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From: David B. Held (dheld_at_[hidden])
Date: 2003-09-21 17:24:36

"Beman Dawes" <bdawes_at_[hidden]> wrote in message
> [...]
> Isn't it better usage to include "the"? Anybody with a degree
> in English lurking here?

Not me, but I think "the" is the more proper way. Consider
the following names:

    GNU Public License

And how they are used in speech:

    "Who owns Oracle?"
    "Who owns Linux?"
    "Who owns the Constitution?"
    "Who owns the GPL?"

They are all proper names, so why are two of them used with
the definite article, and two of them aren't? I think it depends
on the nature of the name. "Oracle" and "Linux" are unique
proper names that could not be confused with an associated
generic name. So while "oracle" is also a non-proper word,
one does not get confused when it is used as the name of a
company or product.

Whereas, since "constitution" is a generic word, and the US
Constitution is of the same type as the generic word, the
definite article is used to refer to the unique instance. In the
same way, even though "GPL" is a proper name, "license"
is not, and since the GPL is-a license, the definite article
is used to disambiguate.

Thus, by analogy, I think that the BSL should also be
referred to with the definite article.

> Unless someone comes forward with a strong argument, I
> think we should leave the "the" in.
> [...]

This is fodder for a Dilbert strip. ;)


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