Re: Style: future or "the" future?

Subject: Re: Style: future or "the" future?
From: Jacqueline Napier <jacquelinenapier -at- DISCOVERFINANCIAL -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 13:36:37 -0500

Howard - Please dust off your third grade (American) English text book. If that is not handy, open a
dictionary. When in doubt, check it out!

Howard Peirce wrote:

> Jacqueline Napier wrote:
> > In grammar the adjective 'the' is called the definite article. It points out a particular noun or
> > pronoun (An and A are indefinite articles. They point to no specific or particular noun or
> > pronoun.) Native English speakers use adjectives to modify their nouns and pronouns. Using
> > articles is sometimes a stumbling block for many people who use English as a second language.
> > Articles make sentences interesting, clearer, and more exact.
> Jacqueline--
> Yikes, yikes, yikes. An article is not an adjective, it's an article. It's a separate part of
> speech. It doesn't modify anything. If it does anything, it points at things. Do you really use
> articles before pronouns? I'd like to hear that. That would make a sentence interesting: "What a
> lovely baby. Is it a him or a her?"
> Sorry to be so cruel, but c'mon.
> Valerie--
> I'm not surprised you're having trouble with when to use articles. The fact is, it's not consistent,
> there are no set rules, the use of articles is largely idiomatic, and varies for different dialects
> of English. An Englishman or Canadian, when sick, goes "to hospital." An American with the same
> illness goes "to the hospital." (An Australian goes to the beach, I suppose <g>.) A good usage
> manual like Fowler (UK and the commonwealth) or Zinnser (US--I'll have to look up the title of the
> Zinnser book on American usage; a little dated but the best I've seen) should be of some help.
> In the example you gave ("Let's integrate future/the future"), my first question would be whether
> "future" in this case is a noun or an adjective. In "Let's integrate future activities," for
> example, "future" is an adjective, so you know there's no article. When "future" is a noun, it's
> almost always "the future," and "the future" is usually understood as a kind of nebulous, far-off
> time. Idiomatically, if you're referring to events in the immediate future (like later this
> afternoon, or tomorrow), you might try "Let's integrate soon," or even "Let's integrate sometime."
> My rule for times when I'm not sure: "When in doubt, weasel out."
> Howard Peirce
> Senior Information Developer
> --where things are a little slow right now
> From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000==

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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