Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Grammar- the anarthrous occupational nominal premodifier

from Mark Steyn:

May 10, 2005

The Da Vinci Code: bad writing for Biblical illiterates


The linguist Geoffrey Pullum -- or linguist Geoffrey Pullum, as novelist Dan Brown would say -- identifies this as the anarthrous occupational nominal premodifier, to which renowned novelist Dan Brown is unusually partial. In Deception Point, in what must count as a wild experiment in form for him, he holds off on the AONP until the second sentence:

"Death, in this forsaken place, could come in countless forms. Geologist Charles Brophy had endured the savage splendor of this terrain for years . . ."

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