Geographical Regions (was RE: "The" Philippines)

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Sat Apr 2 21:59:18 UTC 2005

I always thought (and taught) that Sahara takes the definite article because
of the word desert in the full name: the Sahara Desert. That explains the
West Siberian Plain as well, though I'm not sure about the Midwest; perhaps
it's the Midwest Region. The same follows for mountain ranges, archipelagos,

I'm not sure why the claim that Ukraine continues to take the definite
article. I stopped using it when it gained independence and it seems news
organizations don't use it either.

Benjamin Barrett
Baking the World a Better Place

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of
James A. Landau
Sent: Friday, April 01, 2005 2:42 PM

A geographical region, as opposed to a nation or state, generally takes the
definite article, e.g. the Midwest, the Sahara, the West Siberian Plain.
"The" Ukraine was an area of Russia for centuries before achieving political
status as "the" Ukrainian SSR, and kept its definite article when it became
an independent nation.

More information about the Ads-l mailing list