extension of "the"

clements clements at indiana.edu
Fri Aug 27 15:47:19 UTC 2004

Dear Funknetters,
Does anyone know of any studies on the extension of the use of "the". In
her home town (Stafford VA), a student of mine noted that "the" can be

--With most acronyms
	I have the AOL.
	She has the SARS.

--With generics
	I like the coffee/the candy. (to refer to all coffee or candy)

--With many proper place names.  These tend to be specific references,
especially the store names.  If my friend told me she was going to "the
Pier 1," I would understand that she meant the Pier 1 in Central Park.
	We are going to the Nashville.
	I'm in the Target.
	He bought it at the Pier 1.

I have heard it reported with abstract nouns, as in

	I have the diabetes

and a colleague of mine in Fort Wayne IN reported hearing it from his

Any leads would be most welcome.  If there's interest, I'll write up a

Clancy Clements

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