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THE

Postby Dr. Goodword » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:09 am

• the •


Pronunciation: dhê (before consonants: the dog), dhee (before vowels: the apple). • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Article, Conjunction

Meaning: 1. (Article) The definite article marks nouns referring to things the speaker expects the listener to be familiar with. "A dog" refers to any canine, while "the dog" refers to one the listener sees or knows about from a previous conversation. 2. (Conjunction) Comparative conjunction: "The more the merrier."

Notes: An interesting fact about the is that it is used differently in different dialects. Everyone says "in school" and "at work" without the, but the British also drop it from "in hospital", "in future", and elsewhere. If you watched the popular British television series All Creatures Great and Small, you probably noticed that in Yorkshire people also say things like, "I'll go to kitchen and put kettle on." Actually, there is a barely audible glottal stop where we expect the, the remnants of the final [t] in that.

In Play: When an object is unique, the is usually required: "the sun", "the moon", and others. In German the equivalent of the is used before proper nouns under certain circumstances, for instance, der Hans "(the) Hans", die Grete "(the) Grete". Greek does the same. In Swedish, the definite is expressed by a suffix on nouns: en dag "a day" : dagen "the day". Bulgarian does the same: student "student" : studentêt "the student". That [t] at the end of the Bulgarian word is not coincidental; it comes from the same root as English that.

Word History: Relatively few languages in the world have definite (the) and indefinite (a) articles. English a is a reduction of Old English an "one" (compare German ein "one, a") and the is a reduction of that (compare German das "that, the"). In French (le, la), Italian (il, lo, la), and Spanish (el, lo, la) all come from Latin ille "that". The equivalent of a in all these languages also comes from the word for "one". (Great gratitude today is due Paige Turner for not overlooking the fascinating world of the minuscule.)
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Re: THE

Postby bnjtokyo » Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:16 am

An "audible glottal stop"? Is such a thing possible?
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Re: THE

Postby MTC » Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:10 am

"Possible?" "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
- Hamlet (1.5.166-7), Hamlet to Horatio

Definition of "glottal stop:"
noun
a consonant formed by the audible release of the airstream after complete closure of the glottis. It is widespread in some non-standard English accents and in some other languages, such as Arabic, it is a standard consonant

See (http://oxforddictionaries.com/definitio ... tal%2Bstop)

About the classification of "the" as a part of speech, I see some authorities also have it as an "emphatic form" (I didn't say a book--I said the book.) And as an adverb (He's been on vacation and looks the better for it.) (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/the) Another authority characterizes "the" as an adjective. All over the board, really.

Mini Ode to The

Oh The,
Thou verbal pea,
Without thee
Where would we be?
Lost in "theless" space
No definite place
To hang our hat.
What worse than that?
For who are we
Without thee?
"A" this, "a" that
Without distinction or eclat
Or individuality.
A mighty pea
Thou be
Oh The!

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Re: THE

Postby misterdoe » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:04 pm

Is almost impossible to make complete article-less sentence in English without causing doubt that English is writer's (or speaker's) native language. :)
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Re: THE

Postby Philip Hudson » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:53 pm

The, a, an: consternation to the Chinese student of English, and relief for the German student of English.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: THE

Postby wurdpurrson » Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:34 pm

Of the(e) I sing!
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Re: THE

Postby Perry Lassiter » Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:52 pm

MTC, I'd like to see your poetry compiled in a blog with easy access, either posted on AA or PM'd to your loyal fans, as in MOI!
pl
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Re: THE

Postby LukeJavan8 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:26 pm

Oh The,
Thou verbal pea,
Without thee
Where would we be?
Lost in "theless" space
No definite place
To hang our hat.
What worse than that?
For who are we
Without thee?
"A" this, "a" that
Without distinction or eclat
Or individuality.
A mighty pea
Thou be
Oh The!

MTC


Yes, indeed, thou shoulds't publish!
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: THE

Postby MTC » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:21 pm

Thank you all so much.

Fortified with your encouragement I have picked up a Writers Digest to research the question of how to get started. What format? Blog, book, or? And what will I write about? There are many questions, but fueled with your good will I am getting off the ground. (God knows what force you have unleashed!) Of course I will keep you posted. Suggestions, recommendations and constructive criticism are welcome.

Sincerely,

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Re: THE

Postby LukeJavan8 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:19 pm

A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.
(Ancient Chinese, methinks.)
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: THE

Postby Perry Lassiter » Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:42 pm

I would suggest downloading Tumblr for a first step and posting your verse there. It's free and easy after you set up the account and some of the stuff on there is pretty high quality. Or go to blogspot.com and create a blog. In either case you might want to post the url here and there around the net.
pl
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Re: THE

Postby wurdpurrson » Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:51 pm

As a writer from WAY back, I suggest that your first step is your question: "And what will I write about?" Decide that, then the work begins.
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Re: THE

Postby Perry Lassiter » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:02 pm

My idea, and probably Luke's, was for him to transfer the verse he has posted on various words here on AA to one location. He might add others from time to time as his fertile and nimble mind spits them out. Whatever else he does on other blogs was not the point at the moment, but I certainly want the url of anything he produces!
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Re: THE

Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:49 am

Alas, when I try my hand at poetry, I produce doggerel at best. MTC, on the other hand, has the gift. We all want more from you, MTC.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: THE

Postby Slava » Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:55 pm

A query to posters who know languages other than English: does your language make the difference between "the" and "a"? I know there are such that do not, so I'm wondering which ones others know of.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
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