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The sentence below comes from Word Smart II: How to Build a More Educated Vocabulary.

The theory that tiny little men move the pictures around inside the television is interesting but implausible; for one thing, you never see anyone putting food in a TV.

Why the 1st sentence says 'the television' in contrast to 'a TV' in the last? Is there any difference between the television and a TV? To my sense of English grammar, the usage can be reversed as in:

The theory that tiny little men move the pictures around inside a television is interesting but implausible; for one thing, you never see anyone putting food in the TV.

And it seems OK with me. Come to think of it, it seems much better since the second TV refers to the one mentioned previously.

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    'The television' as used here is a typical generic usage; compare 'the tiger is the largest of cats'. 'a TV' is referring to any old set in any old house, a non-definite usage. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 24 '17 at 8:37

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