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In my observations, names usually don't have articles like the, a, an. For example: Stack Exchange (not The Stack Exchange); Facebook, (not The Facebook). However:

  • There are cases when the name really have the "the", but people drop it. For example, people refers to the newspaper The New York Times as New York Times
  • There are cases when there is no "the" in the names, but people add it. For example, people refers to the newspaper Daily Star as The Daily Star

I wonder if there is any rule for this? I suppose that with time, the article will gradually be dropped. So if it isn't, then probably there is a stronger reason that it sticks to the name. What would that reason be?

Also, what about names that consist only regular words, like house, book, etc? Since it can be confused with the actual object, would it's more natural to have "the" in the name? Would they say:

- I pick a book from Book

or

- ­I pick a book from The Book

?

Meta: Is asking about a name of a product (not naming it) on-topic?

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  • Names are names. Even when names don't have The, the article is regularly used (eg the British newspaper called "Daily Star", which is invariably called "The Daily Star"). The Meta question you link to implies that this is not an on-topic question. How is this a real problem which you face? – Andrew Leach Jan 31 at 12:47
  • I just want to check my understanding. I though this is about the usage of English language? – Ooker Jan 31 at 12:51
  • Just to clarify, we like to spend our energies on actual issues being faced, rather than an imagined usage of possible concerns. Of English. – Yosef Baskin Jan 31 at 12:54
  • @YosefBaskin is the edit better? – Ooker Jan 31 at 13:05
  • If you look at lists of magazines, you will get a feel for how often the definite article is included in a title, and certain restrictions on its inclusion / its omission. Here is Wikipedia's list of art magazines. I'd just point out that (1) 'The Flash Art' doesn't sound too good; (2) neither does 'Art Journal'; (3) whereas 'Drama' and 'The Frontrunner' would seem very reasonable alternatives to the chosen titles. 'How it sounds' is a vital factor, but familiarity breeds acceptance, so we have positive feedback loops. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 31 at 14:51
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There is no rule. Tradition, the sound, history, and some other factors are what matters.

Consider:

Bath, a city in England, was actually the Bath up until the Nineteenth Century, when the article was dropped.

Facebook was initially the Facebook.

There's some logic behind the New York borough called The Bronx: it was named after the family of Jonas Bronck, i.e. the Broncks. However, no one is quite sure why the Hague is called the Hague, and there are also the Vatican and the Stonehenge.

.

You need to use the definite article with these:

the Royal Albert Hall, the John Hancock Center, the Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts

But not with these:

Carnegie Hall, City Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Epcot Center, Canterbury Cathedral, Westminster Abbey.

Also, compare:

London Bridge, yes, but: the Brooklyn Bridge.

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  • City names/articles have been discussed at City names with articles. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 31 at 15:25
  • I suppose that with time, and especially with a lot of non-native speakers, the article will gradually be dropped? Also, if it's in the name, shouldn't it be capitalized? – Ooker Jan 31 at 15:33
  • @Ooker: Let's not get crazy. – Ricky Jan 31 at 15:38
  • what do you mean? – Ooker Jan 31 at 15:40
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    @Ooker: I mean, let's not exaggerate. Non-native speakers whose mother tongues do not include articles have been using "telegraphic English" for centuries. This has not affected the basic structure of the English language one bit, gradually or otherwise. – Ricky Jan 31 at 15:50
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"I work for BBC. I got my job there after I left Post Office." Not ok.

"I work for the ITV. I got my job there after I left the DHL." Not ok.

It has to be the BBC and the Post Office. It can never be the ITV and the DHL. Nobody knows why.

The possessive is also tricky. You can shop at Tesco's although the shop is named 'Tesco'. You could never shop at Ikea's. Again, nobody knows why, or, if they do, they aren't telling.

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  • what about names that consist only regular words? – Ooker Jan 31 at 16:59

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