I've asked Is the object in “Eighty-six forty-five.” a proper noun? and if it should be capitalized. One exchange of comments was deleted (of the "did you even bother to google the rule... it took me 10 seconds" variety), and it looks like I've had a total of 3 down votes and one up.

In that case and in another, I've had proposed answers in the form of comments, but so far no actual answers.

I'd thought there would be a simple straightforward answer, and the answer would be no, it is not. It's not a given name, or a well-known nick-name, but the numbering is well known enough that in a discussion or writing related to US politics, a number in the forties would very likely be referring to a president, and so the reference to the individual is clear even though it is not an accepted name of the individual.

But I'm not sure that's correct. So I've asked.

Any ideas why there's been such a bumpy ride, or if there is something that could be done to improve the reception?


Most of us here - we are not tech-savvy or willing to visit external links unless we develop an interest in the original post. We read the question as it is written, and use the information that is available within the question's body. External links are great, but also quote the relevant parts of it within the question.

EDIT: Or see Mari-Lou A's answer

  • Two articulate answers but this one is both concise and candid - an "aha!" answer for me. Thanks! :) – uhoh Jul 12 '17 at 20:30

The OP's question in its entirety:

Is the object in “Eighty-six forty-five.” a proper noun?

The object in the sentence

"Eighty-six forty-five." refers to the 45th president of the US, as in Bush 41 vs. Bush 43.

The meaning of the verb has been addressed in several answers here (e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4).

Should forty-five be capitalized? Is it a proper noun?

Anyone who is not American, would have looked at that post and said "gobbledegook" and downvoted for being unclear.

For the benefit of users such as myself, until I had looked at the links numbered 1,2,3, and 4. I had absolutely no idea what the question was about. It could have been the numbers of powerball for all I knew.

The object of this sentence is the 45th President? What sentence? Where is the subject and the verb? There is no clause. They're numbers.

So, if I had been you, I would have said what 86 (eighty-six) meant in two lines, and also provided the links. Then I would have said where the combination of numbers (I can't bring myself to call it a sentence) came from.


The question has since been modified: a much-needed and extremely concise definition of 86 has been included in an edit executed by a moderator.

  • 1
    +1 Exactly. And I'll stop writing my answer. You explain it well. – NVZ Jul 12 '17 at 19:49
  • You have removed the hyperlinks from the block quote of my question. This makes your version of my question more difficult to read. Linking to good answers is a central theme in stackexchange. Removing them can take something good and turn it into gobbledegook. Please fix the omission, all you have to do is to click edit, then select the entire body of the text in the edit window, and then paste in your block-quote, being careful to move the links to the bottom. If you still need help properly including the links, then right here in meta is exactly the place to ask for it Thanks! – uhoh Jul 12 '17 at 20:05
  • For the record, they are 1, 2, 3, 4 – uhoh Jul 12 '17 at 20:05
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    @uhoh The point was to let you know that most of us here, we are not tech-savvy or willing to visit links. We read the question as it is written, and use the information that is available within the question's body. External links are great, but also quote the relevant parts of it within the question. – NVZ Jul 12 '17 at 20:08
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    But @uhoh users can easily visit your question, and then click on the links there. and now you have posted them in a comment, which is very helpful of you. You have removed the hyperlinks from the block quote of my question. This makes your version of my question more difficult to read. Precisely the point I was making. If you don't visit the links, you cannot understand. However, I clearly mention in the answer that there are links. – Mari-Lou A Jul 12 '17 at 20:09
  • "The OP's question in its entirety:" except that it isn't. – uhoh Jul 12 '17 at 20:10
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    @uhoh Here's a canned response to answers that provide just links without quoting the relevant bits here: Welcome to English Language & Usage! Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. – NVZ Jul 12 '17 at 20:12
  • @uhoh I'm pretty sure we've already conveyed our point well enough for you to understand (and edit your question accordingly). There is no need for further discussion on this. – NVZ Jul 12 '17 at 20:15
  • @NVZ your first comment here is very candid and helpful, and I appreciate that. For me it's an excellent answer to this meta question, thanks! – uhoh Jul 12 '17 at 20:22
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    @uhoh Thanks. I'll add that to my answer. – NVZ Jul 12 '17 at 20:23
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    @uhoh - You asked for feedback about why your question was not well-received. You got an answer opining why. Now you are quibbling about the presence or absence of links. Instead of arguing, accept the feedback: don't rely on links to tell the story; make the question understandable even for those who choose not to visit the external links. That seems like a good way to improve the reception. – J.R. Jul 12 '17 at 21:14
  • @J.R. I accepted an answer an hour ago and thanked the person who posted it. In English SE What I'm learning is that links seem to have have less importance, or intrinsic value than in most of the other SE sites I've visited. If you look at the sequence of events carefully here you'll see that this became clear to me after I wrote the comment to which you refer. – uhoh Jul 12 '17 at 21:30
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    @uhoh - Perhaps so, but I was responding to this comment, this comment, and this comment, which have not yet been deleted, and are therefore still an active part of this discussion. – J.R. Jul 12 '17 at 21:33
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    @J.R. I don't understand "rather than". I've genuinely sought advice, received it, accepted it and said thank you for it. I'd act on it except a moderator has beat me to it (again, check the timing). You can call it a quibble, in most other SE sites the poster would simply fix the error immediately and the comment would be deleted. Here, I think the idea is to leave the omission to demonstrate how dimly links are viewed. That works, and it's effective, but I have to object because I feel that this technique is actually poor form for SE. – uhoh Jul 12 '17 at 21:45
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    @J.R. there were a number of comments which I left beneath the OP's post. This answer is a combination of two of those comments. No acknowledgement was offered by the OP. The comments have since been deleted by the mods. As for the links... I deliberately chose not to include them, to illustrate (effectively) how easy it was for a casual visitor to not understand the post. The links are, in any case, to be found in the actual Q. Instead of linking my answer to the OP's question, I quoted it in its entirety, so that users could "see" where the problem lay. Anyway, it's over and done with. – Mari-Lou A Jul 12 '17 at 22:08

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