Re: the grammar of photographic writers
The term I would use to describe a construction like "we the people" is apposition. The first word is defined by the other two words. Metonymy is use of one word as a symbol for another, eg "the War of the Roses" using the emblems of the houses of Lancaster and York (red and white roses respectively) to represent the rival armies.
If you want to say "the choice belongs to we the people" then I think you have to put quote marks around "we the people" thus drawing attention to the fact that you are quoting that phrase, and implicitly distancing yourself from its use - perhaps taking a political position.
Speaking of all of which, when Paul Simon wrote this in 1973, whose Mama did he have in mind?
If I was President
And the Congress call my name
I'd say "who do . . .
Who do you think you're fooling?"
I've got the Presidential Seal
I'm up on the Presidential Podium
My mama loves me
She loves me
She gets down on her knees and hugs me
And she loves me like a rock
She rocks me like the rock of ages
And she loves me
She loves me, loves me, loves me, loves me
----- Original Message -----
From: "Judy Seigel" <email@example.com>
Sent: Monday, October 15, 2007 9:11 AM
Subject: Re: the grammar of photographic writers
> On Sun, 14 Oct 2007, Ryuji Suzuki wrote:
> > I don't know of any current authors of chemistry who
> > capitalizes names of an element or compound. I also don't know
> > of those from the past, but to be sure(er) I looked at several
> > authors from 1920s (primarily because I have more specimens
> > from this era that I've seen in the original volume/printing
> > rather than reprints, etc.)
> I've paid particular attention to names of alt-photo processes, for
> instance, "Albumen" (albumen), "Gum Bichromate" (gum bichromate), and so
> forth, having found a wide variety of practice, both in contemporary
> writing and history. Some sources capitalize, some don't. I decided after
> a little trial and experiment, that in a Post-Factory article about a
> particular process, it improved clarity to capitalize the process under
> discussion, but not others... unless the sense of the sentence seemed to
> call for that as well. (Which is to say, according to editorial judgment.)
> At times it didn't work out, or didn't *look* right, say, in narrative
> disquisition (as in John Coffer's life story, where the term "wet plate"
> is incidental) or sometimes I just forgot, especially editing other
> people's copy. But generally speaking I think it was a distinct
> improvement -- and since "the rules" are supposedly devised to aid
> comprehension rather than test our docility or rote memory, I recommend
> the practice.
> In any event, IMO the WORST bloopers are attempts to be oh so correct, as
> in "between you and I." I came across a howler in the NY Times today...
> one of those lines like a fingernail up the blackboard. I don't remember
> the exact words, but the construction was along the lines of:
> "The choice in the matter belongs to we the readers."
> The writer may think (if he thought) that "we the readers" is the subject
> of the phrase, as in "we the people." But "we" is in fact the object of
> the preposition "to" and thus takes the objective case. ("The readers" is
> a parenthetical extension of "we", or something like that -- the
> phrasing/terminology here is improvised.. sorry, but please do not say
> anything "belongs to we.")
> "We the people" is clearly the subject of its sentence in the US
> Constitution. Conceivably, "the choice belongs to we the people" would
> fly, because through repetition & familiarity "we the people" could be
> considered sort of one word. I have no phrase on hand for that... It could
> be some kind of metaphor, along the lines of, say, "metonymy??? (Don
> Sweet, are you there?)