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Country Western music

Switch Blayde
Updated:

I just wrote the following:

The closer he got to Cactus Pointe, the more radio stations were lost. The remaining ones were mostly Spanish speaking stations. Those in English were Christian or country western.


It looks funny not to capitalize "country western," but after researching it I found out you don't.

I found a blog where someone asked a similar question (not country western but another music genre) and someone who is a journalist who writes about music said not to capitalize it.

And then I found a site with a PDF titled "Writing About Music: Style Guide" that says they follow the Chicago Manual of Style and wrote:

The word 'classical' carries different meanings depending on whether or not it is capitalized. 'Classical' denotes the Classical era, while 'classical music' is as synonym for 'art music' as opposed to popular or folk music.


Anyway, thought I'd pass along what I learned.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  imsly1
Ross at Play
Updated:

The nitpicking editor says you should prefer 'country and western'.

Ngrams suggest less than a quarter use 'country western'. [And I suspect many of those would be hyphenated, which ngrams cannot measure.]

Ngrams agrees there is a strong preference for lower case rather than title case.

And ... the nitpicker wouldn't even consider saying 'Spanish-speaking' should be hyphenated to be a nitpick.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

One minor nit with your example paragraph. I'd drop your duplicate "stations", as it's unnecessary since it's already been established in the previous sentence.

And ... the nitpicker wouldn't even consider saying 'Spanish-speaking' should be hyphenated to be a nitpick.

I agree with that, since "Spanish speaking" modifies "stations", though if you drop the duplicate "stations" like I suggested, you can dance around that last point by avoiding it entirely.

Replies:   Ross at Play
StarFleet Carl

@Ross at Play

nitpicking editor says you should prefer 'country and western'


The nitpicking listener says that you should prefer classic rock, or older C&W. Most modern C&W is junk.

Of course, there are also a lot of people in this area who listen to both types of music, Country AND Western. Considering the minor detail that the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum is about 10 minutes from my house, I do end up getting to listen to a lot of shit kicker music whether I want to or not.

And for those of you who live in a city and are wondering what a shit kicker is ... the dictionary definition isn't quite right. It's actually when you grow up playing baseball in a field and you mistake something else for second base.

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

One minor nit with your example paragraph. I'd drop your duplicate "stations", as it's unnecessary since it's already been established in the previous sentence.

If we're going to play that game, I think mentioning 'English' is redundant after 'Spanish' has already been named. My minimalist version would be:

The closer he got to Cactus Pointe, the fewer radio stations there were. Most were now in Spanish, the remainder either Christian or country and western.

Sorry, SB. The temptation is hard to resist. :-)

Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

'country and western'.


I didn't know that. Good catch.

As to "Spanish-speaking," I hesitated about the hyphen and decided it's not needed because it's not confusing without it (like Grammar Girl's "noise canceling").

Replies:   Ross at Play  BlacKnight
Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

I hesitated about the hyphen and decided it's not needed

I expected that. :-)

BlacKnight

@Switch Blayde

As to "Spanish-speaking," I hesitated about the hyphen and decided it's not needed because it's not confusing without it (like Grammar Girl's "noise canceling").

I still fail to see what advantage there is to leaving that hyphen out.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@BlacKnight


I still fail to see what advantage there is to leaving that hyphen out.


It sounds better to my ear. The flow of the two words.

As Grammar Girl says:

The reason I didn't say that I absolutely should have hyphenated "noise canceling headphones" is that if leaving out the hyphen causes no ambiguity, some style guides, such as the Chicago Manual of Style, say it's OK to leave it out; and I don't think anyone would read my meaning differently with or without a hyphen.

Switch Blayde

So no one thinks country and western should be capitalized. That surprises me.

Replies:   PrincelyGuy
PrincelyGuy

@Switch Blayde

So no one thinks country and western should be capitalized.


Since rock music is not capitalized, then neither should country and western. However, Bluegrass should always be capitalized. Well, at least in my opinion. :)

REP

It is my understanding that 'titles' should always be capitalized.

Music is subdivided into different types of music and these 'types' are given titles, such as: Rock, Country, Western, Bluegrass, Jazz, Classical, etc.

Switch Blayde

@REP

'types' are given titles,


I believe they're genres.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Switch Blayde

@REP

Music is subdivided into different types of music and these 'types' are given titles, such as: Rock, Country, Western, Bluegrass, Jazz, Classical, etc.


From http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/music/dosdonts.html

2. Don't capitalize genres (use opera, symphony, jazz-- not Opera, Symphony, Jazz). Remember this rule by thinking about genres in literature: you wouldn't capitalize Novel, Short Story, or Poem, either.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Switch Blayde

I believe they're genres.

There is a difference between when an entire noun phrase should be in title case because it is a proper noun and when an adjective should be in title case.

I do not dare attempt to describe the situations for noun phrases, but it's relatively simple for adjectives. To be in title case, those must literally refer to someone or something specifically identified by a name. A suffix of -ian or -an is usually added when referring to people.

I would use a capital for something like 'Elizabethan music', but most styles and genres, etc. do not literally refer to anything specific enough for a capital to be used.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

I would use a capital for something like 'Elizabethan music',


That was what the other site I found said. Periods are capitalized, like the Classical period. But the genre — classical music — is not. Elizabethan music is a period.

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

I just tested if entering the word into dictionary.com will tell you whether or not capitals are needed.

I entered 'elizabethan' and, as expected, it returned the definition for 'Elizabethan'.

I then tried 'Country and Western'. Hold onto your seat tight, Switch, lest you fall over. It returned the definition for 'country-and-western'!

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

Periods are capitalized, like the Classical period. But the genre — classical music — is not. Elizabethan music is a period.

That is an example of the principle I was trying to describe.

For an adjective to have a capital it must refer to something specific enough to have a capital when used as a noun. The Classical and Elizabethan periods are usually written with capitals. The sixties is a period which is not and you would not use a capital for 'sixties music'.

The test is not whether it is a period, it's whether what is being referred to would be written with a capital letter.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Ross at Play


The sixties is a period which is not and you would not use a capital for 'sixties music'


Actually, Sixties is capitalized. From: https://journalistsresource.org/tip-sheets/style/chicago-style-basics

If you spell out the decade, capitalize it: "The Sixties were a time of change."


The article is interesting. It's a journalist's view of CMoS. Journalists typically follow the AP Style Guide. Some interesting points this journalist makes:

If The Associated Press Stylebook was created specifically for journalists, the target audience of The Chicago Manual of Style is much broader — all writing and writers. While one can debate the merits of Chicago versus AP style, Chicago's strength is its breadth and depth.

A simple measure is to look at page counts: The most recent edition of AP is 420 pages, while Chicago has more than twice as many pages with much more dense type. The end result of all those additional pages and content is more guidelines, examples and authority. And unlike AP, Chicago style reflects the current state of the art in typography — accents and italics are embraced, for example.

Chicago style clashes with journalism writing on two points. First, the guide is so inclusive that finding what you're looking for can occasionally be difficult. Second, Chicago's sweet spot is long-form writing, and this is reflected in some of its stylistic decision: the numbers below 100 are spelled out, for example, not a rule one wants to have to observe in a 20-word blog post.

The solution is a journalism-specific interpretation of Chicago that uses some of AP's general principals without being their prisoner.


ETA:

I need to clarify my comment above about the Sixties. If you write "I was born in the sixties" it wouldn't be capitalized. But "The Sixties" is like "The Roaring Twenties."

Replies:   Ross at Play
imsly1

@Switch Blayde

I personally would say , there was nothing on but Christian or Goat Roper music ...but that's me..

BlacKnight

@Switch Blayde

That was what the other site I found said. Periods are capitalized, like the Classical period. But the genre — classical music — is not. Elizabethan music is a period.


It's not that it's a period; it's that "Elizabeth" is a proper noun, being a specific person's actual name. Similarly, it's "Christian rock", not "christian rock" or "Christian Rock".

Switch Blayde

@BlacKnight

It's not that it's a period;


According to Writing About Music: Style Guide - ( http://www.teachingmusichistory.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Music-Writing-Style-Guide.pdf ) it's all about the period.

Capitalization

Named periods of music history are capitalized as proper names and adjectives:

the Middle Ages, Medieval chant
the Renaissance, the Renaissance madrigal the Romantic period, Romantic composers

The word 'classical' carries different meanings depending on whether or not it is capitalized. 'Classical' denotes the Classical era, while 'classical music' is as synonym for 'art music' as opposed to popular or folk music:

Mozart and Haydn were Classical composers.
She was trained as a classical violinist

richardshagrin

@Switch Blayde

Periods are capitalized


How do you capitalize a period?
"PERIOD"?

Maybe a colon ":" would be a capitalized period, with two of them.

Another option might be "MENSTRUATING".

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@richardshagrin

Maybe a colon ":" would be a capitalized period, with two of them.


See now, I would have said that a capitalized . is a !

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

Actually, Sixties is capitalized. From: https://journalistsresource.org/tip-sheets/style/chicago-style-basics

WRONG!

Quoting from CMoS itself (with my emphasis):

9.4 Decades.
Decades are either spelled out [as long as the century is clear] and lowercased or expressed in numerals.

Ngrams shows capitalising is rare for either 'the Sixties' or 'Sixties music'.

Personally, I cannot see a logical explanation why 'sixties' should not be capitalised. There appears to be a minority who do capitalise it.

* * *

But, I think you're unable to see the forest for one tree here.

The reason periods are capitalised when defining a style of music IS NOT that they are periods. It's that the periods are proper nouns. That applies to other things too, such as 'Christian rock' and 'American music'.

I suggest you reread my comments above substituting 'everything but damn music' whenever I have written 'music'. They will still be valid.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

That was what the other site I found said. Periods are capitalized, like the Classical period.

Damn, and all this time I've been putting lowercase periods on all of my sentences!

Ross at Play
Updated:

@BlacKnight

I'd appreciate your opinion on this.

I said above:

I cannot see a logical explanation why 'sixties' should not be capitalised.

Is it simply a matter of there being no reason to show something as a proper noun when its literal interpretation already identifies precisely what you mean?

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

all this time I've been putting lowercase periods on all of my sentences!

You should stop doing that, fully.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Damn, and all this time I've been putting lowercase periods on all of my sentences!


I'll stay with a lowercase period in my stories, because the uppercase character for my keyboard comes out as the closing angle symbol >

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

I'll stay with a lowercase period in my stories, because the uppercase character for my keyboard comes out as the closing angle symbol >

Your problem is greater than, I thought.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

See now, I would have said that a capitalized . is a !


LOL

Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

The problem is greater than, I thought.


I do a lot of html coding and it's the the end symbol of the html code tags but I do no mathematics calculations other than basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Thus I use the terms I use on a regular basis.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

Ngrams shows capitalising is rare for either 'the Sixties' or 'Sixties music'.


What I found was:

1. "If you remember the Sixties, you weren't there."

If the decade is to be considered a well-defined phenomenon, akin to the Gay Nineties, the Roaring Twenties, and the like, this style is justified


The above is different than, "I was born in the sixties." I think CMoS is talking about the decade in general. But I don't know.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

Re : Your problem is greater than, I thought.
Either, my problem is greater than I thought, or you missed my joke.

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

"If you remember the Sixties, you weren't there" ... is different than, "I was born in the sixties."

I agree they are different. I'd say the use of 'Sixties' was non-standard - but an artistic choice that conveys the intended meaning better.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


If the decade is to be considered a well-defined phenomenon, akin to the Gay Nineties, the Roaring Twenties, and the like, this style is justified

The above is different than, "I was born in the sixties." I think CMoS is talking about the decade in general. But I don't know.


NO! With "The Gay Nineties", it isn't "Nineties" that's capitalized, it's the name for the decade, that being the entire phrase "The Gay Nineties". In your example, there is no proper name being associated with the period, PERIOD!!!

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

NO! With "The Gay Nineties", it isn't "Nineties" that's capitalized, it's the name for the decade,


As I said, I don't know for sure. The reason I read for capitalizing the Sixties is: "If the decade is to be considered a well-defined phenomenon." The Sixties is that.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Switch Blayde

The reason I read for capitalizing the Sixties is: "If the decade is to be considered a well-defined phenomenon."

I can see the point being made but I don't think the explanation is adequate.

Perhaps it should be "If the name is sufficient to identify a well-defined phenomenon", with the fact the name is a decade being irrelevant.

To me, 'the Fifties' and 'the Sixties' probably qualify, but no other decades. When I see 'the Fifties', I think of a period of consumerism and conformity; and 'the Sixties', I think of a period of liberalisation and protest. The key to whether the use of a proper noun is acceptable is will others make the same non-literal interpretation from just the name used. The context would need to make clear you were describing social phenomenon at those times for that to work.

In contrast, 'the fifties' and 'the sixties' have quite different and literal meanings.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

To me, 'the Fifties' and 'the Sixties' probably qualify, but no other decades. When I see 'the Fifties', I think of a period of consumerism and conformity; and 'the Sixties', I think of a period of liberalisation and protest.

Sorry, but those are assumptions, not proper names. The test (for capitalizing decades) rest with whether the phrase for the decade forms a distinct proper name. "The Gay Nineties" does. "The Sixties" doesn't, as it's capitalized for no apparent reason. The same with "the Roaring Twenties", it's a name that summarizes the period, rather than the period itself, that calls for capitalization.

You don't capitalize simply because of someone's assumptions, you capitalize because you're referencing a specific name, not a generic term which doesn't convey anything specific.

Now, if you changed "fifties" and "sixties" to "the McCarthyite Fifties" or "The Hippiefest Sixties", then you'd have a reason to capitalize the terms.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

To me, 'the Fifties' and 'the Sixties' probably qualify,


I never thought of the Fifties as a phenomenon. The only two decades I see as a phenomenon are the Sixties and Twenties.

Thankfully I have no need for it in my story. :)

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

To paraphrase Strunk, "A writer should obey the rules unless they know doing otherwise is better."

I agree that 'the Fifties' and 'the Sixties' are wrong. But I can see situations where using them is better.

I wouldn't recommend anyone does it. If I saw it, I'd probably assume it was a mistake - unless the author had already established my trust that they know how to obey the "rules" when they choose to.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

I never thought of the Fifties as a phenomenon.

I think I could only see the fifties as a phenomenon when directly contrasted to the phenomenon of the sixties.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

To paraphrase Strunk, "A writer should obey the rules unless they know doing otherwise is better."

I agree that 'the Fifties' and 'the Sixties' is wrong. But I can see situations where using them is better.

That's akin to the adage, "you need to understand the rules, before you can know when it's best to break them". At least then, you'll understand the repercussions you face by doing so. If you simply do something because a single site claims you can, without providing an adequate explanation for why, they're still misinformed and only choosing a reference which caters to their own interests.

I stipulated why an author would capitalize the one ("The Gay Nineties") but not the other ("The sixties"). Saying that you 'understand' why someone wants to do something is meaningless. That's akin to saying "I understand why someone would want to rob a bank, so I guess it's OK!".

You, as an editor are not telling them something is OK or not, you're warning them what might happen if they make the incorrect choice. Once you do, you ultimately have to leave it in their hands whether they make an informed choice or not.

Replies:   Ross at Play  PotomacBob
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

You, as an editor are not telling them something is OK or not

I hope as an editor I would always flag 'the Sixties' as being non-standard. I think I've been clear here how high I'd set the bar before I could rate it as "acceptable" nonetheless.

richardshagrin

@Crumbly Writer

The Gay Nineties

Was the period from 1890 to 1899. The Gay nineties was from 1990 to 1999. The meaning of "gay" adjusted to homosexual.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
PotomacBob

@Crumbly Writer

you're warning them what might happen if they make the incorrect choice.


And just what might happen to them? 40 licks with a wet noodle? The displeasure of those who disagree with their use of capitals? Capitalizing or not capitalizing Sixties will not interfere with reading it.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Switch Blayde

I like this from grammarly.com

Specific periods, eras, historical events, etc.: these should all be capitalized as proper nouns. Why? Since there are many periods, eras, wars, etc., the capital will differentiate the specific from the common.


I believe "the capital will differentiate the specific from the common" sums it up.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

Was the period from 1890 to 1899. The Gay nineties was from 1990 to 1999. The meaning of "gay" adjusted to homosexual.

That's your interpretation, based upon your own negative value judgments. However, no gay or LGBTQ individual referred to it as "the Gay Nineties", except perhaps in jest, while virtually everyone (at least in New York where the saying apparently originated) publicly identified it with the city as a selling point. However, one person's value judgments don't rise to the level of declaring a historical period a proper noun. Hell, I could declare the years 703 - 708 "The Pig Fuck Years", but no reasonable person would have any reason to listen to such nonsense!

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

That's your interpretation, based upon your own negative value judgments.


Richard was being humorous as he always is.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@PotomacBob


And just what might happen to them? 40 licks with a wet noodle? The displeasure of those who disagree with their use of capitals? Capitalizing or not capitalizing Sixties will not interfere with reading it.


The reason that we have ANY grammar rules is consistency. The rules themselves don't mean anything, but they ensure that readers KNOW what to expect. If each author decides, on their own, what to capitalize and why, or where to insert random commas, then those authors are essentially telling their readers "FUCK YOU!"

Now, granted, there are sometimes very specific reasons for flaunting those types of guidelines, and I'll respond those when I see them. But those authors had better make a damn GOOD case for doing so, otherwise I'll never bother with them again, because they either 1) have no clue what they're doing or 2) they're utterly wasting my time for no particular reason.

It doesn't take many readers, taking that attitude—each of whom rant about it to all of their friends—to sink an author's market.

It may seem like a minor nit no one's really going to care about, but authors pin their entire claims to fame on their use of words and language. And if they don't care enough to understand what they're doing, why should I, as a reader, care enough to bother with their efforts.

I enjoy someone who flaunts the standard rules to good effect, but those who do it out of willful ignorance, there's really no excuse bothering with. And I'm amazed that we still have to explain this to authors. It's like telling mechanics how to use a wrench!

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

I believe "the capital will differentiate the specific from the common" sums it up.

Once again, that means each individual's personal assumptions about the people during any given time overrule any use of consistent grammar? Why would "the Sixties" have the exact same meaning for someone from Pakistan as it does from someone from Haite Ashbury—especially if neither was even alive during the sixties?

We have standards for a reason, to make things easier to comprehend and make sense of. If we carve out exceptions for every single imaginary objection, then why even bothering to write? Why not just hand readers a blank book, give them a pen and a dictionary and say: "These are all the words I used. Feel free to put them together in whichever order you like, punctuating them however you feel"?

It isn't so much that we're dictating what authors are allowed to say, but above all, we need to make it easy for readers to comprehend our words (i.e. not just use words a forth grade dropout would recognize), but things which don't keep tripping them up and cause them to say "Why the Fuck did the idiot author to that?"

Geez, I feel like I'm explaining why the President of the country needs to have read the Constitution at least one to Trump voters. It's one thing to do it every now and then, when they're simply unsure. But when authors willfully object to acknowledging ANY rule of grammar or punctuation, and they raise the exact same arguments, every time ANY issues comes up, then WTF are we all doing?

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

Once again, that means each individual's personal assumptions


No. What grammarly.com said (and they're a reliable reference) is that by capitalizing it you differentiate it from the common use of the word. Like a proper noun vs a common noun. Makes sense to me.

Replies:   REP  Ross at Play
Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

When I see 'the Fifties'


When I see 'the Fifties' or 'the Sixties' or any other decade framed that way, my first impulse is to ask "Which century?".

Of course part of that might be a result of being an IT professional who survived y2K remediation efforts. It's made me a bit pedantic about using 4 digit years in numbers and even specifying the century when done as text.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

my first impulse is to ask "Which century?".

That's a fair point. This is what CMoS says about that:

9.4 Decades.
Decades are either spelled out [as long as the century is clear] and lowercased or expressed in numerals.

I have found the context is enough to make the century clear most of the time.

* * *

At the risk of starting another handbag fight, do you use an apostrophe to show something has been omitted when showing a year or decade with only two digits? e.g. the '60s or the 60s.

I think a careful author should.

REP

@Switch Blayde

Makes sense to me.


Me too.

I wonder how many authors it would take implementing that practice for it to become a grammar rule?

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

What grammarly.com said (and they're a reliable reference) is that by capitalizing it you differentiate it from the common use of the word.

Yes, when there is a common use of the word, but that is frequently not so with proper nouns.

That seems like a better way to explain the point I've been trying to make. Initial capitals tell readers the author is identifying something specific (or a specific group), and that knowing that should be enough for them to identify which is meant. For example, 'The White House is a big white house.' The capitals tell readers the author is saying there is only one white house they could mean, and that's enough for readers to figure out they must mean the big white house on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

At the risk of starting another handbag fight, do you use an apostrophe to show something has been omitted when showing a year or decade with only two digits?


No, because, I never use two digit years. I have specified decades as the 1960s, 1950s, 1990s.

I don't think in the case of two digit years that the apostrophe is necessary. It ought to be obvious to anyone with enough brains to know what year it is that the century was omitted.

Someone writing "the 10s" in 2018 might mean the 2010s or they might mean the 1910s or even the 1810s.
However, it's exceedingly unlikely, absent very clear context pointing in that direction, that they are referring to the first century, the 0010s.

That said, I wouldn't be bothered by someone using an apostrophe to show the omitted century in a a two digit year or decade.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

It ought to be obvious to anyone with enough brains to know what year it is that the century was omitted.

I agree it's absolutely obvious the century has been omitted. So why bother? My answer is: to show readers I do bother - even when something is obvious.

I see value in demonstrating to readers efforts to get even trivial details "right". I think that allows more creative freedom. Once the trust of readers is established, an author may "break rules" to create artistic effects without fear readers may suspect a mistake.

I know I'm preaching to a small choir here and the heretics will probably starting baying for my blood soon. I'm used to that.

Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

do you use an apostrophe to show something has been omitted when showing a year or decade with only two digits? e.g. the '60s or the 60s.


Yes. Always.

But I will also write 'til and not til.

Replies:   REP
Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

I agree it's absolutely obvious the century has been omitted. So why bother? My answer is: to show readers I do bother - even when something is obvious.


And that is a perfectly valid reason. As I said before I avoid the issue by not omitting the century.

Of course, the usual excuse/reason for omitting the century even in text (as opposed to a database) is to save space. However, by adding the apostrophe you've cut the space savings from 2 characters, to 1. At that point, why still omit the century?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
richardshagrin

I have been playing a war-game named "Holland '44". The description below is from the game web page.

"Holland '44 is a two-player game depicting the Allies' combined ground and airborne attack in the Netherlands during WWII, which was code named Operation Market-Garden.

The game starts with the airborne landings on September 17th and continues until September 23rd. The Allied player must rush his ground forces forward as fast as possible to relieve his beleaguered airborne divisions and capture a bridge across the Rhine.

Each day has three turns—two daylight turns representing 6 hours each and one night turn representing 12 hours. The total length of the game is 20 turns. A short scenario covering the first critical 10 turns is included.

The scale of the map is 2 kilometers per hex and covers the battlefield from the Belgium border to Arnhem. The map also includes the area where the British 8th Corps fought on the right flank of 30th Corps."

The game designer decided to use the apostrophe before the number 44 rather than use 1944. Easier to say, probably.

Replies:   PotomacBob
PotomacBob

@richardshagrin

What about the Internet (internet)? I read somewhere in the last year or so that They Who Shall NOt be Disobeyed have ruled that Internet (capitalized since about 1976 or so) would now be lowercase (internet).
I did NOT read the logic of the change.
If a proper noun is (as I was taught back during the Dark Ages) the name of a particular person, place or thing, Internet seems to me to qualify.

Switch Blayde

@PotomacBob

What about the Internet (internet)?


From Grammar Girl: https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/capitalizing-proper-nouns

Is the Internet one specific place or is it a collection of things? Most language experts including the Associated Press and the editors of the Chicago Manual of Style and the Yahoo Style Guide, believe the Internet is one big specific network that people visit, so they recommend capitalizing the word "Internet."

"Internet" is a proper noun because it refers to something specific, whereas "website" is a common noun because it can be used to refer to many different places on the Internet.


However, she says in: https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/ap-will-no-longer-capitalize-internet-and-web

Starting June 1, 2016, Associated Press writers will be instructed to lowercase both internet and web.

PotomacBob

@Switch Blayde


However, she says in: https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/ap-will-no-longer-capitalize-internet-and-web


Looks like both the AP and CMOS decided to forego their longtime practice because of pressure from users of the Internet itself. The story announcing the change for AP said they had had "good reason" to capitalize Internet for years (I'm guessing that's because it's a proper noun, but the story doesn't say so), and they decided to lowercase the word because of widespread practice, abandoning the "proper noun" rule.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@PotomacBob


Looks like both the AP and CMOS


I missed the 2017 update at the bottom. Thanks.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@PotomacBob

AP said they had had "good reason" to capitalize Internet for years (I'm guessing that's because it's a proper noun ...)

I do not believe 'internet' is, or ever was, a proper noun.

A proper noun is not merely a word or phrase which uniquely identifies something; it is a name which uniquely identifies something. The definite article is used to identify specific instances of things that are literally described by common nouns.

Consider these sentences:
(A) The Internet is growing rapidly.
(B) Internet is growing rapidly.
(C) The internet is growing rapidly.

I think A is grammatically incorrect. If a proper noun, 'Internet', already uniquely identifies something there is no reason to use the definite article.

If 'Internet' is a proper noun then B is correct.

If 'internet' is a common noun then C is correct. I think it always has been a common noun.

* * *

ETA. There are a few proper nouns which contain the definite article, even though the 'the' is usually in lowercase. I think that situation is quite different. I find it hard to think of examples of those when the definite article is not required.

robberhands

@Ross at Play

A proper noun is not merely a word or phrase which uniquely identifies something; it is a name which uniquely identifies something. The definite article is used to identify specific instances of things that are literally described by common nouns.

My mother would agree with you.

Ross at Play

@robberhands

My mother would agree with you.

I have no idea what you're getting at. Is she German? Are you saying you don't agree?

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Ross at Play

Are you saying you don't agree?

I would have written 'My Mother' if I wouldn't agree with you.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

I know I'm preaching to a small choir here and the heretics will probably starting baying for my blood soon. I'm used to that.

As a fellow 'moon-bayer', I appreciate the sentiment. It's important to get things right, not because you're a 'slave' to the rules, but because it establishes reader trust, and makes your stories for readers to read. Sure, capitalizing random words does generate more attention, but if they're merely randomly capitalized words, then readers will figure that out and soon dismiss ANY capitalization!

I prefer to think of it as 'building your brand' as an author. You want readers to think you pay attention to the minor details, just as you want your stories to be readily understandable. That doesn't mean you write exclusively for people who never graduated high school, but it does mean you pay attention to the details.

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

And that is a perfectly valid reason. As I said before I avoid the issue by not omitting the century.

That's easier when you write decades as numbers, but for most fiction writing, the preferred method is to spell them out (especially in dialogue, which represents what is said, rather than what is meant). In that case, writing "nineteen-hundred and sixty seven" becomes a bit tedious!

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

In that case, writing "nineteen-hundred and sixty seven" becomes a bit tedious!


That may be true, but absent very clear context as to what century is being referred to, a decade specified without a century will always be ambiguous.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@PotomacBob

If a proper noun is (as I was taught back during the Dark Ages) the name of a particular person, place or thing, Internet seems to me to qualify.

Alas, the "Internet" is not the proper name of a specific thing, but is instead a singular group name for a massively coordinated system of competing websites. Thus, there's really no reason to capitalize it. You refer to the Prime Minister by his title because he IS the prime minister, but you don't call the interstate highway system the "Interstate Highway System". It just a bunch of roads, not a specific entity.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

However, she says in: https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/ap-will-no-longer-capitalize-internet-and-web

Starting June 1, 2016, Associated Press writers will be instructed to lowercase both internet and web.

Note that's the Associated Press, meaning their advice is restricted to magazine and newspaper coverage, rather than fiction writing.

Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

My mother would agree with you.

Your mother was obvious a wise woman. After all, she warned you about 'playing with yourself'. Need I ask how your eyesight has been the past few years? 'D

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

That may be true, but absent very clear context as to what century is being referred to, a decade specified without a century will always be ambiguous.

Because people rarely refer to events before they were born, the common assumption is that any such reference is for the most recent. If not, it's easy enough to provide context fairly quickly without belaboring the point.

BlacKnight

@Ross at Play

I think A is grammatically incorrect. If a proper noun, 'Internet', already uniquely identifies something there is no reason to use the definite article.


There are plenty of proper nouns that take the definite article. Some of them have already been mentioned in this very thread. Sometimes by you.

The White House, the Roaring Twenties, the Gay Nineties, the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, the Rhine...

The Internet was originally just one of a number of networks of networks, each with their own name (Merit Network, Tymnet, CYCLADES, Telenet, BITNET, etc.), but it's done its job so well that, over the last thirty years or so, basically all of the others have either died out or been assimilated into it. Does it somehow stop being a proper noun because it ate all of its peers?

(Weirdly, of "Internet", "internet", "Internets", and "internets", the last is the only one my browser flags as wrong.)

Replies:   Ross at Play
Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

The definite article is used to identify specific instances of things that are literally described by common nouns.


This is why Grammar Girl said "internet" is a proper noun and capitalized:

Is the Internet one specific place or is it a collection of things? Most language experts including the Associated Press and the editors of the Chicago Manual of Style and the Yahoo Style Guide, believe the Internet is one big specific network that people visit, so they recommend capitalizing the word "Internet."


It seems the AP and Chicago people buckled to people's complaints they didn't like it. Not because the above isn't true.

"I went to the White House when in DC last year" has a proper noun with an article before it.

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

You refer to the Prime Minister by his title because he IS the prime minister


Actually, you don't.

Where is Prime Minister Jones?
Where is the prime minister?

But it's: "Where is the Queen?" because that title is always capitalized.

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

Note that's the Associated Press, meaning their advice is restricted to magazine and newspaper coverage, rather than fiction writing.


Yeah, but someone pointed out an update at the bottom of Grammar Girl's post that CMoS changed as well. And fiction writers use CMoS.

BlacKnight

@Crumbly Writer

Alas, the "Internet" is not the proper name of a specific thing, but is instead a singular group name for a massively coordinated system of competing websites. Thus, there's really no reason to capitalize it. You refer to the Prime Minister by his title because he IS the prime minister, but you don't call the interstate highway system the "Interstate Highway System". It just a bunch of roads, not a specific entity.

The Interstate Highway System is in fact a specific named entity. Its full proper name is "the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways".

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play

@BlacKnight

There are plenty of proper nouns that take the definite article. Some of them have already been mentioned in this very thread. Sometimes by you.

I concede. My thought that the use of the definite article may matter was rubbish.

Ross at Play
Updated:

This is from CMOS:

5.6 Prpoer Nouns.
A proper noun is the specific name of a person, place, or thing ... , or the title of a work.

'Internet' was certainly a proper noun at the time that was the name of one among a number of similar networks.

But is it still a name? Or is the now just a word which literally describes what it is?

This is from the end of the paragraph in CMOS:

Over time, some proper names (called eponyms) have developed common-noun counterparts, such as sandwich (from the Earl of Sandwich) and china (from China, where fine porcelain was produced).

The arguments here rely on the assumption that once something is proper noun it is always a proper noun. That is not true.

I think there is a case for considering 'internet' as an eponym. The way it is used by the majority of the public would be a valid consideration in making that judgment.

* * *

Ngrams suggests a trend towards 'internet' and its data is ten years out of date.

BUT CMoS and AP jumped the gun this time! The public is nowhere near the point where this decision would be justified.

REP

@Switch Blayde

But I will also write 'til and not til.


When I see 'til, I think of 'until'. While the two seem to mean the same thing, I think 'until' flows better for a reader.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@REP

When I see 'til, I think of 'until'.


'til is until.

But people (mostly British?) use til the same way. In fact, my browser didn't flag "til" as an error. When I see "til" I think of tilling the soil.

REP

@Switch Blayde

Sorry, I thought you were saying you wrote 'not til'.

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

But people (mostly British?) use til the same way.

Not quite. 'Til is a contraction of until. Till is a synonym of until and both have existed in English for a long time.

Until took over as the more common choice during the 19th century and is now used by most. Till remained more popular in British English longer, and is still more common in British English than American.

CMoS 5.220 states:

till. This is a perfectly good preposition and conjunction (e.g. open till 10 p.m.). It is not a contraction of until and should not be written 'til.

The contraction 'til is very rare, even in fiction. It is certainly considered incorrect in formal writing.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

(e.g. open till 10 p.m.). It is not a contraction of until and should not be written 'til.


When I say I use 'til, I'm talking dialogue. I would never use 'til in the narrative. But when my character says 'til, it's short for until. So if he said "open 'til 10 p.m.," why is CMoS saying I can't write that? Or is CMoS ignoring dialogue?

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

why is CMoS saying I can't write that? Or is CMoS ignoring dialogue?

If you read the quote carefully you'll see CMoS only says you can't write 'til as a contraction of till. It doesn't say you can't write it as a contraction of until.

Regarding contractions it says this elsewhere:

5.103 Contractions.
Most types of writing benefit from the use of contractions ... Think before using one of the less common contractions, which often don't work well in prose, except perhaps in dialogue or quotations.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

If you read the quote carefully you'll see CMoS only says you can't write 'til as a contraction of till.


I don't understand.

It says till is not a contraction of until. I get that. 'til is the contraction of until. Till is a word by itself.

But till and until are synonymous.

So "Open till 10 p.m." is the same as "Open until 10 p.m." And since you can write 'til instead of until, you can write "Open 'til 10 p.m."

You're not writing till as 'til. You're using the contraction form of until instead of till.

It's really not important. I would never use till anywhere and I would never use 'til in the narrative.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Switch Blayde

You may find this of interest:

Many assume that till is an abbreviated form of until. Actually, it is a distinctive word that existed in English at least a century before until, both as a preposition meaning "to" and a conjunction meaning "until." It has seen continuous use in English since the 12th century and is a perfectly legitimate synonym of until.

'Til and 'till are much newer words, having appeared in the language only in the 19th and 20th centuries, respectively.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/till

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@REP

Thanks.

ETA:
So when my character is saying 'til, he's probably saying till. Good to know.

PotomacBob

@Ross at Play


I think A is grammatically incorrect. If a proper noun, 'Internet', already uniquely identifies something there is no reason to use the definite article.


So, under your rule, when we write "the Bronx," referring to one of the five boroughs of New York City, we are gramatically incorrect? Under your rule, we should write "the bronx," because it is preceded by the definite article? The same with El Salvador?

Crumbly Writer

@BlacKnight

The Interstate Highway System is in fact a specific named entity. Its full proper name is "the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways".

So why didn't we ever send them to do their job during Desert Storm? It must be nice having a cushy defense industry job that allows you to laze around in the sun all day!

Replies:   Dominions Son
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

'til is until.

Or: Until 'til tis no more!

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

When I say I use 'til, I'm talking dialogue. I would never use 'til in the narrative. But when my character says 'til, it's short for until. So if he said "open 'til 10 p.m.," why is CMoS saying I can't write that? Or is CMoS ignoring dialogue?

'Til is ONLY valid in dialogue if the speaker doesn't realize that 'til is an invalid contraction, whose limited acceptance is based entirely of misunderstanding the British "till". But even then, if you're writing dialogue, you're writing what the character is saying, not what they're implying or what they feel, so you'd write it out anyway. In either case, your dialogue should ALWAYS say "Until", as "till" is generally only considered proper in business signs on shop and office doors.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


So, under your rule, when we write "the Bronx," referring to one of the five boroughs of New York City, we are gramatically incorrect?


No, because in this case the official legal name of the borough is "The Bronx", not Bronx.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bronx#Etymology_and_naming

The name "Bronx" originated with Jonas Bronck, who established the first settlement in the area as part of the New Netherland colony in 1639.


The Bronx is referred to with the definite article as "The Bronx", both legally[25] and colloquially.[26]


The region was apparently named after the Bronx River and first appeared in the "Annexed District of The Bronx" created in 1874 out of part of Westchester County. It was continued in the "Borough of The Bronx", which included a larger annexation from Westchester County in 1898. The use of the definite article is attributed to the style of referring to rivers.[28][29] Another explanation for the use of the definite article in the borough's name is that the original form of the name was a possessive or collective one referring to the family, as in visiting "the Broncks", "the Bronck's", or "the Broncks'".[30]

Crumbly Writer

@PotomacBob

So, under your rule, when we write "the Bronx," referring to one of the five boroughs of New York City, we are gramatically incorrect? Under your rule, we should write "the bronx," because it is preceded by the definite article? The same with El Salvador?

No, because the Bronx isn't the name of a segment of New York City, but was named after a someone specific. Even then, each of the five NYC boroughs is capitalized "Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island", so in either case, it's always capitalized.

Ross NEVER said that a definite article cancels the capitalization rules, only that some proper nouns include a capitalize definitive article, while others do not. It's handled on a case by case basis.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


In either case, your dialogue should ALWAYS say "Until",


No. If your character doesn't say the "un" it's till or 'til. Just like if your character leaves out the "g" in "fuckin' right."

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play

@PotomacBob

So, under your rule, when we write "the Bronx," referring to one of the five boroughs of New York City, we are gramatically incorrect?

My post does not say that. The ETA I added long before your comment explicitly notes there are a small number of proper nouns which include a lowercase 'the'.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

only that some proper nouns include a capitalize definitive article, while others do not. It's handled on a case by case basis.


And you run into odd cases like "The Bronx", where a definitive article is actually part of the proper noun.

PotomacBob

@Crumbly Writer

Note that's the Associated Press,


If proper nouns preceded by the word "the" should be made lowercase, then it should be "the associated press."

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

No. If your character doesn't say the "un" it's till or 'til. Just like if your character leaves out the "g" in "fuckin' right."

Duh! You're right, though since you're not quoting a third party, but inventing words for someone to say, it's a pretty minor nit. "Fuckin' nit" makes a powerful statement, while "'til midnight" simply looks like a typo.

Crumbly Writer

@PotomacBob

If proper nouns preceded by the word "the" should be made lowercase, then it should be "the associated press."

NO ONE in the course of this entire thread ever stated any such thing, though it's been thrown in my face several times (as if I and Ross claimed it as gospel).

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

And you run into odd cases like "The Bronx", where a definitive article is actually part of the proper noun.

Those cases are almost always written with a lowercase 'the'.

Ngrans suggests 'the Bronx' is preferred by almost all, despite anything some local administrators may have done in the past.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

Ngrans suggests 'the Bronx' is preferred by almost all, despite anything some local administrators may have done in the past.


1. I'm not suggesting "the Bronx" is incorrect, especially in informal usage.

2. It's not just some local administrators doing it in the past. Even today, the only form used in official government documents is "The Bronx", because that is the borough's official legal name.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

as if I and Ross claimed it as gospel

Please leave me out of your comments.

I made one post when I suggested the definite article may be relevant. I added an ETA noting a few proper nouns include the definite article. I later conceded my first thought was wrong.

I'm not going to respond to any of PotomacBob's recent posts. If I ever said anything like what he says I did I have since retracted those statements.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Dominions Son

I'm not suggesting "the Bronx" is incorrect, especially in informal usage
... the only form used in official government documents is "The Bronx", because that is the borough's official legal name.

Okay. I'll stick with what people do, not lawyers. :-)

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

Okay. I'll stick with what people do, not lawyers. :-)


Which is fine. My point wasn't that "the" in "the Bronx" should be capitalized, but that in this case, "the" is actually part of the proper noun, not a separate article.

richardshagrin

@Switch Blayde

until.

The farmer will til his fields. The magician has a spell that will reverse all his work. The magician will until the farmer's field.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

as if I and Ross claimed it as gospel

Please leave me out of your comments.

Note the "as if" qualification. I wasn't responding to you, but to the person making false accusations.

Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

The farmer will til his fields. The magician has a spell that will reverse all his work. The magician will until the farmer's field.

Would that be "until", or is it merely one of the mage's many magical de-tils?

Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

And you run into odd cases like "The Bronx", where a definitive article is actually part of the proper noun.


"The" is not part of it. It's the Bronx because of the Broncks family that owned that land. It's a long story.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

"The" is not part of it.


Apparently you didn't read what I had posted earlier.

It's true, that it's the Bronx because of the Bronck(not Broncks) family.

However, when the area became a borough of NYC, "The Bronx" including the "the" was adopted as it's official name.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bronx#Etymology_and_naming

The Bronx is referred to with the definite article as "The Bronx", both legally[25] and colloquially.[26]


https://law.justia.com/codes/new-york/2006/new-york-city-administrative-code-new/adc02-202_2-202.html

§ 2-202 Division into boroughs and boundaries thereof. The city of New York is hereby divided into five boroughs to be designated,respectively: Manhattan, The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.


The above is from the NYC Administrative code. As can be plainly seen, it is not the case that the name of the Borough is "Bronx" and "the" is used in referring to it because of the tradition of reference to the area as belonging to the Broncks family. Rather, the full proper name of the borough is "The Bronx", including the "the".

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

The city of New York is hereby divided into five boroughs to be designated,respectively: Manhattan, The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.


But if you're American, surely that's only four boroughs:
1) Manhattan
2) The Bronx
3) Brooklyn
4) Queens and Staten Island

;)

AJ

Dominions Son

@awnlee jawking

But if you're American, surely that's only four boroughs:


Nope, the Oxford comma, if you can't tell from the name is a British thing, not an American thing. In American English, it has been very common to not use a comma before the and separating the final two items in a list.

Replies:   Ross at Play
helmut_meukel
Updated:


Nope, the Oxford comma, if you can't tell from the name is a British thing, not an American thing. In American English, it has been very common to not use a comma before the and separating the final two items in a list.


Probably due to the "melting pot" effect. In most continental european languages to use a comma before the and is plain wrong.

HM.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

Nope, the Oxford comma, if you can't tell from the name is a British thing, not an American thing.

Nope. It's not really a British or American thing - but it's more American than British.

IIRC, the reason for the name was that, long ago, Oxford University was the exception in Britain that did use it.

You can be pretty sure that newspapers everywhere do not use it. Excluding newspapers, most American style guides recommend its use while most British style guides suggest writers stick to one style or the other. The Wiki article lists recommendations by various style guides.

I think AJ is less wrong than you this time.

Ross at Play

@helmut_meukel

Probably due to the "melting pot" effect. In most continental european languages to use a comma before the and is plain wrong.

I doubt that. Oxford University was established while most Europeans were still living in caves.

BlacKnight

The Dalles, Oregon (familiar to players of Oregon Trail who didn't die of dysentery along the way as the beginning of the climactic river-rafting action sequence), also has the "the" as part of its official name. It's the only other one that I'm aware of.

At least among U.S. English place names. Including the article is common en Español: Los Angeles ("The Angels"), Las Vegas ("The Meadows"), El Paso ("The Pass"), Las Cruces ("The Crosses")...

Ross at Play
Updated:

@BlacKnight

It's the only other one that I'm aware of ... At least among U.S. English place names.

I know you grow a lot of oranges but America Is Not the Only Country. There is 'the Netherlands' and 'The Gambia', and 'the Ukraine' is still common.

Replies:   BlacKnight
StarFleet Carl

@awnlee jawking

But if you're American, surely that's only four boroughs:
1) Manhattan
2) The Bronx
3) Brooklyn
4) Queens and Staten Island


So:
1) Rich folks that look down on the rest of us
2) Shithole not worth living in
3) Shithole not worth living in
4) Shithole not worth living in

Even though I live 'in a city', I'm part of the deplorables in fly-over land that really have no use for people who would vote for a man that says, "America was never great."

Time to tune my radio to Waylon, Willie, and the boys.

(My tongue is, unfortunately, only slightly in my cheek on this. My Cousin Vinny was on (on the CMT channel!) last night.)

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@StarFleet Carl

3) Brooklyn

So:
3) Shithole not worth living in


I haven't been back to NYC in decades, but from what I hear Brooklyn is the place to. be/live now.

Switch Blayde

From today's article on Yahoo:

A savage brawl between two warring groups of FDNY firefighters at a Bronx firehouse has sparked multiple investigations


"a Bronx"

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

From today's article on Yahoo:


An error by a reporter, getting the name of the borough wrong, big surprise.

I actually quoted a section of the NYC Administrative code that names the boroughs and it's listed as "The Bronx", not "Bronx". Personally, I take that as definitive that "the" is inseparably part of the name of the borough.

BlacKnight

@Ross at Play

I know you grow a lot of oranges but America Is Not the Only Country. There is 'the Netherlands' and 'The Gambia', and 'the Ukraine' is still common.

The official name of the Koninkrijk der Nederlanden isn't English. Nor is Україна, which does not in fact include a definite article, and my experience is that Ukrainians get annoyed when English-speakers add one.

The Gambia does include the definite article in their formal name, which I was not previously aware of... I've only ever heard it referred to as simply "Gambia". The Bahamas include the article in their formal name, too.

The Hague includes the definite article, too, but, again, it's a literal translation of the Dutch Den Haag.

Replies:   Ross at Play
BlacKnight

@Dominions Son

An error by a reporter, getting the name of the borough wrong, big surprise.

I actually quoted a section of the NYC Administrative code that names the boroughs and it's listed as "The Bronx", not "Bronx". Personally, I take that as definitive that "the" is inseparably part of the name of the borough.

The article is part of the official name, but standard usage is that it's dropped when the name is used as an adjective.

"A firehouse in the Bronx" would be correct, where "a firehouse in Bronx" is wrong, but "a Bronx firehouse" is correct, and "a the Bronx firehouse" is, at the very least, non-standard usage.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Dominions Son

@BlacKnight

Los Angeles ("The Angels")


The full original name in Spanish is: "El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río Porciúncula". Which translates to: "the town of our lady the Queen of Angels of the River Porciúncula".

Las Vegas ("The Meadows")


Seriously? It's in the middle of a desert.

Replies:   BlacKnight
BlacKnight

@Dominions Son

Seriously? It's in the middle of a desert.


I'm assuming it's a PR thing, like "Greenland".

Replies:   helmut_meukel
Ross at Play

@BlacKnight

Can't you take a joke? I had a dig at you because your post was so very, very America-centric.

Koninkrijk der Nederlanden isn't English

True, but irrelevant to my post: I write in English.

According to dictionary.com, both 'the Netherlands' and 'The Gambia' are the correct forms in English.

And according to ngrams, until 1980, 'Ukraine' followed 'the' over 50% of the times it was used it English. As I said, 'the Ukraine' is still common.

PotomacBob

@Dominions Son


An error by a reporter, getting the name of the borough wrong


So, you would have the reporter write: firefighters at a The Bronx firehouse? (indefinite article followed by the formal name you insist everybody should use)
Or: firefighters at The Bronx firehouse? (implies there's only one firehouse in the Bronx)
If not either of those two examples, just how would you write that sentence?
I, personally, had no problem understanding what the reporter wrote.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@PotomacBob

If not either of those two examples, just how would you write that sentence?

A savage brawl between two warring groups of FDNY firefighters at a firehouse in the Bronx has sparked multiple investigations

helmut_meukel

@BlacKnight

I'm assuming it's a PR thing, like "Greenland".


from Wikipedia:

Erik the Red's recruitment of others to colonize Greenland has been characterized recently as a land scam, the scam (and the name) portraying Greenland as better farm land than in Iceland.


But:

Icelandic saga accounts of life in Greenland were composed in the 13th century and later, and do not constitute primary sources for the history of early Norse Greenland. Modern understanding therefore mostly depends on the physical data from archeological sites. Interpretation of ice core and clam shell data suggests that between 800 and 1300, the regions around the fjords of southern Greenland experienced a relatively mild climate several degrees Celsius higher than usual in the North Atlantic, with trees and herbaceous plants growing, and livestock being farmed. Barley was grown as a crop up to the 70th parallel. What is verifiable is that the ice cores indicate Greenland has had dramatic temperature shifts many times over the past 100,000 years.


To me it's clear, the Global Warming faction tries to dismiss arguments about Greenland really being green between 900 and 1200, it doesn't fit into their credo.

HM.

Dominions Son

@PotomacBob

If not either of those two examples, just how would you write that sentence?


As Ross at Play has suggested and as I've seen it worded in several other articles about the incident, I would go with "at a firehouse in the Bronx"

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

I would go with "at a firehouse in the Bronx"

Not "in The Bronx"? :-)

Replies:   Dominions Son
Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

An error by a reporter, getting the name of the borough wrong, big surprise.


It's not an error. "Bronx" is used as an adjective — a Bronx firehouse.
Growing up in NYC, I thought it odd to see it without the "the." But it sounded right to my ear so I looked closer.

Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

Not "in The Bronx"? :-)


We've been through that. I don't object to the lowercase the.

Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

It's not an error. "Bronx" is used as an adjective — a Bronx firehouse.


I still consider it an error. You mentioned one article about the incident that said "a Bronx firehouse." I've since seen articles from two or three separate sources that all had it phrased as "a firehouse in the Bronx."

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

It's not an error. "Bronx" is used as an adjective — a Bronx firehouse.

I give that one a Bronx cheer.

It has to be a grammatical error if refers to the borough. The adjective should then be the entire place name.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

The adjective should then be the entire place name.


Bronx is the name of the borough. It's just that when you refer to it as a noun it's "the Bronx."

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

Bronx is the name of the borough. It's just that when you refer to it as a noun it's "the Bronx."

I'm not going to argue. The evidence above suggests otherwise.

awnlee jawking
Updated:

@Switch Blayde

It's not an error. "Bronx" is used as an adjective — a Bronx firehouse.


I agree. Other proper names with a 'The' prefix also drop the 'The' when the name is used as an adjective eg "We're going to a Beatles tribute concert on Saturday", not "We're going to a The Beatles tribute concert on Saturday".

AJ

Ross at Play
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

Other place names with a 'The' prefix also drop the 'The' when the name is used as an adjective.

Really? Can you find any examples using 'Netherlands', 'Gambia', or 'Bahamas' as adjectives?

Note. AJ updated his post four seconds before I posted my reply to what I quoted.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

"We're going on a Black Mountains camping trip this weekend", not "We're going on a The Black Mountains camping trip this weekend"

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

"We're going on a Black Mountains camping trip this weekend", not "We're going on a The Black Mountains camping trip this weekend"

I can find a lot of places named 'Black Mountains' but none named 'The Black Mountains'.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
robberhands

@awnlee jawking

I agree as well but would still never write 'a Bronx firehouse' because it sounds obnoxious to me.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Monmouthshire.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_Kingdom_locations:_The-Thh#The_B

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

The Black Mountains, Monmouthshire.

That's not evidence it is not incorrect to write

"We're going on a Black Mountains camping trip this weekend"

instead of

"We're going on a camping trip in The Black Mountains this weekend"


* * *

I asked about these three: 'Netherlands', 'Gambia', or 'Bahamas'.

Dictionary.com lists the all as nouns - used with a definite article - but not as adjectives.

It lists these words as adjectives: 'Dutch', 'Gambian', and 'Bahamian'.

awnlee jawking
Updated:

@Ross at Play

"Book a Bahamas cruise from Florida today!"

https://www.ncl.com/uk/en/cruise-destinations/bahamas-florida-cruises

"Attempts to create a Gambia Air Force in the mid 2000s ultimately fell through ..."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gambia

"How to write a Netherlands address?"

http://www.bitboost.com/ref/international-address-formats/netherlands/

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
awnlee jawking

@robberhands

I have no such qualms about 'Bronx', and I can see its attraction for newspaper journalists. One of their most exacting requirements is for conciseness.

On the other hand, 'house' sounds weird to me. Do Americans have policehouses, bushouses, trainhouses? Why did they change only fire station to firehouse?

AJ

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

"Book a Bahamas cruise from Florida today!"

I think that's a mistake.

According to the evidence I have cited, that should be:
"Book a Bahamian cruise from Florida today!"

I made a tactical error in asking for 'examples' instead of 'evidence'. You were bound to be able to find examples by someone who didn't understand what they were doing.

Any evidence? About "place names"? That is what you said in your original post, before hurriedly changing it to "proper names", apparently because you realised you'd made an assertion which could not be substantiated.

robberhands

@awnlee jawking

As I said, grammatically I agree with you. However, when I read a 'Bronx firehouse', I'm envisioning a house made of Bronx, which is kinda difficult, of course. So it may be concise and grammatically correct but it still sounds obnoxious to me.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

Why did they change only fire station to firehouse?


Because "firehouse" is another term for "fire station" in North America.

Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

According to the evidence I have cited, that should be:
"Book a Bahamian cruise from Florida today!"


Google "bahamas cruise" and you'll have your evidence.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

Google "bahamas cruise" and you'll have your evidence.

I agree "Bahamas cruise" is acceptable in American English, because American English does not accept the definite article as part of the name of the Bahamas. See dictionary.com.

I do not believe it is correct in British English. In British English it should be "Bahamian cruise".

I do not believe "Netherlands" and "Gambia" are acceptable as an adjective in either AmE or BrE. They should be "Dutch" and "Gambian".

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

That's not evidence it is not incorrect to write

"We're going on a Black Mountains camping trip this weekend"

instead of

"We're going on a camping trip in The Black Mountains this weekend"

Minor nit. Hopefully, they're going to "The Black Mountains". If they were planning to spend the weekend in The Black Mountains, that implies they're planning to be caught in a landslide, or they're sleeping in a cave with the bears.

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

On the other hand, 'house' sounds weird to me. Do Americans have policehouses, bushouses, trainhouses? Why did they change only fire station to firehouse?

Duh! Why do you think I titled my police drama as "A House in Disarray". It was a play on words for the common "Police House".

But as for your other extreme examples (trying to make your one questionable assertion sound less extreme, they'd be: bus station and train station, as no one lives there (aside from the multitude of homeless panhandlers). However you can use either firehouse or fire station (but don't ask me why).

Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

As I said, grammatically I agree with you. However, when I read a 'Bronx firehouse', I'm envisioning a house made of Bronx, which is kinda difficult, of course. So it may be concise and grammatically correct but it still sounds obnoxious to me.

"Police station" works just as well as "Police House", if the one makes you feel uncomfortable. Both are acceptable American uses.

Replies:   robberhands  PotomacBob
StarFleet Carl

@awnlee jawking

Do Americans have policehouses, bushouses, trainhouses?


Yes, we do.

The police tend to call it a station house instead of the police station, but they also call it a police house.

Trains, of course, have a round house, and bus people talk about going to the house. A bus station or bus stop is where people get on or off. A bus house is another term for bus garage, where they do the maintenance on the buses.

That way, the wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round, the wheels on the bus go round and round ....

(I hope that song gets stuck in your mind now, like it's stuck in mind from typing this. Dammit.)

robberhands

@Crumbly Writer

'A Bronx fire station' sounds marginally better to me but I still prefer 'a fire station in the Bronx', by far. I guess my dislike is caused by the almost homophone term 'bronze'.

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Minor nit. Hopefully, they're going to "The Black Mountains".

I'd say that's one of many differences in preferred prepositions between AmE and BrE.

According to ngrams, The preference for 'to' over 'in' is stronger in AmE than BrE.

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

spend the weekend in The Black Mountains, that implies they're planning to be caught in a landslide, or they're sleeping in a cave with the bears.


I have a house in the White Mountains (in Arizona).

I guess it's like "on your lap" or "in your lap" or "sit on the chair" or "sit in the chair."

awnlee jawking

@StarFleet Carl

Thanks.

After my post I wondered whether in fact Americans had policehouses (in the UK, accommodation owned by a police force and reserved specifically for serving officers were known as police houses). I consider myself enlightened, although the information probably won't stick :(

AJ

awnlee jawking

@robberhands

"But as an adjective or as part of an adjectival phrase, Bronx usually goes without the—for example, a 25-year-old Bronx man."

http://grammarist.com/usage/the-bronx/

Wikipedia (spit!) lists Bronxite as the adjective and Bronxite and Bronxer as demonyms.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_adjectivals_and_demonyms_for_cities

Google also found a few examples of 'Bronxian' used as the demonymic adjective.

AJ

BlacKnight

@Crumbly Writer

Minor nit. Hopefully, they're going to "The Black Mountains". If they were planning to spend the weekend in The Black Mountains, that implies they're planning to be caught in a landslide, or they're sleeping in a cave with the bears.

No.

awnlee jawking

@robberhands

bronze


Didn't Doc Savage have a home in New York? That would make him a Bronx bronze man.

(Sorry, couldn't resist)

AJ

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@awnlee jawking

Didn't Doc Savage have a home in New York?

Doc Savage office was on the 86th floor of a New York City skyscraper, implicitly the Empire State Building. So at best he was the Manhattan bronze man.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

http://grammarist.com/usage/the-bronx/

In the absence of any suitable adjectival form of 'Bronx', I'd agree that too many would use it as an adjective without the article for that to be considered wrong. I'd still consider rewriting to use 'the Bronx' as a noun better in many situations/

I return to my original question about this blanket assertion

Other place names [i.e. besides the Bronx] with a 'The' prefix also drop the 'The' when the name is used as an adjective.

... and ask: do you agree that is not so?

I gave three specific examples: 'the Netherlands', 'The Gambia', and 'the Bahamas'.

I cited evidence that the example among those is that Americans use 'Bahamas' - but Americans don't recognise the definite article as part of its name.

awnlee jawking

@robberhands

Doc Savage office was on the 86th floor of a New York City skyscraper, implicitly the Empire State Building. So at best he was the Manhattan bronze man.


Way to kill my attempt at humour :(

AJ

Replies:   robberhands
Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

Wikipedia (spit!) lists Bronxite


I never heard that, but it makes sense. I grew up in Brooklyn and I was a Brooklynite.

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

and ask: do you agree that is not so?


Absolutely not, and I have no clue why you'd expect any different.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

I cited evidence that the example among those is that Americans use 'Bahamas' - but Americans don't recognise the definite article as part of its name.


I'm American and would always say "the Bahamas." But I would also say "I'm looking for a cheap Bahamas cruise."

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

We Brits would say "a Bahamas cruise" too. It was pure luck that the one instance I chose to cite happened to be American.

AJ

robberhands

@awnlee jawking

Way to kill my attempt at humour :(

I just hope it'll stay dead and buried.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@robberhands

I just hope it'll stay dead and buried.


Recently I've read one story where a character referred to another's house arrest as interment, and a second story where a character referred to the internment of his mother's ashes.

So, on SOL, there's no guarantee ... ;)

AJ

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

Absolutely not, and I have no clue why you'd expect any different.

I certainly did not expect you to agree. I just wanted to confirm this was yet another example where I state an opinion and cite supporting evidence and you assert a contrary opinion without citing any evidence. And I am referring to my original question regarding your "Other place names ..." statement, meaning other than the Bronx.

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

I've read one story where a character referred to another's house arrest as interment, and a second story where a character referred to the internment of his mother's ashes.

Perhaps the authors were computer programmers fond of the XOR operand: dead or buried, but not both.

robberhands

@awnlee jawking

Recently I've read one story where a character referred to another's house arrest as interment, and a second story where a character referred to the internment of his mother's ashes.

Once again I have to agree. While the first sounds like typical teenage hyperbole, the second example just sounds wrong and neither one is funny.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@robberhands

While the first sounds like typical teenage hyperbole


I actually notified the author about that one. So far no acknowledgement or correction. That's one author I won't bother with again :(

AJ

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@awnlee jawking

That's one author I won't bother with again :(

I still think 'it didn't dawn yet' would have been correct as well!

awnlee jawking

@robberhands

I still think 'it didn't dawn yet' would have been correct as well!


I thought you didn't want that discussed in open forum because the half-dozen senile old white males who frequent this forum would give you at least thirty different opinions ;)

AJ

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@awnlee jawking

True, but that was at a time when I just had posted the chapter and I changed the sentence anyway. So now it's a purely academic question.

Ross at Play

@robberhands

I still think 'it didn't dawn yet' would have been correct as well!

Opinion #31. Expletive deleted.

Opinion #32. I can't think of an example where I use a simple tense of the verb 'dawn'. Either progressive tenses, 'dawning', or perfect tenses, 'dawned', but simple tenses just seem wrong to me. I think it's because the nature of the verb is to continuously change, so a static state-of-being tense makes me feel as if time has stopped?

I'm excluding the other use of the verb 'dawn', meaning to realise, which I'd probably only ever use with 'on'.

Replies:   robberhands
PotomacBob

@Crumbly Writer

If you try to reason out, logically, the acceptable forms of English, you will surely go mad. How can you possibly learn a language in which slim chance and fat chance mean the same thing?

robberhands

@Ross at Play

Opinion #31. Expletive deleted.

I agree with #31. Mentioning 'senile old white males' was just a heinous attempt from AJ to discredit my valuable grammatical opinion.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Remus2

Many a nit were slaughtered in this thread.

Dominions Son

@awnlee jawking

Do Americans have policehouses, bushouses, trainhouses? Why did they change only fire station to firehouse?


Because Police don't live/sleep in police stations, bus drivers don't live/sleep in bus stations and train engineers/conductors don't live/sleep in train stations, but firemen do live/sleep in the fire station.

awnlee jawking

@robberhands

Mentioning 'senile old white males' was just a heinous attempt from AJ to discredit my valuable grammatical opinion.


I think I should mention that IMO you have a very good editor. Unlike some stories that credit one or many editors, your stories are remarkably free from schoolboy errors.

(And no, I'm not robberhands' editor)

AJ

Replies:   robberhands
Dominions Son

@StarFleet Carl

I hope that song gets stuck in your mind now, like it's stuck in mind from typing this. Dammit.


My mom used to have a version of that song on a children's song CD, bought for my niece to listen to on a trip, with the funniest ending to that song ever.

The lion on the bus goes roar, roar...
Lion on the bus?
< screams of terror >

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

About "place names"? That is what you said in your original post, before hurriedly changing it to "proper names", apparently because you realised you'd made an assertion which could not be substantiated.


I changed it to 'proper names' because I considered that to be a superset which included 'place names', hence my Beatles example.

And your snide comment is wrong. My exposition of a simple rule of English has been amply substantiated with samples.

AJ

robberhands

@awnlee jawking

Unlike some stories that credit one or many editors, your stories are remarkably free from schoolboy errors.

Thank you for such a nice backhanded compliment.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@robberhands

Apologies, it wasn't intended as backhanded. Together, you and your editor make a good team.

AJ

awnlee jawking

@BlacKnight

The article is part of the official name, but standard usage is that it's dropped when the name is used as an adjective.


It can be dropped in other circumstances too, when the rules of English demand.

"Of all the versions of Earth we visited, our homeworld was the only one where New York had a Bronx."

AJ

robberhands

@awnlee jawking

"Of all the versions of Earth we visited, our homeworld was the only one where New York had a Bronx."

Bah, who needs The Bronx; Hell's Kitchen, Harlem, and Doc Savage are all in Manhattan.

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

"Of all the versions of Earth we visited, our homeworld was the only one where New York had a Bronx."

That uses 'Bronx' as a common noun meaning the class of all places with names containing 'Bronx' (spelt with a capital letter).

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