Titular

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Reader PS has written to alert us to an instructive drama unfolding at tv tropes, a wiki that is "a catalog of the tricks of the trade for writing fiction". As of about two months ago,  "titular" became a forbidden word at tv tropes. The site's software now simply deletes all (new) attempted uses of that string of letters.  PS explains:

This is not a Scunthorpe problem with "tit."  Someone on the site (presumably site co-founder Fast Eddie) decided that "titular" is a synonym for "nominal" but not "eponymous."  (I wish I had a better citation than that, but the best link I can find says that the previous discussion about using "titular" was deleted.)

In other words, contributors to tv tropes often used titular in the sense "of, relating to, or constituting a title <the titular hero of the play>" (Merriam-Webster), or "Derived from a title: the titular role in a play" (American Heritage Dictionary), or "Of or pertaining to a title or name; of the nature of or constituting a title (in various senses). titular character, title-role" (Oxford English Dictionary), or "derived from or figuring in the title of a work such as a book or movie" (Encarta), or "of, relating to, or of the nature of a title" (Collins English Dictionary). But someone with authority over that site felt deeply that this usage is deeply wrong. Perhaps this person ("Fast Eddie"?) tried to persuade contributors to change, and failed; or perhaps he or she simply intervened because of strong emotions about the question.

This little story is worth examining, because the point of usage in question is such an idiosyncratic one. The proscribed sense is listed in standard dictionaries; the OED gives citations for this sense back to 1656;  the New York Times freely uses "titular character", "titular hero", etc.:

What can be conscionably revealed about the enigma of "Martin Guerre" is that the titular character, an oddball and illiterate, vanishes after an arranged marriage to Bertrande, renamed Mireille in the musical.

Years ago in the voice-recognition game Seaman, the titular character would ask for your birth date and respond by making fun of your age.

Along with Mr. Connery and Ms. Roberts, another linguistic offender was the Leprechaun, the titular character of a camp horror film.

Although many young boys read "Tom Sawyer" and wished to be the titular hero, I always wanted to be Sid.

Mr. Allen's latest film, "Midnight in Paris," uses the titular city as a backdrop for a romantic comedy with Owen Wilson (pictured) and Rachel McAdams.

So does the New Yorker:

Through the eyes of the titular soldier (nineteen but, in the words of a smitten cheerleader, “an old soul”), Fountain creates a minutely observed portrait of a society with woefully misplaced priorities. (review of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk)

Karen Allen, of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” fame, stars as an older widow who has never recovered from the titular span of time that took her young husband away.  (review of A Summer Day)

The program opens with Sergio Corbucci’s “Django,” from 1966, a seminal influence on Quentin Tarantino—whose next movie, “Django Unchained,” features a titular nod—and includes such films as Giulio Petroni’s “Tepepa,” from 1969, starring Tomas Milian and Orson Welles, and many classics by Sergio Leone, such as “A Fistful of Dollars.”

Flex Mussels, reviewed by Mike Peed in this week’s Tables for Two, gives its titular bivalve lavish treatment.

Similarly The Atlantic, The Economist, etc.:

Jack and Jill, which arrives in theaters today, stars Adam Sandler as both the titular Jack and the titular Jill.

In Baron Cohen's film, much more camera time is spent with the titular tyrant than with the simple goat herder who switches places with him.

In all seven of these films, the titular superhero has been eclipsed by the colourful villains he’s been up against.

IN SOPHOCLES'S play "Philoctetes" the titular hero is abandoned on a dreary island.

Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage has no entry discussing possible misuse of titular, nor does Bryan Garner's Modern American Usage, nor does any other usage guide that I've checked.

Thus Fast Eddie's anti-titular animus is apparently his individual invention. Presumably he learned titular in the sense "having the title and usually the honors belonging to an office or dignity without the duties, functions, or responsibilities" (as M-W puts it), and when he first encountered the sense involved in phrases like "titular hero", "titular city", "titular bivalve", he concluded that such uses, being different and previously unknown to him, are just Wrong.

It's hard to tell exactly what happened, since the original discussion of the issue has been deleted. But from what I've read, this seems to be a pure case of Idiosyncratic Peeve Emergence. Sometimes usage peeves represent a reaction to a new linguistic development, or to a common error. But often, the offending usage is an old one, and the mistake — often based on the prejudice that correct word usage must be unambiguous — is all on the side of the person offended.

I hasten to add that the proprietors of a web site or other publication are entitled to enforce any house rules they like: APA style for footnotes; periods not to be left out of acronyms like N.A.S.A.; numbers higher than six to be set in italics; whatever. But cases like this one are generally presented as a defense of proper usage, rather than an arbitrary personal quirk or a way to ensure typographical uniformity.

Update — there's some additional discussion of the issue on the tvtropes.org site here and here, including this attempt at an unsourced (and apparently groundless) argument from authority:

"storyteller": According to Google Dictionary, one of the definitions of titular is Denoting a person or thing from whom or which the name of an artistic work or similar is taken

"The Devouring Plague": [O]f course it has that as a definition. Like I said, it's been used for so long in that way that it is in nearly every dictionary. Most dictionaries also mention that it's not recommended / proscribed to use it that way. [emphasis added]

I wonder if there are actually any dictionaries that provide a usage note for the allegedly offending sense of titular. There's no such note in M-W, AHD, Encarta, Collins, or the OED. Again, it's interesting that peevers are often so certain of themselves that they confidently invent generalizations about dictionary entries that they haven't bothered to check, suggesting that the basic motivation is not to acquire social capital but to counterfeit it.

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38 Comments »

  1. Lazar said,

    November 4, 2012 @ 11:39 am

    So wait, they're actually enforcing the idea that "titular" can't mean "eponymous"? That's the only definition that I'm familiar with – the idea of calling a character a "titular hero" if he's not named in the title sounds quite off to me. I'm a semi-regular reader of TVTropes entries, but not enough to have developed much awareness of their use of the word or their policies on word censorship.

    [(myl) The enforcement prevent any use of "titular" at all, since the software simply deletes the string. The stated reason is that this is a response to "rampant misuse", by which is meant "use in the standard sense most common in discussions of dramas or works of fiction".]

  2. Uly said,

    November 4, 2012 @ 12:40 pm

    It might be that much of the time the term titular is redundant and they feel it falls under the space of 'natter'. If I mention Veronica Mars, I could just as easily refer to her as Veronica and everybody will know she is the titular and main character.

  3. The Ridger said,

    November 4, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

    Uly, that would only be true if they also banned references to "the title character" or "the eponymous [whatever]". They don't. It's purely an prohibition on the word "titular", since someone believes one of its meanings is egregiously incorrect.

  4. Ran Ari-Gur said,

    November 4, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

    > I hasten to add that the proprietors of a web site or other publication are entitled to enforce any house rules they like: APA style for footnotes; periods not to be left out of acronyms like N.A.S.A.; numbers higher than six to be set in italics; whatever.

    Still, it's unusual for the house rule to be "this word should always be silently removed by copyeditors, and no subsequent editing should ever be performed to make the result make sense."

  5. Alan Palmer said,

    November 4, 2012 @ 1:04 pm

    I'm a regular at TV Tropes and I've observed that many tropers will write convoluted sentences to be able to refer to the 'eponymous' or 'titular' character when a simpler method would be clearer. While I don't condone such heavy-handed tactics, especially as 'eponymous' isn't banned, it might improve the clarity of some of the entries.

  6. Keith M Ellis said,

    November 4, 2012 @ 1:07 pm

    Again, it's interesting that peevers are often so certain of themselves that they confidently invent generalizations about dictionary entries that they haven't bothered to check, suggesting that the basic motivation is not to acquire social capital but to counterfeit it.

    An interesting point, but I have a couple of problems with it.

    First, isn't the motivation of counterfeiters to acquire what they're counterfeiting, and not to counterfeit for its own sake? (Well, granted, it's probably the case that some counterfeiters do what they do for the same reasons that pathological liars do what they do and the means really is the end. But I don't think that's the case in this example.) So this really isn't a meaningful distinction, as the motivation is, regardless, to receive whatever benefits the possession of social capital can bring, whether genuine, or counterfeit, or stolen.

    Second, doesn't "counterfeiting" imply deliberation, awareness? I feel nearly certain that in this case and similar cases where the prescription isn't received wisdom but self-generated and idiosyncratic, the peever genuinely believes that the "authorities", somewhere, somehow, validates the peeve. I don't think that this person was aware that dictionaries don't actually recommend against this usage of titular, I think they almost certainly believe they do.

    It's hard to overstate how common it is for people to cite authorities when, in truth, those authorities don't actually support their argument. This isn't done in bad-faith — there's a bunch of stuff filling up our brains and it's both human and inevitable that we'd misattribute many of the things we think we know, confusing our own idiosyncratic opinions with learned, authoritative knowledge.

    This is why citations are so useless in more informal discourse where there's not a strong presumption of good-faith and a sense of trust. Most people don't look up citations, so when they're offered they're usually either false (as in this case), or they're true but accepted uncritically (which is why the previous flourish). Not only that, but because of all this, when citations are demanded, that's not only often useless, it's in bad-faith. Only those who disbelieve (in common discourse, especially when it's contentious) demand citations and those people are inclined to either not follow the citations, or follow but then disappear from the conversation, or follow but disbelieve. A demanded-and-answered citation in that context almost never solves anything.

  7. MonkeyBoy said,

    November 4, 2012 @ 1:17 pm

    TvTropes is supposed to be an encyclopedia so maybe somebody declared by fiat the approved terminology to be used. Such will make it easier to perform a search without having to use expressions like "(titular OR nominal OR eponymous)". Is there evidence for other terminological discussions, disputes, and decisions?

    Among mathematicians there is lots of discussion of which word to use since they have to make up lots of words. Category Theory, in part, can be viewed as a framework to unify many different maths fields which often contain the same concept appearing under different names. So for the nLab category theory Wiki one finds on the associated nForum lots of discussion of terminology choice.

    Nicolas Bourbaki was the imaginary leader of French Mathematics. His name can be turned into words (one example being "Bourbakization") which center on 2 meanings:

    1) Over-formalization of some field.
    2) Arbitrary choice of "the" proper terminology among competing candidates, or making up new terminology even if some do not think there is a good reason to.

    On the nForum and other discussion places I've mainly the second sense.

    So getting back to TvTropes, maybe it is being over Bourbakized, in both senses of the word.

  8. G said,

    November 4, 2012 @ 2:40 pm

    @MonkeyBoy, TvTropes is not meant to be an encyclopedia: "We are not a stuffy encyclopedic wiki."

  9. Faldone said,

    November 4, 2012 @ 3:48 pm

    I've always used the expression title character rather than titular character, as in "I played the title character in Samuel Beckett's Play."

  10. Chris Waters said,

    November 4, 2012 @ 4:16 pm

    It's still possible to use special as-is markup to make the word appear. (This markup is more commonly used to show how wiki-syntax works on wiki pages.) The problem is that most people aren't even aware of the issue. let alone the solution, and direct quotes are being silently mangled, and sentences are being stripped of meaning. Especially since any edit to a page makes all the instances of "titular" on that page silently vanish.

    In Fast Eddie's defense though, his complaint seems to be that the word was becoming overused, not that it was wrong. I don't agree with him, and firmly and fervently believe that his action is a terrible mistake, but he does at least seem to be aware that dictionaries don't call this usage wrong. (At least, he does since I pointed it out in the now-deleted thread about the topic.) Whether this is a retroactive justification invented since the dictionary definition was pointed out, or whether this was his position all along, I can't say, and we'll probably never know.

    [(myl) That's a defense? "If they do it too much, they should be told not to do it at all", and the policy should be enforced by mangling direct quotes, and rendering existing pages incoherent? And then you should delete the page where you explain what you did and why?]

  11. Chris Waters said,

    November 4, 2012 @ 5:26 pm

    I didn't say it was a very good defense! :)

  12. Adrian Morgan said,

    November 4, 2012 @ 6:03 pm

    The word "titular", whatever the definition, is completely new to me, and I'd have assumed it meant something like "titillating". Of course, recency illusion and all, I'll probably see it everywhere now…

  13. Lazar said,

    November 4, 2012 @ 8:25 pm

    @Adrian Morgan: The word occupies an interesting niche in the Soviet context, where each of the matryoshka-like union republics, autonomous republics, autonomous oblasts and autonomous okrugs (with a handful of exceptions) had a "titular nationality", which sometimes was not in a majority.

  14. Jerry Friedman said,

    November 4, 2012 @ 8:53 pm

    I agree with Faldone in preferring "title" in most of the examples, and so does standard English if we can go by the use of "title character" versus "titular character" at the Google ngram database; "title character" is 48 times as common these days. I suspect the origin of the peeve is not so much having first met titular in a different sense as having first met title in this sense.

    Another possible origin is that titular might suggest tit, and the person who forbade it at TVTropes might be imagining the author's Beavis-and-Butthead chuckle at every usage, especially if it's much more common at TVTropes than elsewhere.

    I share this peeve, although I wouldn't be so rigid about it as to deprive anyone of the chance to write "titular bivalve". I'm amazed if no one has peeved about it before, but I can't find anything either. Indeed, I'd think one could prescribe a lot about when to use attributive nouns and when to use derived adjectives, but I can't find that either. Is this one of those things you have to know for every noun in the lexicon?

  15. Ross Presser said,

    November 4, 2012 @ 11:02 pm

    There are times when "title character" just doesn't work. Here's a somewhat contrived example:

    "In The Three Musketeers, D'Artagnan joins Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, the titular trio, in various adventures."

    To avoid titular, you'd have to either drop out the phrase entirely — leaving no hint that D'Artagnan is not in fact one of the musketeers — or substitute a more longwinded phrase like "who are the three musketeers named in the title".

    "The eponymous trio" doesn't work. The book isn't called Athos, Porthos, and Aramis.

  16. Frans said,

    November 5, 2012 @ 3:08 am

    @Ross
    It may not be very common, but if you have a title character/hero, why not a title trio? ;)

    The long-winded phrased could easily be shortened to something like "the trio from/named in/mentioned in the title."

    NB I'm not advocating against titular. I just think you're exaggerating your case a bit.

  17. Monte Davis said,

    November 5, 2012 @ 4:30 am

    Next we can expect Idiosyncratic Peeve Enforcement: viruses tailored to crawl the Intertubes and delete/replace until all is as the peever knows it should be. (Here come the "peevor" adherents.)

  18. Mr Fnortner said,

    November 5, 2012 @ 8:58 am

    Try "In The Three Musketeers, D'Artagnan joins musketeers Athos, Porthos, and Aramis in various adventures." Of course, this devolves into ambiguity, and a word problem, so all entries referring to "The Three Musketeers" shall be deleted.

  19. Shanster said,

    November 5, 2012 @ 9:11 am

    'Title character' may usually fit your needs, but when the title uses a verb or adjective, I would much rather use 'titular'. e.g. In describing Audacity of Hope, one might say "Obama often practiced the titular virtue when he. . ." Title virtue or skill just don't sound right.

  20. J. L. Barnes said,

    November 5, 2012 @ 9:33 am

    I'd just like to share here something semi-related; the first time I remember hearing the word "titular": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4GrHGnFtg4

  21. Jerry Friedman said,

    November 5, 2012 @ 9:57 am

    I don't object to all use of "titular" in this sense. For instance, I wouldn't object to "titular nationality" even if it weren't apparently a fixed phrase.

    I wouldn't have a problem with "title trio". In the Audacity of Hope example, I agree that "title virtue" doesn't work, but I'd probably say something like "the virtue of the title" or "the eponymous virtue".

    In a number of MYL's examples, I'd just delete "titular".

    "Jack and Jill, which arrives in theaters today, stars Adam Sandler as both Jack and Jill."

  22. Mr Fnortner said,

    November 5, 2012 @ 10:21 am

    So this is really a case of gratuitous titularity.

  23. Ellen K. said,

    November 5, 2012 @ 10:39 am

    I'm surprised by the preference for "eponymous" from so many people. I'm not sure I'd even know what it means without looking it up. Only with a lot of help from the context. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't understand "epoymous virtue". And I have a college education and a reasonably good vocabulary.

    Also, hope is a noun, not a verb or adjective.

  24. Acilius said,

    November 5, 2012 @ 10:49 am

    @Jerry Friedman & Shanster: " In the Audacity of Hope example, I agree that 'title virtue' doesn't work, but I'd probably say something like 'the virtue of the title' or 'the eponymous virtue.'" I can't think of a context in which "the virtue of the title" wouldn't sound like it meant "a quality the title has which I admire." "The eponymous virtue" more readily suggests "a virtue named in the title," but since the title in question is The Audacity of Hope, that brings up another problem. Is the eponymous virtue of that book hope, audacity, or audacity manifested in an act of hoping?

    Come to think of it, the author of The Audacity of Hope, Mr Barack Obama, is himself associated with a couple of interesting uses of the word "titular." As president of the United States, Mr O is customarily known as the "titular leader" of his party, the Democrats, even as his chief rival in tomorrow's election, Mr Willard Romney, is called the titular leader of the Republicans. Mr O also is a resident of Illinois; the titular nationality of Illinois was a group of native peoples whose neighbors sometimes called them Illiniwek, and who were driven from the state in the 1830s.

  25. ALEX MCCRAE said,

    November 5, 2012 @ 3:32 pm

    As an expat Canadian, having lived in Southern California for some three decades now, but still retaining my Canadian citizenship, I recall that Canada, as one of the remaining members-in-good-standing of the British Commonwealth, officially acknowledges that Queen Elizabeth II is still the "nominal" head of state for our fair Dominion.

    But her status, as such, is always qualified with the common refrain, "but she is strictly no more than a symbolic figure head, and has very little official legislative, or elective powers re/ Canadian governance."…. or words to that effect.

    The Prime Minister, currently the Conservative Party leader, Stephen Harper, is the working, official head of governance in Canada, and is naturally voted into office thru open, national-wide election.

    I've also heard the Queen referred to as "titular' head of the Dominion of Canada, as well. If "titular", is defined by some as the equivalent of "nominal", i.e., in name only, then I guess this appellation would not be totally off base.

    Of course, the prime official duty of the Queen vis à vis Canada, has traditionally been the sanctioning of the nomination of new Governors General. Yet rarely (if ever) has she objected to any of these GG candidate choices over her 60-year tenure as reigning monarch.

    @Chandra, as a proud Canuck, maybe you could offer your take on this "nominal" vs. 'titular" status of Queen Elizabeth II.

  26. J.W. Brewer said,

    November 5, 2012 @ 3:36 pm

    "Titular" cannot (at least in my idiolect) be freely substituted for "eponymous" in all contexts (which obviously doesn't mean it can't be in some contexts). In particular, I first learned "eponymous" as a verbal tic used (and probably overused) by British rock music writers of the 1970's et seq. to refer to the common phenomenon of an album (typically but not invariably the debut album) having the same name as the recording artist. E.g. the 1975 album The Tubes, recorded by the band the Tubes. You just can't (according to my native-speaker intutions) use "titular" in that context, at least. Rather, the freely-interchangeable synonym in that context is "self-titled," sometimes abbreviated S/T in record-collector usage, at least on the U.S. side of the Atlantic. (If you're a troublemaker like Peter Gabriel and you release three or four albums in a row formally titled only "Peter Gabriel," people will make up their own names for them which may or may not coalesce into a consensus, and people will probably not bother calling any of them "eponymous" or "self-titled" since that will usually underspecify the referent.)

  27. Dave Ferguson said,

    November 5, 2012 @ 9:13 pm

    Only because Adrian Morgan mentioned not having heard "titular" before, and because I didn't notice it in other comments, I'll add that it has yet another meaning.

    In the Roman Catholic church, a titular bishop is one who does not head a diocese. This includes auxiliary bishops (the archdiocese of New York has four active and two retired auxiliary bishops, in addition to Archbishop Dolan), coadjutor bishops, apostolic nuncios, and other luminaries

    Older American readers will perhaps remember Fulton J. Sheen, whose consecration as a (titular) bishop roughly coincided with the 1951 start of his television program, "Life is Worth Living."

    Such bishops were often given "title" to a defunct diocese. Cardinal bishops have a titular suburbicarian diocese near Rome, and cardinal priests have a titular parish.

  28. David Morris said,

    November 5, 2012 @ 10:35 pm

    I was just reading an article about the exoplanet recently discovered around Alpha Centauri B. The author referred to the then-fictional planet in Lost in Space": "It was to this habitable world the Robinsons were heading when they became titularly disoriented."

    (The spell-checker doesn't like "titularly", but it doesn't like "exoplanet" and "Centauri", either.)

  29. rwmg said,

    November 5, 2012 @ 11:12 pm

    Describing either Mr. Obama or Mr. Romney as the "titular head" of their party sounds odd to me. Why not just the "head"? To me "titular head" would imply "head in name only" with the strong suggestion that somebody else is the real head of the party.

  30. Anthony said,

    November 6, 2012 @ 7:50 am

    Is "epynomous" synonymous with "titular" at all? I used to think so, but then I was lectured that "epynomous" only means "dervied from the name of a person" (i.e. einsteinium is epynomous while hydrogen is not) and I could never find a source to refute that.

  31. Rodger C said,

    November 6, 2012 @ 8:11 am

    @rwmg: I suppose because American parties don't have "real" heads that officially run the party, as some other countries do.

  32. Brett said,

    November 6, 2012 @ 8:13 am

    @rwmg: I agree. In fact, I would the expect the "titular head" of, say, the Democratic Party, to refer to the head of the Democratic National Committee (although this is still a job with important leadership and fundraising responsibilities).

  33. Nick Lamb said,

    November 6, 2012 @ 8:54 am

    rwmg, I agree, to me it suggests that there is an explicit title "Head of the X party" which has in practice come to be an entirely bureaucratic or ceremonial role and no longer wields any power. Like the Chancellor of the University is some old guy with no power but the Vice-Chancellor is the one who makes policy and is in actual control. Or like the difference between a Lord Mayor (gold chains, nice outfit, little actual power) and a Mayor (powerful political figure, runs a major city, elected by popular vote).

    Or indeed Emperor of the United States (Joshua Norton, famous but insane resident of San Francisco) versus President of the United States (Abraham Lincoln, also famous but not notably insane, pivotal leader of a burgeoning world power)

  34. Acilius said,

    November 6, 2012 @ 12:13 pm

    I always thought that calling the US president the "titluar head" of the party was an odd custom, until I saw the first press conference Bill Clinton gave after he was reelected in 1996. A reporter asked him if, now that he was ineligible ever to run for president again, he expected to fade into irrelevance immediately. Irked, Mr Clinton asserted "I am still the titular head of the Democratic Party." Abraham Lincoln might have sympathized with Mr Clinton; one of his favorite sayings was that as president, he had almost no power, but a great deal of influence.

  35. Svafa said,

    November 6, 2012 @ 12:48 pm

    @rwmg: I agree with Rodger C; neither Obama or Romney are actual heads of their respective parties, so to refer to either as such is to do so in name only. Thus, titular.

    @Jerry Friedman: As tvtropes has ruined my life, I can be relatively certain in assuring you that any possible link between 'titular' and 'tit' did not play into the decision. As the homepage for tvtropes states: "We are not a stuffy encyclopedic wiki. We're a buttload more informal. We encourage breezy language and original thought."

  36. mollymooly said,

    November 9, 2012 @ 9:53 am

    (1)
    I wonder if the ban on "titular" stems from a misremembering of the better-established peeve distinguishing "titled" from "entitled"?

    (2)
    My instinct is that "title X" works for generic X (role, character, track, song, story, poem), but "titular X" is needed if X is a more specific description. Thus in Shakespeare's 'Richard III' one might talk of the "title character", but the "titular hunchback". In COCA there are four relevant matches for "title hero" as against two for "titular hero".

  37. David S. said,

    November 19, 2012 @ 9:29 pm

    @Ellen K. : I remember where I first found and had to look up eponymous, and I recall having to explain to the high school English teacher when I used it in a poem. So, yeah, I wouldn't classify it as a terribly well-known word. Whether or not that should discourage people from using it depends on the person.

    (As a side issue, at Wiktionary we have a list of words we can find less than 3 examples of actual use in English (Google Books + Usenet, basically), but can find in dictionaries. It's depressing how many of those turn up in FL-English dictionaries and in SAT/GRE study guides, despite not actually being words in use. The OED has one word where its only example of real use is a German author who was led into its usage by his dictionary.)

  38. Jens Fiederer said,

    December 1, 2012 @ 9:25 am

    @Ellen K…

    Don't feel too bad, there are plenty of people who don't know what "eponymous" means. In fact, apparently there was at least one in record publishing, where R.E.M. meant to publish an album title "R.E.M.", somebody who knew what it meant noted "eponymous", somebody else who probably didn't took it literally, and the album was actually published with the title "Eponymous".

    I don't know if that story was true….but before I heard it a few years ago, I didn't know what "eponymous" meant either.

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