Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

In the premier issue of a new magazine I saw today, the first line reads "Welcome to premier issue of Vegas/Rated."

I was thrown by the lack of some other word preceding "premier". It could have an article like "the" for "the premier issue", or it could have also said "our", as in "our premier issue".

So is the sentence, as it stands, correct and simply an esoteric usage of grammar? Or is it an actual error?

In an answer below, a rule about not using the article before the name of a city is brought up. However, I'm not sure this applies as "Vegas/Rated" is a proper noun, and the name of a magazine, regardless of a portion of it being a city name.

share|improve this question
    
I added a bit to my answer to address your updated concerns. –  simchona Aug 1 '11 at 19:56
2  
Welcome to premier issue of makes me say: It must have been written by a Russian. –  GEdgar Aug 1 '11 at 22:00
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 6 down vote accepted

In order to create a grammatical sentence, I think that the first line requires at least some sort of word modifying the noun "premier issue". This could be an article, which one site describes as:

Articles are used before nouns or noun equivalents and are a type of adjective. The definite article (the) is used before a noun to indicate that the identity of the noun is known to the reader. The indefinite article (a, an) is used before a noun that is general or when its identity is not known. There are certain situations in which a noun takes no article.

The cases in which a noun takes no article, however, are mostly geographical. For example, the same site says:

Do not use the with: streets, parks, cities, states, counties, most countries, continents, bays, single lakes, single mountains, islands

So one could rewrite the first line of the magazine to be more grammatical, and say:

Welcome to the premier issue of Whatever Magazine!

"The" is not the only option in this case, though, as you pointed out. One could easily replace "the" with "our" and still get a good sentence. This is because a noun usually (see geographical exceptions above) requires some sort of modifier to indicate which "thing" a sentence is referring to. In the original line, there is no such modifier--it could be "our" premier issue, "the dog's" premier issue, or even "the" premier issue.

Edit to address edited question: Even though the title of the magazine is Vegas/Rated, the error still stands. The missing article is before "premier". If the line were instead "Welcome to Vegas/Rated", then it would be an appropriate omission.

share|improve this answer
    
Thank you for this. I have edited my question based on a portion of your answer, as it seems you have uncovered a possible gray area with the "don't use on cities" rule. –  Bryson Aug 1 '11 at 19:49
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.