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Pedants' corner

What happened to “the” ?

(33 Posts)
MawB Mon 07-Oct-19 08:39:39

My memory may be playing tricks, but didn’t we used to refer to the Queen Mary, the Titanic, the QE2 and the Royal Yacht Britannia?
Didn’t Nelson fight the battle of Trafalgar on the Victory and didn’t I take visiting friends to see the Curry Sark at Greenwich or the Mary Rose?
I am increasingly aware of this definite article’s disappearance and wonder when it happened.
This morningI have just read the following
Boris Johnson is considering plans to replace Royal Yacht Britannia with two £150 million ships paid for by the foreign aid budget
The new ships, one called “Britannia” and the other named the “Florence Nightingale” or “Mary Seacole”, would be used by members of the Royal family for overseas tours to the Commonwealth and other countries
Without getting into the political argument, does anybody perhaps with Naval connections, know when or why this change occurred? .

MaizieD Mon 07-Oct-19 08:58:40

I'm not sure about the Curry Sark, MawB. 😀

Would that have been carrying spices from India?

IMO the capitalisation in this sentence is completely awry anyway "Boris Johnson is considering plans to replace Royal Yacht Britannia with...." as the royal yacht was called 'Britannia', not 'Royal Yacht Britannia'. It does need a 'the' to make grammatical sense if the capitalisation is corrected.

As for the rest, I think I will consult Patrick O'Brian and then get back to you... wink

MawB Mon 07-Oct-19 09:03:32

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣MaizieD -bliddy predictive text!
I did of course mean the tea clipper inspired by Robbie Burns’s famous short shirted hero “Weel done Cutty Sark”!

annodomini Mon 07-Oct-19 09:47:14

On the other hand: Every time I mooch round M&S, I find so many items are predicated by 'the'. Jeans, of example are: 'the straight', 'the skinny'; 'the wide' etc. Teeshirts are categorised in the same way. Am I just being a fussy old pedant to be irritated by this peculiar way of labelling garments?

annodomini Mon 07-Oct-19 09:47:42

of example FOR example.

Eglantine21 Mon 07-Oct-19 10:51:39

Well now. The prefix “the” should, I believe, only be applied to commercial and privately owned ships - as in the Cutty Sark.

Naval ships should have the prefix HMS not “the” which is considered bad form.

Strickly speaking it should be HMY Brittanua although the Royal Yacht Britannia is acceptable.
Never just Royal Yacht Britannia.

But the same thing is happening with Primeminister Johnson, like President Trump.
No, no. The Primeminister,

merlotgran Mon 07-Oct-19 11:00:24

Elegran is right.

merlotgran Mon 07-Oct-19 11:01:41

Sorry, Eglantine I mean.

Eglantine21 Mon 07-Oct-19 11:08:29

That’s OK.

Id rather be Elegran anyway😬

Jane10 Mon 07-Oct-19 11:40:46

Where does 'The Donald' fit in with all this?!
Seriously I suspect that text speak has impinged in ordinary writing ie the quickest way to get a message over.

quizqueen Mon 07-Oct-19 11:46:49

I doubt if anyone working in the media today was asked at their interview if they were competent with writing and understanding English grammar!

Maggiemaybe Mon 07-Oct-19 11:53:49

Thanks for the information, Eglantine. You learn something new every day.

The UK seems to be in danger of losing its definite article too. I’ve read several times recently about what’s happening in or to UK.

Eloethan Mon 07-Oct-19 12:17:19

Eglantine Or, as many newsreaders/commentators say, "the Pry Minister".

Riverwalk Mon 07-Oct-19 12:27:33

Never mind the missing definite article, I'm more concerned about millions being diverted from the foreign aid budget to The Royal Yacht!

merlotgran Mon 07-Oct-19 13:21:41

Two royal yachts???? 😯😐

Bathsheba Mon 07-Oct-19 13:36:42

Perhaps BJ wants to be seen to be addressing the RF's carbon footprint issue - maybe next we'll hear they're no longer allowed to use private jets wink

merlotgran Mon 07-Oct-19 13:44:00

The Queen no longer does overseas tours so would this mean a luxury yacht each for William and Harry? 😕

merlotgran Mon 07-Oct-19 13:45:11

Or maybe a return of the Onedin Line

grapefruitpip Mon 07-Oct-19 13:46:16

the Winter edit......what is that? I have no idea.

BradfordLass72 Tue 08-Oct-19 07:12:27

Speaking of text:

Mags Harnett, an Irish artist, has turned some of the Book of Kells illustrations into text-speak.

Callistemon Tue 08-Oct-19 07:54:55

Presumably HMY Britannia and t'other one will be used to drum up overseas business after Brexit, one to go east and one west!

That was its main function before the short-sighted TB got rid of it.

ReadyMeals Tue 08-Oct-19 11:17:54

Tell you what I have noticed about "the". When I was young we used to say "thuh" and "uh" for the and a. Nowadays it seems to be "thee" and "ayee" (to rhyme with "day") and "ayee nuther" instead of "an other" Also LBC radio presenters started this but they all say "do you not think?" rather than "don't you think?" etc

Paperbackwriter Tue 08-Oct-19 11:33:28

Oh annodomini how VERY much I agree with you about the overuse of 'the' in M&S and also in other clothing stores. The Pure Collection cashmere catalogue has it on almost every page, worst example (to me) being 'the midi pencil'. As for M&S, 'the skinny Ivy'. Ivy WHAT, ffs? (Sorry, bit off-topic but once I'm started...)

CaroleAnne Tue 08-Oct-19 11:40:54

Diverting from Maws topic re the word The petaining to ships does anyone remember the last line of the first verse of our national anthem.
I am sure that we used to sing God save our Queen not God save The Queen. Best wishes Carole.

sarahellenwhitney Tue 08-Oct-19 11:46:04

The QE11 was used in the Falklands and fail to see why. and am sure her majesty would approve.don't know about the other royals but tough, royalty should have a ship exclusively for them selves. From what I have seen , Tv only grinwhat an experience to sail on the battle ship QE11.?. Prince George would love it.