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If I want to dedicate my article to all the women in the world, should I write "To women" or "To the women"?

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very nice intention ))) –  shabunc Jul 25 '12 at 11:13
    
The intention is not mine - I'm just a copy-editor. –  Jerzy Trzeciak Jul 25 '12 at 11:33
    
possible duplicate of Definite article with plural nouns –  kiamlaluno Jul 25 '12 at 12:58

5 Answers 5

Use to all women - short and clear.

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Either "to women" or "to the women of the world".

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Yes: "the women" needs to be qualified to answer the question "Which women?" "To women" is women in general. –  Andrew Leach Jul 25 '12 at 10:26

"To the women" suggests that you mean specific women (and only specific women). If you mean all women, just "to women" is best.

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To women of the world has a subtly different meaning in BE, more or less the same as saying worldly women. This implies a little more knowledge than is genteel! I feel the correct thing to write here is To the women of the world (as opposed to 'in the world')

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Wait, this answer doesn't make sense. Are you sure your opposing sentences aren't switched around? –  Arlen Beiler Jul 25 '12 at 14:25
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@ArlenBeiler Makes sense to me. "To women of the world" implies "To all worldly women"; "To the women of the world" makes it entirely general. –  Andrew Leach Jul 25 '12 at 15:01
    
@AndrewLeach Thanks! Couldn't have put it better myself. –  Tony Balmforth Jul 25 '12 at 15:52
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One further thought - if I was writing this, I would probably opt for 'to women everywhere' which sounds more comfortable. –  Tony Balmforth Jul 25 '12 at 16:40
    
Oh, sorry, didn't notice the difference. And I agree with Tony that "to women everywhere" sounds better. –  Arlen Beiler Jul 25 '12 at 17:40

I would probably use something like this:

  • to all women
  • to women everywhere

However, "women of the world", as was suggested in another answer, has a bit of a negative religious connotation. The conservative and moderate sectors of most religions, especially ones which emphasize morality, would tend to associate it with "worldliness". For conservatives it would make red flags pop up, but moderates would probably just notice it, say "hmm", and go on. Adding "the" to the beginning would probably help a little bit, but I would stay away from it entirely unless you have a specific reason to give it that slant.

For those who are curious, the term originates in Christianity. The Bible emphasizes the idea of separation from the world quite a bit. The reason is because Christ's kingdom is not of this world. The negative connotation came in as Christianity drifted from the experiential to the religious. Incidentally, this is also where the idea of separation of church and state comes from, and thus the concept of free exercise of religion.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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+1 for "to women everywhere". –  ruakh Jul 25 '12 at 18:19

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