2

What is the different meanings of these two phrases?

  • to find answers in literature
  • to find answers in the literature

Is one just better/more correct than the other or are they meaning two different things?

closed as off-topic by Drew, curiousdannii, Skooba, Dan Bron, pyobum Oct 17 '17 at 14:34

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    I advise you to wait at least 24 hours before accepting an answer. And since it's the weekend, perhaps more. – AmE speaker Oct 14 '17 at 14:21
3

'The literature' defines what literature is under consideration. Usually it would refer to professional journals containing learned papers under peer review. What exactly is defined, depends on who is talking.

A doctor referring to 'the literature' will mean The Lancet and suchlike periodicals. Whilst a chemist will be referring to Scientific American and associated publications which deal with Chemistry.

Whereas 'literature' refers to all literature available - books, periodicals and today would include, I suspect, what is generally available on the internet.

  • So a Doctor referring to 'the literature' will mean scientific literature and the same Doctor referring to 'literature' will mean literature in general, including everything from Cicero to Shakespeare and beyond? – MinecraftShamrock Oct 14 '17 at 11:20
  • 1
    Also, literature on its own refers to writings, typically the classics of English Literature. – Lawrence Oct 14 '17 at 11:21
  • 1
    Your capitalisation is still non-standard. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 14 '17 at 13:32
  • @EdwinAshworth Non-cap was due to finger trouble; now sorted. – Nigel J Oct 14 '17 at 14:11
  • 1
    No it's not. People proficient in chemistry are chemists, and doctors are no more venerable in the main than dentists. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 14 '17 at 21:27

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.