Nouns - AMA Manual of Style

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Stacy Christiansen

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PRINTED FROM AMA MANUAL OF STYLE ONLINE ( © American Medical Association, 2009. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the license agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in AMA Manual of Style Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy). date: 26 November 2015

Nouns (words that name a person, place, thing, or idea) may serve as subjects or objects. Although in English nouns can be used as modifiers, overuse of noun modifiers can lead to a lack of clarity. Purists may demand stricter rules on usage, but, as with the use of nouns as verbs (see , Correct and Preferred Usage, Back-formations), the process of linguistic change is inevitable, and grammatical rigor must be tempered by judgment and common sense. In The Careful Writer, Bernstein advises the use of no more than 2 polysyllabic noun modifiers per noun for the sake of clarity.

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