In the "cards against humanity" collocation, shouldn't the article the precede humanity, i.e. "cards against the humanity"? Does the word against somehow influence this situation?
closed as general reference by FumbleFingers, tchrist, F'x, kiamlaluno, StoneyB Sep 16 '12 at 16:49
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It's a play on the expression "crimes against humanity" (itself apparently dating from the 1860 American National Republican Convention platform, describing slavery as such).
I think "humanity" is a mass noun here, and since there can only be one, the definite article feels superfluous.
In the question Matt linked to, Reg Dwight wrote
Add to that, don't use an article where the noun is a generality (or maybe, an uncountable noun, like bread).
"Cards Against Humanity" uses Humanity as meaning either "mankind" (human beings collectively), or "the state of being human", or "the quality of being humane". Actually, given the game, any of those definitions would fit. The cards are deliciously anti-social!
"Cards Against the Humanity" would raise the questions "Which humanity?" or "The humanity of what?" because you are talking about a specific humanity or type of humanity. As the "which?" or "of what?" questions either cannot be answered or are not relevant here, it's not appropriate to use the definite article.
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