Type names and individual names

Today’s One Big Happy turns on names of types vs. names of individuals, in the world of cars:

Mercedes and Lexus are the names of types (makes) of cars. But you can easily give individual cars their own “personal” names, as many people do. Nothing illegal about using the same (Mercedes) or similar (Lexus / Lexis) names in the two cases, but yes, potentially misleading. (On the other hand, the type names are count nouns, and occur with determiners — a Mercedes — while the individual names are anarthrous — Mercedes — so the syntax normally disambiguates the senses.)

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