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1a) The news is all over the newspapers around the world.

1b) The news is all over newspapers* around the world.

Why exactly do we use the even though it is not specifying some newspapers? I have seen the usage of the in some proper names such as The Golden Gate Bridge, what exactly is the conveying?

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  • I'm not talking about "the news" part, read the question carefully, I'm talking solely about "newspapers". – English--more exc than laws May 27 '20 at 6:27
  • OIC, my bad. I think I was distracted by the "all over" part. We say "it's all over the news" or "it's in all the papers" (i.e., newspapers...but we don't say that anymore here). The only person I know who still reads actual newspapers is my 90 y/o FIL, really, because he doesn't have or want a computer. Hmm... I don't read newspapers (newspapers in general) vs. It's in all the (news)papers--The Post, The Times, The Journal--those kind of newpapers; it's not just local; it went national, at least, if not worldwide. And The Golden Gate Bridge is "The" bridge...it's an American thing. – KannE May 27 '20 at 8:12
  • My question is why did you use "the newspapers", why is it wrong to say " It's in all newspapers...". "The" newspapers sounds like some selected newspapers. – English--more exc than laws May 27 '20 at 8:21
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    The newspapers almost always is used, so reasoning aside, it's become an idiom. People say I read it in the news, I saw it on the news, or I read it in the newspapers. Sometimes they'll say something different, but not normally. I can't say why common usage has made it be so. – Jason Bassford May 27 '20 at 13:00
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1a) The news is all over the newspapers around the world.

1b) The news is all over newspapers* around the world.

Why exactly do we use the even though it is not specifying some newspapers?

"Newspapers" is the plural of "a newspaper". A/an noun = one example (from many) of a noun

"The newspapers" is the plural of "the newspaper".

"The noun = that [noun] of which we are aware. (Historically, "the" is a demonstrative adjective from the same stem as "that/those".)

It is important to understand that, in order to be qualified by "the", a noun must be either (a) described - "the traffic in the town or already known "The moon has risen."

1a) The news is all over the newspapers around the world.

The news is all over those newspapers (and we all are aware that there are newspapers) around the world.

1b) The news is all over newspapers* around the world.

The news is all over all examples of newspapers around the world.

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  • I'm sorry I still don't get it cuz I still would be aware that there are "newspapers" around the world without adding "the", and how exactly is "all examples of newspapers" different from your 1a? My guess is that by "the newspapers" the speaker is referring to the newspaper of that specific day rather than any specific newspaper printing company? – English--more exc than laws May 31 '20 at 8:49
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the newspapers (phrase)

From MacMillian Dictionary (American English defintion and example sentence):

the various newspapers that are published in a particular country or area

You shouldn’t believe everything you read in the newspapers.

I found this entry by chance. It never occurred to me that the phrase itself might be listed in a dictionary. I searched but did not find it in any others.

So the phrase the newspapers has its own meaning and refers to something specific, though not in the same sense as the two words would, of course (e.g., "the newspapers on the table").

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