The Broncks', the borough of my childhood, fades away

Paul Johnston paul.johnston at WMICH.EDU
Tue Dec 4 20:36:45 UTC 2007

The British also talk about "the Argentine" and "the Gambia".  Never
heard "the Zambia" when I lived there but I am sure it was around.

Paul Johnston
On Dec 3, 2007, at 11:42 PM, Doug Harris wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Doug Harris <cats22 at FRONTIERNET.NET>
> Subject:      Re: The Broncks', the borough of my childhood, fades
> away
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> Among other places long provided the 'the' article, at least in
> British English, include _The Lebanon_, a phrasing that always
> annoyed me when I lived in England and heard newscasters say it,
> on my assumption that the _The Lebanon_ was actually meant to
> mean "the territory of Lebanon". Even if that were the case, I
> still wonder what the Brits did, and perhaps still do, mean in
> referring to _The Zambia_.
> (the other) doug
> I wonder whether the loss of formerly traditional "the" from some
> other place names, such as Ukraine and Yukon (the latter of which
> still gets the article with a certain frequency), might have had any
> subtle influence on this -- perhaps a little nagging idea that "the"
> for a place name is improper. I wouldn't stand behind this
> speculation without lots of further evidence, but such prescriptive
> extensions from abductions aren't unknown, ISTM.
> But think how the loss of the article would have changed Ogden Nash's
> disapprobation into acceptance by forcing the deletion of "no" to fit
> the meter:
> Bronx?
> Thonx!
> James Harbeck.
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