RE: the Netherlands vs. The Netherlands

Subject: RE: the Netherlands vs. The Netherlands
From: "Johan Hiemstra" <webmaster -at- techexams -dot- net>
To: "'Joe Malin'" <jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2006 02:09:43 +0200

> A quick glance at Wikipedia shows that
> 1. The entry is under "Netherlands"
> 2. In the entry, "the" is not capitalized unless it's at the beginning
> of sentence
> 3. The discussion page for the entry dissects these issues in great
> detail. Since membership in Wikipedia is free, anyone who wants to learn
> more might want to look at the discussion page for more background.

Did you really say Wikipedia? ;) It’s like a classroom without a teacher...
fun, but no authority.

Actually, it comes to no surprise to me that even Dutch and/or former Dutch
disagree on the issue. Why do you think this is so hammered on in school?
It's like the English word 'definitely', I see it more often spelled
incorrectly than correctly and I bet many English teachers noticed the same
and made it a favorite word on written tests.

For what it's worth, when I read the arguments (in 'keep' and 'move'
sections) I obviously agree with the Keep (favoring the The).

One of the most important arguments for using "Netherlands" at wikipedia is
that it works better when listing countries alphabetically. That's sillier
than a guy wearing clogs holding a finger in the dike. Just because it makes
people finding it easier in a drop-down box doesn't change a country's name.
This actually would have been a good argument for the opposing party...

At the same time, they throw away the argument of Netherlands being plural
and therefore requiring the "The". He uses the following example: "If it was
really plural we would be writing "The Netherlands 'are' the European part""
That's just too silly and makes me dislike wikipedia even more. It's a
'name' of a single country. We know 'Netherlands' is from 'Kingdom of the
Nederlands', which is the English version of 'Koninkrijk der Nederlanden'.
'landen' is plural, hence the 's' in Netherlands.

However, after giving it some thought, I disagree with Dianne's compliment
(sorry): "How nice to have a real authority to answer that question!"

If you would ask me how to spell a certain name in Dutch, I would agree, but
I'm not an authority on how you should spell my country's name in your
language. I do know how my English teachers (who were the finest in the
country of course ;)) want Dutch people to write their own country's name in
English. I asked 5 different people by now and they are all eager to answer
"The met een hoofdletter", meaning "The with a capital".

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RE: the Netherlands vs. The Netherlands: From: Joe Malin

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