Isn't it wrong to use the word "homage" as a countable noun in this book?

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I came across this line in the book Ship of Theseus(p.14):

It's just an homage to his writing.

enter image description here

(the hand-written notes filling the book's margins are printed and an inseparable part of the book.)

I've never seen the word "homage" being used as a countable noun before, and having got an "an" before it?

Isn't it wrong to use the word "homage" as a countable noun?

dennylv

Posted 2015-10-16T01:40:53.193

Reputation: 4 361

Answers

10

"Homage" is a countable noun, in the sense of "an act done in tribute of or respect for something". (in fact it's the usual meaning of the word nowadays)

An entry, showcasing meanings and different pronunciations

Also, the reason why the writer put an before "homage" is because the pronunciation of homage is kind of all over the place, with some pronunciations having the H silent.

Nihilist_Frost

Posted 2015-10-16T01:40:53.193

Reputation: 4 502

3In my experience (native speaker of British English, somewhat backed up by your link), it's usually pronounced as a French word (omm-ahj) when it's used literally or figuratively in the sense of "an artistic tribute" and as a naturalized English word (homm-ij) elsewhere, e.g., in the phrase "pay homage to". – David Richerby – 2015-10-16T10:14:02.313

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Homage is definitely countable, although it is rarely used in the plural.

The typical modern meaning of homage (definition 2 at the link) is a special and notable honor paid to someone, so it is unusual that more than one such honor would be paid at a time. That said, it is entirely possible for such a thing to occur, and homages is definitely a word that is used in English, and the MW link I provided includes an example of how it might be used.

his long life filled with international homages to his unique musical talent

Saying that a work of art (literary, musical, visual, etc) is an homage to another artist is a common expression.

Jason Patterson

Posted 2015-10-16T01:40:53.193

Reputation: 4 772

I hate the modern meaning, and the reversion to French pronunciation, but there's no denying it exists. – Michael Kay – 2015-10-16T11:56:06.437

I'm fine with the modern meaning, but the French-style pronunciation feels kind of pretentious. – Nihilist_Frost – 2015-10-16T14:22:29.377