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Is Bludger a collective term for the balls, or a term for one of them? — Paul G 10:22, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Here are a couple of quotes:
I'm going to show you what the Bludgers do," Wood said. "These two are the Bludgers."
Stand back," Wood warned Harry. He bent down and freed one of the Bludgers.
They just seem like regular singular nouns to me. — Hippietrail 10:52, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)
A Bludger is just one kind of ball — the others are the Quaffle and the Snitch. (BTW, mightn't it be better to call it a proper noun, which is what it appears to be, than adding the clunky "always capitalized" note?) —Muke Tever 13:50, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I don't think it is a proper noun. Proper nouns are unique and do not take articles. "the Harry" is wrong, "the Harrys" is unusual; "the Snitch" and "the Snitches" are normal. The problem is that many books in English choose to capitalise certain words - I don't see this done in the other languages I've tried to read. In English, capital letters have wider scope than proper nouns. — Hippietrail 14:13, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)
English proper nouns aren't necessarily unique; uniqueness just tends to follow from names. You can't say "the Harry", (except in "the Harry I mentioned earlier") but you can say "the Toyota" or "the American". (Admittedly, some don't classify these as proper nouns, but many do.) Some common nouns have uniqueness also (compare "justice" or "karate" with "Harry").
Well reading a bit more of the French version has proven a bit of what I said wrong. It too uses capitals for the types of balls, but not for the players' positions. Maybe I haven't read enough French to know, but it could be that capitals for certain common nouns in novels is more common in children's books. In English this is a common device even in adult novels.
I think the case of capitalization here is that the author is attempting to make a proper name, either out of an ordinary word ("Seeker") or a new one ("Quaffle"). Ordinary English does this too, transforming titles into proper nouns (the president, but President Bush), or making a word into a name (God, Mr. President, the Bible, the North Pole, an Apple (computer)).
The case for the game itself as a proper noun is much better since it is also not possible to say "Quidditches" or "a Quidditch" — yet it still feels like a common noun like "football" or "soccer" — Hippietrail 15:19, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)
You can't say "a soccer" either—the sports themselves are mass nouns, thus some soccer — and for that matter, some Quidditch — but then, why still not the soccer? Maybe they're all proper nouns somehow. —Muke Tever 16:07, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)

It looks like the translator of my Spanish HP interpreted them the same way I have. None of the terms for the game, balls, or player positions use capital - as proper nouns would in Spanish. Instead they are in italics, showing that the translator interpreted the English capitals as being for emphasis. — Hippietrail 21:57, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)