2019 in various ways to improve civility. Sorry Geoff.]

Comments are closed on your post, so I’ll reply here. You observed the following assertion:

Jane Jacobs has become more than a person. She is an adjective.

and said as follows:

I have absolutely no idea what the blurb-writer could have meant

A web search for “a Jane Jacobs” turns up plenty of examples of “Jane Jacobs” used as an adjective (or as HST points out as a noun in a noun-noun formation), so the evidence of what is intended is out there. Probably the above refers to “a Jane Jacobs walk” which is a kind of walk or stroll. For example, I find: “Anyone can host a Jane Jacobs Walk.”

“Jane Jacobs” is not written with quote marks in “Jane Jacobs … is an adjective”, and I am fully on board with the idea that a person cannot be an adjective. And I agree that using “Jane Jacobs” in a noun-noun formation doesn’t make it an adjective. But it is common in situations like the above to bend the rules for the sake of levity. I don’t like these practices any more than you do, but they happen and are not so hard to figure out.

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