"Vatican City"; was Re: "The" Philippines

Wilson Gray wilson.gray at RCN.COM
Tue Apr 5 01:56:24 UTC 2005

On Apr 4, 2005, at 3:46 PM, Barbara Need wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Barbara Need <nee1 at MIDWAY.UCHICAGO.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: "Vatican City"; was Re: "The" Philippines
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> --------
>> FYI
>>      Lateran Treaty
> Stuff deleted showing use of "Vatican City" rather than "the Vatican
> City".
> Is this the text of the treaty? If so, it is a translation from,
> what? Latin? Italian? When does the translation date from? Is it
> contemporaneous with the original treaty? A recent translation? If it
> is not a translation, when does the text date from.
> My point is that different languages handle the question of articles
> in front of country names differently (I know this comes as no
> surprise!). What I call Paraguay in English is el Paraguay in
> Spanish. Originally, the Ukraine was called just that, for whatever
> reason, be it ellipsis or something else. After independence the
> country requested (demanded?) that English remove the article. I have
> never figured out why.

Neither have I. Nor can I understand why they didn't ask for
"Ukrainia." I find that somehow much easier to deal with
psychologically than "Ukraine."


> Perhaps when I reacted to "in Vatican City", my ear was expecting to
> hear "in the Vatican" and so I found the actual form odd. But whyever
> I found it odd, I did so. I guess I just speak a funny variety of
> this funny language.
> Barbara

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