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  1. An Introduction to the History and Principles of Heraldry.
  2. An Introduction to History and Principles of Heraldry.

Which one is grammatically correct, with "the" or without "the"? Why?

closed as off-topic by FumbleFingers, Tushar Raj, anongoodnurse, Chenmunka, Edwin Ashworth May 27 '15 at 22:29

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  • Unless you're talking about history in general, prefer the definite article there: An Introduction to the History and Principles of Heraldry. – Robusto May 25 '15 at 14:23
  • @Robusto: Which preference causes many people to suppose what Gibbon wrote was entitled The decline and fall..., but in fact that initial article was never included. I think the question is Off Topic because "grammatically correct" isn't really relevant to book titles. – FumbleFingers May 25 '15 at 14:42
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    This is a title. Titles do not follow any consistent pattern of article use. Unless it's your book and you're in charge of the title, don't worry about it. – John Lawler May 25 '15 at 16:59
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Both are grammatical, but the form with "the" is overwhelmingly more common in phrases of this sort.

I find it hard to explain why. I think it's something to do with the fact that the "of" phrase limits it and makes it in a sense more definite. But I suspect it's just one of those oddities of English: we don't say "the history" but we do say "the history of ... "

(On the other hand, we would say "methods of ... " rather than "the methods of ... ").

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