An adjective is a word that describes a person, place, or thing. A noun is a person, place, or thing.
Now that you know how adjectives and nouns work, see if you can guess which one of these people is bullshitting you.
Adjectives McGee: “It’s illegal to dance naked on the bus.”
Nouns Johnson: “Hordes of illegals are sneaking into the country to take your jobs, send their anchor babies to your kid’s school, and force you to speak Spanish in your own home.”
That’s right: Nouns J. is the bullshitter. You can tell because he’s using an adjective as a noun.
If you call a person who is living and usually also working illegally in the United States “an illegal,” here’s what you’re doing: You are talking about a person who is breaking a law as if he or she is the living, breathing, job-stealing embodiment of the forbidden. You’re saying a person can be against the law.