Proper Nouns

by PHILIP SCRIMA
(REDDING, CA 96001)

Question: The stranger and the lawyer are both characters who do not have names. They are the main characters throughout the story. See below example:


Since their names are "the stranger" and "the lawyer," shouldn't they be "The Stranger said," "The Lawyer said," etc.?

"The Stranger smiled and asked, 'Now, do you really believe my uncle invented a time machine?'

"The Lawyer raised his eyebrows and answered, 'Yes! I have personally experienced it.'”

Answer: I assume you have some reason for not giving these characters names?

If so, I'm inclined to agree with you, having seen this device used by a number of writers.

Capitalizing these names can let the reader know you are referring to a particular lawyer or stranger, as opposed to any other lawyers or strangers who might also appear in the story, or perhaps a generic lawyer who is relatively unimportant.

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