Sunday, April 22, 2012

T is for...The

The.  It's a very simple word, but one that is used millions of time every day.    In the first page of my MS, I use the word 'the' 13 times.

Yet it is a word that is almost invisible.  It's so prevalent, used so often, and has so little in the way of meaning, it barely exists.

But try writing anything without it.

It is the first word of the title of many books and movies and I'm curious about that.  I mean, it's the first word of the title of my new book, The Boyfriend Plague.  Would the title have the same meaning if I lost 'the' and just called it Boyfriend Plague?  Or A Boyfriend Plague?  I think so.  In this case 'the' gives the phrase a grounding it doesn't have without it, makes it specific.

Have you ever thought about the word 'the'?


  1. It IS almost invisible. I'm smiling, because my book is THE Christmas Village and the first word of the book is the. Such a useful word, the is. :D

  2. I think the reason so many book titles start with "the" is because that article makes the title seem like it's the definitive, end all be all of a subject. "The Boyfriend Plague' sounds much more like a concrete, actual plague of boyfriends then simply "Boyfriend Plague." Certainly, "A Boyfriend Plague" sounds too pedestrian, as if there are dozens of boyfriend plagues and your is just another one of that number. THE sets it apart as the control, as the boyfriend plague all others will have to live up to! Just my thoughts :)

    All hail, THE! :)

  3. Just A to Z-ing it. Nice to meet you. I agree wholeheartedly. I checked and the first word in my first chapter of "The Veil" is none other than 'the.' Have a great week. Stop on bye and say hi sometime.

  4. I read that whole post looking out for 'the', and it's used so much! You're right, it is like an invisible word.