Essential as a Noun?

Posted by: Dottie Gunstra on Wednesday, April 22nd 2020

Okay, before all you red-pen, sentence-diagramming experts start flooding my inbox with emails advising me that the word “essential” IS a noun—I know it is. But in the spirit of this blog, I think we can all agree that we typically think of that word as an adjective, such as “it is essential that you attend this meeting” or “essential oils are designed to relax and rejuvenate”.

In the midst of this Covid-19 crisis, we are learning and using many new phrases:

  • Social Distancing
  • Flatten the Curve
  • Self-Quarantine
  • Shelter-in-Place
  • Contactless Delivery
  • Checkerboard Seating
  • Zoom Bomber

The first time I heard a friend say, “I am an essential”, I thought to myself that word is now being used regularly as a noun. She didn’t say “I am an essential worker” or “I work at an essential business”. She simply said, “I am an essential”. Much like “I am a female” or “I am a teacher”, the word “essential” became a noun that day!

Hats off to all the essentials out there. We appreciate you!