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Author Topic: The capitalised "The" - appropriate usage  (Read 4143 times)
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Woody
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« on: November 11, 2009, 03:48:43 PM »

When my writing includes proper nouns that include the word "the" I always find myself faltering over whether to capitalise the "the" in certain circumstances, mostly I default to capitalising the "the", but is this correct?

For example, in a piece I'm writing at the moment there is a pub called "The Merry Widow".
However when I've written a line such as; "John Devereux left The Merry Widow" I question whether this is correct because if John Devereux was to "...leave the USS Enterprise," obviously "the" is not capitalised, so should I be writing "John Devereux left the The Merry Widow." instead?

What's the rule? scratch

Any help welcomed.
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« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2009, 04:03:34 PM »

If you go to a pub called The Merry Widow it will always be TMW wherever it appears.
But if you talk about a person. Last night I visited the widow Twanky and when I left she was the merry widow Twanky, only her name is capitalised.
tonight we leave on the good ship Lollipop.
The ship is USS Enterprise, not The USS Enterprise so when talking about it don't capitalise.
But look just because I can write 500,000 words a year don't take it as gospel. I have an honours degree admitedly... Sciences
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Ed
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« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2009, 04:35:04 PM »

Yep, I agree with DD - if 'The' is part of the name then it should be capitalised, but if you're simply talking about something and using 'the' to refer to it, then not.
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« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2009, 04:41:39 PM »

So, in essence, if "The" is part of the name then "the" should always be capitalised and a preceding "the" should not be included in the line?

e.g "John Devereux left the USS Enterprise." but "John Devereux left The Merry Widow"  undecided and there is no requirement for "John Devereux left the The Merry Widow"  scratch
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« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2009, 05:00:14 PM »

I wouldn't be surprised if the latter instance was correct, but I've never seen it done. The exception would be, "John Devereux left the pub, The Merry Widow"

Pharosian will know the correct form for sure, but if it was me I wouldn't double-up the 'the' on a proper name.
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« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2009, 05:15:21 PM »

but if it was me I wouldn't double-up the 'the' on a proper name.

I totally agree, it doesn't read right when doubling up the "the" - so I suppose I'm after someone saying; "When a proper noun starts with 'the' the determiner can be dropped in the sentence," or something like that.  scratch
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delph_ambi
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« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2009, 05:20:25 PM »

'The The' was the name of a band. I reckon that's the only context in which the double 'the' can be used.
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« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2009, 05:34:13 PM »

mustn't have my stuff here, ed keeps it.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2011, 07:42:37 PM by Woody » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2009, 06:02:43 PM »

The The was only one bloke anyway, wasn't it?

Sorry.
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« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2009, 06:10:44 PM »

mustn't have my stuff here, ed keeps it.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2011, 07:47:47 PM by Woody » Logged

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