Sunday, March 23, 2008

Odd anathema

It strikes me that anathema is not a noun. This has confused me for some time. Dictionary.com reports it as a noun, but I don't believe it. Consider their example sentence: That subject is anathema to him. Put another noun in its place: That subject is steeple to him. Put any adjective in its place instead: That subject is beloved/disgusting to him. If it were a noun, the example sentence would read: That subject is an anathema to him. Anathema just isn't a noun because it's not used like one as it lacks an article in common uses.

(Steps down off soapbox.)

1 comment:

Three Legged Cat said...

Hi there, may I join you on your soapbox? Oh too late, you climbed off it already...

Anyway, I'm glad you wrote this, I thought it was just me who had a problem with this alleged noun. It's one of my Mum's favourite words (don't ask), but I always got it wrong if I tried to use it. As a kid I thought she was saying an athema.

I guess the word "anathema" is anethema to me...