"The Situation" Does Grammar

Noun? Adjective? Adverb?

Mignon Fogarty

  by Mignon Fogarty

Although the cast members of MTV's Jersey Shore got off to a rocky start, they eventually agreed (mostly) that Mike Sorrentino's nickname, “The Situation,” is a noun. They figured it out by falling back on that comforting phrase from grade school (and Schoolhouse Rock!): a noun is a person, place, or thing.

A question some people may find trickier is whether Mike should capitalize “The Situation.” He should, and he does. He noted that his nickname is capitalized when he spelled it while ordering a pizza. All nicknames are capitalized because they are treated like names, which makes them proper nouns.

About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of the Quick and Dirty Tips network and creator of Grammar Girl, which has been named one of Writer's Digest's 101 best websites for writers multiple times. The Grammar Girl podcast has also won Best Education Podcast multiple times in the Podcast Awards, and Mignon is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame. Mignon is the author of the New York Times best-seller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing" and six other books on writing. She has appeared as a guest on the "Oprah Winfrey Show" and the "Today Show" and has been featured in the New York Times, Business Week, the Washington Post, USA Today, CNN.com, and more. She was previously the chair of media entrepreneurship in the Reynolds School of Journalism in Reno, NV. She hates the phrase "grammar nazi" and loves the word "kerfuffle." She has a B.A. in English from the University of Washington in Seattle and an M.S. in biology from Stanford University. Mignon believes that learning is fun, and the vast rules of grammar are wonderful fodder for lifelong study. 

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