Tuesday, July 22, 2014


I don't know if Ted thinks What's-his-face,Whos's-her-name (a new one on me!), and the Whatchamacllits are pronouns, or if he means the neighbors are lucky they aren't called worse things than "you". (Probably the former.) But while What's-his-face does indeed stand in for a proper noun, that doesn't make it a pronoun...

ted doesn't know the neighbors' names

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At 5:02 AM, July 24, 2014 Anonymous Adrian Morgan had this to say...

According to the Cambridge Grammar analysis, "What distinguishes [pronouns] from other nouns [...] is that they permit a much narrower range of dependents" (page 425).

The cartoon itself uses "whatchamicallits" with a definite article, so it's out, and although introducing someone as "The Amazing Whatshisface" would be unlikely, it would not be grammatically wrong. So indeed, these are not pronouns.

Related trivia: The Cambridge Grammar does classify "yesterday", "today" and "tomorrow" as pronouns. I remember being intrigued by this when I first got my copy.


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