"The" before names

Subject: "The" before names
From: stephen lubell <steven -at- RADMAIL -dot- RAD -dot- CO -dot- IL>
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 16:48:52 -0800

>From: "Geoff Hart" <geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca>
>To: steven -at- RADMAIL -dot- RAD -dot- CO -dot- IL
>Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 08:18:13 +0000
>Subject: "The" before names
>Reply-to: geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
>Priority: normal
>Please forward this to techwr-l (minus the intro) for additional
>feedback and commentary if you find it helpful; I can't post directly
>to the list. Thanks!
>Steven Lubell wondered about when to use "the" before product names
>or acronyms. A good first cut at this is to understand what the
>predominant usage happens to be; for example, the Ontario Ministry of
>Natural Resources was always called OMNR, and I don't recall ever
>having heard "the OMNR". So that's the way we did it: no "the".
>For a more specific rule that works really well, let's look at your
>example: [the?] ABC modem. In general, where you have the name being
>used as an adjective, use "the"; this is because you would say "the
>modem is on", not "modem is on". If you're referring to ABC itself,
>and not specifying what it is, then you're effectively treating the
>acronym as if it were a person (an entity, if you prefer), and no
>"the" is necessary. This is particularly true if you've made it a
>possessive form (e.g., "ABC's modem", not "the ABC's modem"). A
>grammarian could give you the jargon to pin this down exactly, but
>examples are probably more useful to show us non-grammarians the
>pattern. A few more examples:
>the Word macro language vs. Word's macro language vs. Word is a
>IBM's HQ is in Armonk (is it?) vs. IBM announced record profits
>yesterday vs. the IBM strategy is to move from selling big iron to
>selling services.
>the NASA program is under severe budgetary pressure vs. NASA is under
>severe budgetary pressure vs. NASA's program is...
>--Geoff Hart @8^{)}
>geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
Stephen Lubell
Technical Documentation Department
RAD Data Communications Ltd
12 HaNechoshet Street
Tel Aviv 69710
Tel: ++972+3+6455306
Fax: ++972+3+6483331

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