Source: short audio clip
So, what is a yuppie? Well, actually before we get to yuppie, we need to go back in time. Let's go back all the way to the 1940s. Now, a couple months ago, in DDM we studied a man called Jack Kerouac. And he was a famous author. And he was basically the man who started a generation of people called beatniks.
Although I sort of might have a very basic idea as to why there is no article, whether definite or indefinite, in front of the second yuppie, I just don't know how to put that in rigorous grammatical terms. Nevertheless, I would very much like to hear your ideas on what you think makes him completely leave it out in this case.
My gut feeling is that we can't use neither one due to the fact that it would make it very much unclear what exactly we are talking about here. For example, a yuppie is way too broad. That obviously wouldn't work. the yuppie is too specific. It almost sounds as though we are talking about a particular individual who we're all very well familiar with, not a group of people who choose to live a lifestyle different from the norm, so to speak. So, that's not going to cut it here either. He could just as easily have said yuppies though. And I guess that would be an absolutely fine, if not perfect, choice of grammar, but he didn't, as you can see for yourselves. And I believe it may be because he wants to focus primarily on the concept of yuppie rather than the actual followers of this subculture. And that's by no means a conscious choice. He does that naturally without thinking. Something makes him do that. Maybe the word should even be capitalized when written because it is used in a nominal kind of fashion. I don't know. You tell me. If you can think of other similar examples, feel free to share them. Tell me what you what think.
I guess you could boldly say this is an example of a zero article, but I'm not going to count that as an answer. Well, first of all, duh! It is a zero article because there is literally zero of it. That's a no-brainier. Secondly, here, I'm first and foremost interested in the mechanics of the reasoning that goes behind when a native speaker decides to use a zero article.