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From: David Abrahams (dave_at_[hidden])
Date: 2003-09-21 18:29:31

"David B. Held" <dheld_at_[hidden]> writes:

> "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:
> Oracle
> Linux
> Constitution
> GNU Public License
> And how they are used in speech:
> "Who owns Oracle?"
> "Who owns Linux?"
> "Who owns the Constitution?"
> "Who owns the GPL?"

And, don't forget, since we're are, after all, engineers:

      "Who owns Star Wars, Episode I?"

Not very far from Boost Software License, Version 1.0

> 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. ;)

Or three!

P.S. I don't care much; the comma would make me more comfortable

Dave Abrahams
Boost Consulting

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