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No more Hiroshima - I have listened that is not wrong, but this is different to what I'm aiming for. Instead of it, I can say 'no more Hiroshimas'.

I have a question about it. Why is Hiroshima attached 's'? It's a proper noun.

4
  • Either phrase is correct, but they both have different meanings. The first - "no more Hiroshima" - would imply Hiroshima ceased to exist in some sense. "No more Hiroshimas" would be a statement supporting the prevention of future events like what happened at Hiroshima [what event that would be is generally context-dependent]. Feb 26, 2017 at 7:54
  • This ties in with comparative-metaphor phrases like "It's another Hiroshima" or the more personal "It's Hiroshima all over again." The applicability depends on the context and/or the public identification of a place; if you say "No more Chicagos" or "Kyotos" people aren't going to understand it as "city-destroying fires" without more context (and knowledge) due to the both the greater time since those events and the wider array of things those cities ar e commonly known for.
    – Weaver
    Feb 26, 2017 at 14:57
  • Related question: ell.stackexchange.com/questions/46732/…
    – Golden Cuy
    Feb 26, 2017 at 23:12
  • 1
    By the way, In my native language, proper nouns cannot be plural form.
    – ra1ned
    Mar 18, 2017 at 10:48

3 Answers 3

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Sure they can. In English it's pretty common to use an iconic (or notorious) proper noun to refer to similar events/places/people.

So, one might easily say:

Let's prevent there from being any more Hitlers in the future.

This means

Let's prevent there from being any more [people like Hitler] in the future.

Similarly, with your Hiroshima example, No more Hiroshimas means No more [events like Hiroshima].

It's not always for bad things, though...

We are here to guide all of the Spielbergs of the future.
Look at all the wannabe Sinatras waiting in line to audition.

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6

Hiroshima in this context is not primarily the city, but stands for the event of bombing a place with a nuclear weapon.

So you can and should use the plural here, because what you are effectively saying is:

No more nuclear attacks.

-1

Of course. How else would one ask "how many Reichs have there been?" Hitler's Reich was "the 3rd". Similarly, other proper nouns can have counters attached to them. And the counters have to be dropped when referring to all of them together.

As another example, "World War" is capitalized because it was a proper noun until World War II.

"Hiroshima" in your example refers to events rather than the place where the 1st (and hopefully last) of such events took place. For as long as each individual member of the counter-bearing proper-noun group is viewed as unique, its name will be capitalized. Once the group membership becomes more meaningful than being of some unique distinction in one's own right, the noun stops being proper. So we have the "US President", but we don't capitalize "US presidents."

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  • 1
    Nagasaki was nuked after Hiroshima. Did you mean to say "(and hopefully penultimate)"?
    – Jasper
    Feb 26, 2017 at 20:29

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