Help me, please, with the next question. There is a book "The rules of management".

Does the construction in the title says to us that in the book are all the rules of management (that I can't believe), or such a construction can also mean only some specific rules? I understand that within context in can mean something specific for the context, but here I see it in the title and it makes me confused.

Can "the + plural + of" or "the + singular + of" mean something specific rather that "everything at all/the only one" in situations like this?


  • Remember that the expression "the rules of management" also occurs in "some of the rules of management" -- what makes you think it implies all ? What is the source of that presumption? – Kris Nov 9 '14 at 14:19

You're right, "The" suggests the author or publisher believed the book to be "the final word" on the subject :-)

A humbler title might have been Rules of Management.

You'll find that "The" used often, but don't judge the book by (the title on) its cover.

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The title implies that the book covers all the rules of management. The grammar does not leave room for the possibility that you will only find some rules in the book.

However, as this is a book on a question (i. e. "What are the rules of management?") that does not have a definitive answer, this book will most likely give the author's view of management. This is to say that in this book, the author says what he thinks management is all about.

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  • "The grammar does not leave room for the possibility that you will only find some rules in the book." Doesn't it? How about "Rules of Management"? – Armen Ծիրունյան Nov 9 '14 at 11:43
  • @ArmenԾիրունյան:"The rules of management" by itself suggests to me to expect a comprehensive list. "Rules of Management" does not. However, as this is the title of a book, one should not take this literally, IMO. – Tony Nov 9 '14 at 11:50

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