In the sentence "The lowest in-game rank of authority is that of the Baron – variations are Timariot, Shaman, Mayor, Bishop, Patrician – of which only Patrician is a playable rank if the player owns the The Republic DLC", is "the The" correct, or should it just be "The"? "The Republic DLC" is the name of a place. This is the same idea as the following:

  • The New York Times is a good newspaper.
  • The The New York Times is a good newspaper.
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    No, just one the is necessary and sufficient. – Armen Ծիրունյան Feb 23 '15 at 18:18
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    "The Republic DLC" is not the name of a place; "The Republic" is the title of the downloadable content (DLC) pack that is being reviewed. – Hellion Feb 23 '15 at 18:28
  • @Hellion Sorry, this was in regards to a disagreement I had with someone over this in a Wikipedia article Crusader Kings II, I'm not knowledgeable on the game. I do know what DLC is, I just didn't read that part of it very closely. – busterroni Feb 23 '15 at 18:43
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    I don't think "the the" is any good, but I also don't think there is any rule of English that would license shortening the double "the" to a single "the". Needing a double "the" is a trap that you have to find some way out of by finding a different way to say it. – Greg Lee Feb 23 '15 at 18:58

The does work that only needs to be done once, as necessary, for each occurrence of a noun in a sentence:

definite article

  1. (used, especially before a noun, with a specifying or particularizing effect, as opposed to the indefinite or generalizing force of the indefinite article a or an):

the book you gave me; Come into the house.

  1. (used to mark a proper noun, natural phenomenon, ship, building, time, point of the compass, branch of endeavor, or field of study as something well-known or unique):

the sun; the Alps; theQueen Elizabeth; the past; the West.

  1. (used with or as part of a title):

the Duke of Wellington; the Reverend John Smith.

  1. (used to mark a noun as indicating the best-known, most approved, most important, most satisfying, etc.):

the skiing center of the U.S.; If you're going to work hard, now is the time.

  1. (used to mark a noun as being used generically):

The dog is a quadruped.

  1. (used in place of a possessive pronoun, to note a part of the body or a personal belonging):

He won't be able to play football until the leg mends.

  1. (used before adjectives that are used substantively, to note an individual, a class or number of individuals, or an abstract idea):

to visit the sick; from the sublime to the ridiculous.

If the name of an entity contains The, that entity has been identified definitely in its name, and the work of the is completed. No repetition is necessary.


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  • What if it were "a The Republic DLC," if there were multiple? It seems that this article duplication would be warranted to specify that you're not referring to all of them or the only one. Then, by extension, if there were multiple, couldn't "the The Republic DLC" be correct—as in "The The Republic DLC currently on sale is the most popular ever"? – wchargin Feb 23 '15 at 20:50
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    As others have concurred, an extra the is redundant, even if it is not illegal. More idiomatic expressions will make you look or sound a bit more intelligent: A version of The Republic; A copy of The Count of Monte Cristo; An issue of The NYT; The manuscript of The Count of Monte Cristo; The Count of Monte Cristo manuscript; The true NYT; The Republic DLC I. Of course if you wanted to emphasize its unique nature in spoken words, emphasizing The The Republic DLC does not carry a linguistic death penalty. – ScotM Feb 23 '15 at 21:04
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    Also very often done in contexts where you need an indefinite article in front of a name that starts with a definite article is dropping the definite article from the name. So you’d have “a Republic DLC”, “a New York Times cover”, “a Count of Monte Cristo manuscript”, etc. (This doesn’t go for the band, of course—you have “a The The record”, but you also have “the The The record”.) – Janus Bahs Jacquet Feb 23 '15 at 21:20
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    I disagree with the reasoning here. There are two nouns that may be qualified: "Republic" and "DLC". The first instance of "the" in the sentence qualifies "DLC" while the second qualifies "Republic". While I would agree with the answer that only one is necessary, this is merely due to convention, not because of any real logic regarding unnecessary duplication. – Jules Feb 23 '15 at 23:24
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    Earth to @Jules! The Republic is a DownLoadableContent sequel of the RolePlayingGame Crusader King, making it the RPG equivalent to The Return of the King in the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. As an individual RPG it is The Republic; as a "level" of Crusader Kings, it is The Republic; as unique DLC it is still: The Republic. The DLC of the RPG Crusader Kings II: The Republic! We think it's great you enjoy playing in your imaginary world, but when you come back to the real world, lets speak a language we can all understand! – ScotM Feb 24 '15 at 2:26

I'm inclined to say drop the first "the" as well, but as it's common practice to italicise titles of works, you could get away with "the The Republic DLC" (consider "the The Count of Monte Cristo manuscript"). I would still prefer to reword the sentence rather than use this approach, e.g. "...if the player owns the DLC 'The Republic'" or "...owns the DLC The Republic".

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'The The' is never correct except as the name of a band.

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  • They stole the extra "the" from Talking Heads. – Lee Daniel Crocker Feb 23 '15 at 23:38

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