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Amber and Igor - Primitive Ancestors

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  Ed Good  —  Grammar Tips
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You might think of nouns as naming words. It’s not hard to see why our primitive ancestors dreamed them up, at roughly the same time my eighth-grade English teacher, Miss Hamrick, came on the scene. When we used to grunt at one another in caves, mama cave dweller (her name was Amber) and papa cave dweller (his name was Igor) undoubtedly pointed at things, made some guttural sounds, and grunted some sort of word that stuck and became the name of that thing.

Amber and Igor must have grunted a word for those horned animals over there grazing in the field, the ones that cooked up nice as the primitive forerunners to a Big Mac. Grunt, grunt, grunt, and we got cow. Grunt, grunt, uh, groan, and we got bucket for milking the cow. These words that name all tangible things—living or not—are nouns.

Indeed, our cave dwellers no doubt gave each other names, so they grunted out Wilma, Fred, Derik, Stephanie, Heather, Amber, and Igor. They went places and formed countries and cities, so they came up with France and sometime later Peoria. The proper noun was born.

And when they traveled to France and ate too many escargot, they grunted upset tummy and ultimately Pepto-Bismol. So nouns could name not only the person Igor, the place France, or the thing escargot, but a feeling, even a bad one, like stomachache.

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