Not a native speaker. To me it sounds weird. I'd say "Go programming language".


closed as too broad by Lawrence, tchrist Mar 24 at 16:19

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Thanks @WeatherVane. What if the name of the language was not an actual word? For example "C programming language". – Alex Mar 17 at 9:53
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    To restore the comment, I wrote — An article is necessary, "Go programming language" seems like a grammatical error concerning the verb "to go". Compare with "I use hammer" where the article is also needed. — but I deleted it because it needs more context. There are situations where an article is used, and where it is not, so the question is quite broad, about the use of articles generally. – Weather Vane Mar 17 at 9:55
  • From tip.golang.org/doc/faq#go_or_golang some people call it Golang to avoid confusion- especially as a label for google searches or twitter references. – k1eran Mar 17 at 12:30
  • The article would be used similarly for FORTRAN, Basic, Java, C, et al. Why should "Go" be treated differently? – Hot Licks Mar 17 at 13:00
  • @Alex it'd still be "The C Programming Language"―in fact that was the name of the original authoritative book on the subject co-authored by the creator of the C language. "The Go Programming Language" is not only grammatically correct, but probably an intentional allusion to programmer lore as well. – Trevor Reid Mar 17 at 14:44

The article is necessary when you specify what Go is. "I can program in Go" will be comprehensible to software developers, but you might say "I can program in the Go programming language" to others, if you wanted to make sure that they understood.

  • Many non-programmers would assume from the context that Go is a programming language. – CJ Dennis Mar 17 at 10:05
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    Ah so it's like "English" vs "the English language". I remember that rule now :) – Alex Mar 17 at 10:09
  • Think of it this way: "Go" is acting like an adjective here. The article actually mofifies "language". – Spencer Mar 17 at 13:00
  • @CJDennis That's true but if someone said "I'm good at Go" you wouldn't know whether they meant the programming language or the strategy game unless there was some other context. Sometimes we need to be specific. – BoldBen Mar 17 at 14:06
  • @Spencer You're talking about a noun adjunct. – CJ Dennis Mar 17 at 22:50

The article is necessary because "the Go programming language" means exactly the same as "the programming language called 'Go'." Here "Go" is a proper noun, being used as a modifier on the noun "language". No different from "the Russian language". Since "language" is a fairly vanilla countable noun, it is given an article in situations where an article is appropriate for such nouns.

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