with a pop diva / with pop diva

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sb70012

Senior Member
Azerbaijani/Persian
He's singing an Italian pop song or a lovely duet with pop diva Celine Dion, the depth and feeling of his music will touch your soul.

Source: American English learning book Summit 1 by Joan Saslow and Allen Ascher

Hi,
"diva" is a countable noun. So why shouldn't we use an indefinite article "a" before "pop diva"?

I mean => .... a lovely duet with a pop diva Celine Dion, ......

Any guidance?

Thank you.
 
  • RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    "With a pop diva Celine Dion" implies the existence of other pop diva Celine Dions ("pop divas Celine Dion"?), only one of which he is singing with.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    'Pop star' is being used as a title, but we don't capitalize this sort of title.
    It's correct as written.

    Edit: I should have written 'pop diva'.
     
    Last edited:

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    'Pop star' is being used as a title, but we don't capitalize this sort of title.
    It's correct as written.
    And if it had been "singer" instead of "pop dive", then it couldn't have been used as a title, and therefore would have required the definite article, am I correct?
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    The normal spoken form is with 'the': the singer (scrolls up to find her name) Celine Dion, the pop diva Celine Dion. That is also the usual written form (in books, for example). It is often omitted in journalism, however.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    The normal spoken form is with 'the': the singer (scrolls up to find her name) Celine Dion, the pop diva Celine Dion. That is also the usual written form (in books, for example). It is often omitted in journalism, however.
    Do I correctly understand you that "pop diva" can't truly act as a title, the way, say, "President" does. Beacuse nobody is officially called "pop diva", "singer", etc. Right?
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    And if it had been "singer" instead of "pop dive", then it couldn't have been used as a title, and therefore would have required the definite article, am I correct?
    No. He performed with singer John Smith and guitarist Sarah Jones.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    No. He performed with singer John Smith and guitarist Sarah Jones.
    But do you agree with the idea (as I understand ETB meant that too) that strictly grammatically it should be "He performed with the singer John Smith and the guitarist Sarah Jones."? Because nobody ever officially declared them to be "singer" or "guitarist". It's different from "sir, "lord", "president", etc... Right?
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    But do you agree with the idea (as I understand ETB meant that too) that strictly grammatically it should be "He performed with the singer John Smith and the guitarist Sarah Jones."? Because nobody ever officially declared them to be "singer" or "guitarist". It's different from "sir, "lord", "president", etc... Right?
    Vic, you're again falling into the trap of thinking that there's a rule to cover this. There isn't. It's exactly as Entangledbank explained in #7.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Vic, you're again falling into the trap of thinking that there's a rule to cover this. There isn't. It's exactly as Entangledbank explained in #7.
    I'm just trying to distinguish things. When I say that something is "strictly grammatically correct", then I imply that the other thing is just "strictly grammatically correct":D
    ETB said that the article is "omitted" in journalism. But if something is "omitted", then its normal state is "to be present". That's why I'm asking...:confused:
     

    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Perhaps the correct term for pop diva, singer, etc. would be "epithet", although that word has taken on a negative slant in the last several decades. In any case they do function in the same way as a title. They are also adjectival nouns that function just like countless thousands of others, e.g. house wine, bar band, blues singer, but here they modify a proper noun (a person's name).

    Oddly enough, if you used an actual adjective, you would need the definite pronoun: the phenomenal Celine Dion.
     

    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Hmmm, that's a tough one. I'd say it is more likely to use "the" in front of an adjective indicating a positive attribute, or an extreme attribute. "The average John Smith" doesn't really work. "The reckless and dangerous John Smith" works better. "The stupendous John Smith" does work. It is kind of like the old announcers who would say something like "Aaand now! The one, the only, John Smith!" So yes, there is an element of making that person unique with the definite article + adjective.

    Which reminds me of an old New Yorker cartoon of a woman and a bear standing with drinks in hand (or paw) at a cocktail party. Woman to bear: "Not Smokey THE Bear, are you?"
     
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