Re: Use of the definite article before product names

Subject: Re: Use of the definite article before product names
From: Michael Lewis <lewism -at- BRANDLE -dot- COM -dot- AU>
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 21:45:04 +1000

There are good reasons for regarding a model designation as an adjective
rather than as a proper noun. It's a modifier in the phrase "the ASP-20
widget". Nobody would use "Bill" as "the Bill Clinton". And nobody would
speak of "President" rather than "the President". In this case, the rule
of thumb is probably "does it sound or feel right?" As a backup,
consider that a proper noun (and, admittedly, some common nouns
referring to abstractions such as liberty) can be used vocatively:
"Bill, are you there?" "England, I will die for you!" (if that sort of
thing appeals ...) I doubt that you'd walk into a room and say "Good
morning, ASP-20". Especially if there were 36 of them lined up ready to
be shipped.

Michael Lewis
Brandle Pty Limited, Sydney, Australia
PO Box 1249, Strawberry Hills, NSW 2012
Suite 8, The Watertower, 1 Marian St, Redfern 2016
Tel +61-2-9310-2224 ... Fax +61-2-9310-5056

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